Things in the British Basketball League are heating up, with BBL Championship and Trophy Quarterfinals matches aplenty going down last weekend. BallinEurope’s man over there, Sam Chadwick, rounds up the action for us this morning. For all things BBL, read more below the break!
Game one of the British Basketball League (BBL) Trophy Quarterfinals took place this weekend with One Health Sheffield Sharks taking on the Plymouth Raiders as well as 6 BBL Championship games.
Friday night saw the BBL Trophy action, with the Raiders qualifying to the next round thanks to a close 85-83 win over the Sharks. Plymouth got the win behind an impressive night from Paul Williams, who played the whole 40 minutes and finished with a double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds to go with three assists. Paul wasn’t the only Raider to play the whole 40, however: He was joined by Jeremy Bell, who chipped in a game-high 29 points and four rebounds, while Anthony Rowe played throughout and contributed 13 points, five rebounds and two assists. For the Sharks, Nate Rainking led the way with 25 points, three rebounds and six assists, though Justin Dobbins couldn’t continue his double-double success, finishing with just nine rebounds and 12 points. Mike Tuck added 12 rebounds and five points but shot a poor 29% from the field.
The Newcastle Eagles won yet another game, defeating the Milton Keynes Lions, 100-88. Joe Chapman had 23 points and eight assists, Darius Defoe contributed seven rebounds and 18 points, and player-coach Fab Flournoy had an incredible 14 rebounds, eight assists and four points. Andrew Thomson also reached 20-plus points, finishing with 21 to go with his eight rebounds. For the Lions, a Demarius Bolds double-double of 22 points and 14 rebounds was not enough to manage a win; Daniel Northern also added a double-double of 15 points and 18 rebounds, and Howard Crawford top-scored for the Lions, finishing with 25 points on 67% from the field.
Saturday will go down in Durham Wildcats history as the team’s first BBL win over the Cheshire Jets. After being just one point down at the end of the third quarter, the Wildcats clawed it out to grab a two-point win over the Jets, 74-72. Ralph Bucci had a team-high 19 points while Fred Heinnenkamp added 16. For the Jets, it was Matt Schneck who top scored, finishing with 25 points. Bill Cole gave the Jets 21 points, including two free throws with 20 seconds left to give them a one-point lead; lastly, Colin O’Reilly added 17 points.
The Guildford Heat finished the weekend without a win, going down to a heartbreaking buzzer-beater from Cameron Rundles. Rundles finished with 30 points and six assists, while hitting 67% from the field. The Riders meanwhile managed to score just 32 points in the first half, including a mere 15 in the second quarter. For the Heat, it was Tayo Ogedengbe, who reached 1000 career BBL points and finished with a team-high 27 on 67% shooting while also grabbing six boards. Julius Joseph added 20 of his own and Mike Martin added 12 points, three rebounds and three assists.
On Sunday, the Jets managed a 85-78 win at the Glasgow Rocks despite a huge comeback in the fourth quarter by the Scottish side. For the winners, it was Adam Brown leading the way with 25 points, three rebounds and three assists. Matt Schneck added a double-double of 15 rebounds and 18 points, plus four assists from the centre position. Bill Cole and Colin O’Reilly both managed to reach double digits with 21 and 15, respectively. For the Rocks, Gareth Murray finished with 20 points and E.J. Harrison also added 18 points and seven rebounds. The Rocks only managed to connect on 15% of their shots from behind the arc compared to the Jets who hit 33% from deep.
Sunday also saw the Heat lose again, thus putting them currently at the bottom of the table with a 0-5 record with the 98-82 at the Milton Keynes Lions. Demarius Bolds finished with 37 points, six rebounds and four assists for the Lions, though he did have eight turnovers, Stefan Gill added 20 points, two rebounds and four assists, while Daniel Northern had a near double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds. For the Heat, Martelle McLemore did what he could with 20 points and four assists but he also had four turnovers. Mike Martin finished with 15 points and nine rebounds.
That wraps up the weekend’s BBL games here in the UK. Check back soon for more British Basketball news.
Sam Chadwick is the co-head coach of the Solent Kestrels U14 basketball team, along with dividing the remainder of his time among an assistant quantity surveyor job, university studies and sportswriting. Chadwick is now a contributor at BBLfans.com, and you can follow him on Twitter at @chadwick9.