With a few games in hand, the Bears wrapped up the DBA Division 1 Title.
After the Bears had beaten their nearest rivals, Bournemouth Oaks, in the head to head game, they needed just one more game to seal the title, and it came against Bridport Evolution on Mar7th. Coach Liam Wyatt was happy with his solid D and fast offence, as Simone Ippolito put an exclaimation mark on the win with another MVP performance. 90-51.
Spartans then travelled to a fast improving Classics and the Classics kept the top team honest through the first half down just 5, 29-24. But an unfortunate knee injury to Spartans MVP candidate, Mike Brake, saw the rest of the team step up, and Adam Crane on 14pts saw them close the game 57-39 and step closer to the title.
Seahawks hosted the Bandits, on the Thurs, and with their MVP candidate Olly Turner recurringly subbing off to be sick, the Seahawks saw an opening, and had a 4 point lead after 1, and Bandits had a 3 point lead at the half. But then the Bandits got going, led by Louie Weaver, and took control and run out winners 72-51, to keep the hunt for the title alive.
Evolution hosted Oaks for a 2nd spot game. In a high scoring, fast game, it was even Stevens through 1 and 2, with Oaks taking a slim 4 point lead into the break 44-40. Tomas Skiotys was pleased with the teams game but praised the shooting performances from both teams. 66-61 after Q3, but as the Oaks had a 90-85 lead into the last minute, Evo had to force them to win it from the line, but they went 4-from-4 down the stretch to take the game 88-100.
Seahawks then hosted Suns, [in a switched venue game] again the Seahawks started strong and led by Tobias Strongman, the young guns had a 32-31 lead at the break. But as is difficultly common for the students, 3rd quarter blues set in and the offence went cold as the Suns took control, with the 2 BU players, Walker and Rose leading the way. It finished 83-56 to the Suns.
Blazers faced the Classics on Mar 15th, and from the off it was the visitors who took control 22-8 after 10mins. Foley worked hard inside for the Blazers, and Oakley added some 3's to keep them in the game, but tough D and good shooting from the Classics saw them close it out 71-32. "Mustard Wolffe" grabbed MVP without scoring in the first 3 quarters, then added 15pts from five 3pointers in the last quarter alone!!!
Wed Mar 16th was the big clash at the top of Div2, with Spartans having a +9 point lead in the head-to-head, and the Spartans only having 6 players due to illness and injury, could the Bandits overturn that? It was a tight contest, with defence being key, and it was a low scoring 25-20 at the half, as the Spartans still had a grip on the contest but fatigue was stepping in for their 6 players. The lead was never more than 6points throughout the game, until 3 mins to go, when big OllieT hit another 3 (to add to his other 2) the Spartans found an extra gear and took the game 57-49 and hence the title with their 8 undefeated games (their 2 games remaining against Suns).
Newly crowned Div 1 Champs, Bears hosted the young Dorset Storm, and Mark Gorman was unstoppable underneath as he grabbed 12pts in Q1 and 10 in Q2 to lead the Bears to a 43-23 half time lead. Storm got going into the 3rd, but it was too little too late, as the Bears closed it our 85-51. Gorman finished with 28pts on his MVP night.
Bandits hosted the Seahawks for their last fixture of the season, and it was one to forget for the visitors. The Bandits jumped to an unassailable 24-7 after Q1 and Seahawks Coach Wood was "happy with the overall performance, but poor shooting let us down, but we should be chuffed we kept the fast paced Bandits to just 58, when it could have easily been 100". MVP Max Gilmartin who shut down the Seahawks guards, was "pleased to close out their home season, and the spacing and penetrate offence". Bandits finish up their season with a trip to Blazers.
The final game of the week had BG Suns head to Classics, in a fight for 3rd in Div2. Again it was always going to be a close contest and it didn't disappoint. 45-41 to the hosts at the half but some good shooting and some extra 3's from Walker and Rose had the Suns in front 61-59 with 10mins to play. They still had a 4pt lead with 5 to play, before going completely cold, as the Classics came back, with Mustard again closing the game with an extra 5 points, to take the slim win, 79-71. Classics finish their season 6W-4L in 3rd place. Suns have 2 games to go, both against the Spartans, but will finish 4th overall.
CONGRATS AGAIN TO BOURNEMOUTH BEARS FOR TAKING DIV1, AND SPARTANS FOR TAKING DIV2.