So the Divisional rounds are now well under way and its time for teams to settle some scores and get it done.
And no bigger matchup was the first tip of 2022... Storm U18 vs Storm Men. And it was a hotly contested game, both seemingly playing at home. The U18's jumped out to a 7-0 lead before the Men got off the mark, and it was 12-8 after one to the younger team.
Although the Men were missing some bigger names from the roster, they rallied and stayed in the game, and the 2nd was equal 30-34 at the half.
Guard Nathan Wickens, who had 19pts on the night, added that the Men let the U18s back in the game by some tactical decisions, and the Young guns took the game 63-67. Z Turner grabbed MVP, with 16 points.
Bears then hosted the Tigers at home... and the Tigers never got going. It was a shocking score line, in a game most expected would be a tighter game. The Tigers were held to just 2 baskets in open play in the first half! This one ended 91-22. Simone Ippolito got MVP honours on 27pts.
The Bandits hosted the Blazers, and got an even bigger win, bringing up the first hundred of the year, 100-24. Blazers had no answers on the road, as we know Blazers hold a strong grip on their home court. J. South bucketed 12 points and MVP on the night.
Oaks vs Evolution was a 2nd/3rd clash, as the Evolution look to bolster their Div1 status. It was close after 1, 16-11 to the Oaks, but they'd stretched it to 13pts at the half. Too many cheap fouls sent the Oaks to the line lots in the 3rd, where they shot 9 from 10, and then closed out in the 4th quarter, 90-51; a scoreline that was much closer into the final minutes. MVP was J. Bukelskis, with 11 points.
Spartans vs Classics had some great match ups, Spartans had the strength underneath, and Classics were shooting well and using their experience. It was 29-27 at the half. Mike Brake was again controlling the game from the top for the Spartans and when he got going he helped extend his teams lead. Ollie Thorneycroft was dominant underneath, as ever. It ended 66-46 to the Spartans. M.Brake took MVP, with 21points.
Seahawks hosted Suns on the Thursday night. And Seahawks jumped out to an early lead, much to the excitement of their loud support! However Suns settled and took a 5point lead into the half, 31-26. Seahawks responded and it was tied at 41, in the 3rd before Suns grabbed an 8pt run to end the quarter 50-41. Suns then showed experience, as Seahawks flustered and went cold. It ended 65-46 to the Suns, with E. Rose getting 20 points.
Starting Week 2, Blazers hosted Spartans, attempting to get their Divisional round going. But it was the visiting Spartans who jumped out to a 20-8 first quarter lead, and then kept going through 2, to have a 53-17 lead at the half. Blazers regathered themselves at the break and has a better 2nd half, but it ended 80-34 to Spartans. Mike Brake again getting MVP on 15 points. Spartans remain undefeated, now 4-0.
Storm2, now 0-3, travelled to St Peters to face the Oaks, and it was tight game throughout 2 quarters, and the Storm had a slim 10 point lead at the break. Much better Defence in the third held the Oaks to just 4 points, as they took 20. Storm kept it going, on a cold night for the Oaks, and it ended 78-46 to Storm. Karl Readhead scored 22points and took MVP honours.
Seahawks travelled to Classics, in Div2, with neither team having recored a win yet, it was up for grabs. Classics showed their experience, and took full control through the first 10 mins, 25-9. Seahawks shooting was off all night, and Classics were exploited holes in the D. 42-16 at the half; but a big regroup from the student team, showed much better heart and hustle through 3 and 4, and they won the half, but the damage was already done; 73-48. Gareth Bishop took 12points underneath.
The only game in Week 3 [Storm vs Tigers postponed due to Covid protocol] saw Evolution host Bears, and it was the visitors who showed their strength in depth. Although the Bears had a lead after 10mins, the Bridport team would not go away and stuck in there. 43-27 at the half. Mark Gorman led his team on 18points himself, as Bears took the win 79-46, and take an undeafted grip on Div1, with 4 wins so far.