BallinEurope’s man in the UK, Sam Chadwick, wishes us a happy new year in rounding up last weekend’s (albeit abbreviated) British Basketball League schedule. Read on for all things BBL, plus video, below!
The Worcester Wolves and Newcastle Eagles headed into 2012 as the top two teams in the British Basketball League with 9-3 and 9-1 records respectively. This past week saw five games played, starting off with the Wolves hosting the Leicester Riders, while the first game of 2012 saw the Guildford Heat take a win against fellow bottom-dwellers Durham Wildcats.
The first game of the week was played last Wednesday when the Worcester Wolves went up against the Leicester Riders. Clearly the Riders had something to prove, taking the game in dominating fashion, 99-75 behind a 29-point, 11-rebound double-double from Cameron Rundles, also adding five assists. Bradd Weirzbicki backed him up with 23 points, one rebound and four assists, while the consistent Ayron Hardy had a near double-double, finishing with 15 points and nine rebounds on 63% shooting. For the Wolves, it was big man Richie Gordon continuing his outstanding play to finish with 18 points, eight rebounds, one assist and a couple of steals. Tommy Freeman finished with 16 points and six rebounds but was just 1-of-7 from three-point range. Arnas Kaslauskas contributed 13 points, two rebounds and one assist for the Wolves.
Thursday had the Raiders taking on the Mersey Tigers, with the Raiders notching a rather convincing 102-82 victory as seven players finished in double figures for the victors, who used 10 steals to help fuel their high-scoring run. James Jones led with 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists; Anthony Rowe added 18 points and five rebounds; while Paul Williams finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and two steals. For the Tigers, it was youngster Myles Hesson who led the scoring with 23 points, additionally contributing five rebounds against five turnovers. Kris Douse finished with 21 points, eight rebounds and three assists while Matthew Otten supplied 14 points and six rebounds. The Tigers finished this game with 22 turnovers and the Raiders used this to their advantage.
Friday night saw the Glasgow Rocks get back on the winning track with a 72-64 victory over the Sheffield Sharks. Mychal Green didn’t score in volumes this game but did finish with a nice all-around stat-line of 15 points, seven rebounds, four assists, a block and a steal. Danny Huffor finished as the high scorer contributing 19 points, also chipping in nine boards, two assists and three steals; centre Deaundre Cranson finished with 14 points, six rebounds, three assists and an impressive four blocks. The Sharks lost this game despite dominating the boards 55-33 and got a 21-point, four-rebound outing from Nate Reinking. Mike Tuck added a double-double of 10 points and 16 rebounds while Justin Dobbins finished with 15 points, nine rebounds, one assist and a steal.
The Worcester Wolves regrouped after Wednesday’s loss to the Riders with a 103-92 victory over the Milton Keynes Lions. For the losing side, it was Demarius Bolds who continued to light it up finishing with 33 points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal, Daniel Northern finished with 20 rebounds! To go with nine points and three blocks… WOW! 20 rebounds! That’s almost half of his team’s total 44! Nuno Pedroso added 21 points, three rebounds and six assists. For the Wolves, Richie Gordon had a solid double-double of 29 points, 16 rebounds, two assists and a couple of steals; Tommy Freeman regained his shooting form to finish with 26 points to go with seven rebounds and two assists while Sherrad Prezzie-Blue double-doubled himself, with 16 points and 10 assists plus five boards and a steal. The Wolves used solid free-throw shooting in this game, drawing 23 fouls and shooting 24-of-26 on free-throw attempts.
Sunday featured the first game of 2012 as the Guildford Heat played the Durham Wildcats in a bottom-of-the-table clash. This game saw the Heat start the year off with a win despite losing 12 in a row before the Xmas break. The Heat lead from the get-go and were up 31-15 after the first. Martelle McLemore high-scored with 30 points while Tayo Ogedengbe and Mike Martin added 21 and 17, respectively. For the Wildcats, it was a low-scoring affair with Galvin finishing with 19 points, Mario Flaherty 12 and Ralph Bucci 10.
That wraps up the weekend’s BBL games here in the UK; check back soon for more English 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.