Around The EBL - Week 11 -

Around The EBL – Week 11

Things are really starting to heat up as the complexion of the season has begun to change rapidly. Winning streaks have ended, league positions have gone full circle, and there are now just five team left in the nation who are yet to lose a league game this season, and only one who remains fully unbeaten.

EBL Division 1

Leeds Carnegie Basketball had mixed fortunes at the weekend, losing a close 74-78 game against Tees Valley Mohawks on Friday before taking a comfortable 51-71 win in Leicester on Sunday.

On Friday, Leeds scoring was led by Armand Anebo with 18 points and 12 rebounds supported by Darrell Bethune and Paul Holland with 16 points each.  Tees Valley’s scoring was led by Jorge Ebanks and Jerome Narcisse with 17 points each.

Carnegie’s fortunes changed on Sunday when they faced the Leicester Warriors.  After a difficult first quarter Leeds were able to dominate the game on the back of an impressive defensive effort in both the second and third quarter, where they limited Leicester to just 12 points in 20 minutes.

Carnegie closed out the 51-71 win on the back of 22 points from Armand Anebo and 15 points from Darrell Bethune.  The Warriors scoring was led by Mansour Mbye with 15 points.

The weekend’s results have moved Carnegie up one league place to 7th as they prepare for this Friday’s game against Team Northumbria.

Manchester Magic beat Essex Leopards 81-73 in overtime at the Amaechi Basketball Centre on Saturday.

Tireless guard Tom Ward played all 45 minutes to lead his team with 25 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists following a gruelling contest.

In overtime, Magic played their best basketball to spark a 9-0 run and put the game beyond doubt.  Veteran Jack Minister stepped up in the additional period with crucial points, rebounds and an assist.

Despite two deadly long-range bombs from Clark to keep the leopards involved, Magic held their nerve to sink free throws and take an 81-73 decision.

Alongside Ward, fellow guard Franc Garcia Garrido had 23 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals, while Ryan Lohfink had a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds.

“The overtime period was our best by a mile.  We were the most calm, made the better decisions out of the two teams, still carried on playing defence and rebounded very well,” said Magic Head Coach Paul Middleton.

“I thought Tom Ward was very good.  He had two or three ridiculous turnovers, but he played the whole game.  There were some crucial times where he made some stuff happen that was crucial.  If he hadn’t have done, probably we would have lost the game.”

The Magic weren’t so lucky on Sunday, as they fell 84-64 away at Reading Rockets.

Magic led 19-16 after ten minutes but soon ran out of gas, losing each of the ensuing three quarters and falling to their biggest defeat of the season.

Tom Ward led the way again with 14 points and was supported by 12 from Ryan Lohfink.

Magic are now third in EBL Division 1 with a 6-2 record.

Tenacious guard Samuel Toluwase is back in the EBL after a stint in Iceland and playing with the new-look Medway Park Crusaders.

Bolstered by the addition of new Head Coach Luis Guil from Spain, the Crusaders jumped out to an inspired start led by Joe Junior Mvuezolo’s 17 first half points (21 overall).

Westminster were never allowed to get into the game, as Medway Park led from opening tip to finish.

“I’m happy because, for only two practice the team understand our philosophy for our team,” said Guil, who arrived in the UK earlier this week.

“We want to play with not set offence only; I want the players to be able to make their own decisions and they did very well for only two practice.

“We have a lot of mistakes, but our philosophy in the first game was good – you will see how we play in the future.”

Medway, who were without Josh Whyte, Nathan Smith, Joe Lockwood and Victor Ogunniyi due to sickness and injuries, were aided by 15 points from Toluwase, 14 from Bradley Wilkinson and 11 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists from England Under-18 Dwayne Orija.

Josh Steel also added 8 assists along with his 8 points and 5 rebounds.

The Bristol Academy Flyers suffered back to back defeats this weekend going down 80-87 against Reading on Saturday, before being handed a 68-64 defeat to the Westminster Warriors on Sunday. Both losses the result of 4th quarter comebacks.

“It was a very challenging weekend and I do not think any of our previous Flyers teams have experienced something like this,” said Head Coach Andreas Kapoulas, who described the weekend as one of the toughest to take in his 8 year tenure at the Club.

“We played very well in both games for the first three quarters. However both final quarters we had a lot of defensive breakdowns and found it difficult to score crucial points. It was really upsetting to see us give away what we really worked hard for twice in one weekend!”

The Flyers Captain Greg Streete echoed the Head Coach thoughts: “What happened this past weekend is tough and there is no other way to describe it. We do have an opportunity ahead of us this weekend to put everything right.”

Back to back wins for the Bradford Dragons saw them jump into 2nd place in Division 1 with a 6-1 record.

Saturday saw them pick up  a big 81-56 home win against the Leicester Warriors despite 21 points from Leicester’s Mansour Mbye.

Dragons winning run was extended to 6 as a big third quarter again gave Dragons a road win at Team Northumbria, 76 – 63.

Playing without big man Chris McGrew, injured in the game the night before, Dragons trailed by 8 at the half, but dug deep on defence and a 27 – 8 third quarter surge turned the game around with Dan Foley scoring 21 points to lead all scorers.

Team Northumbria will be delighted to have brought their losing streak to a close, albeit temporarily, as they picked up a 90-78 victory over the Worthing Thunder on Saturday led by Mike Martin with 22 points while Jack Preston added 19.

The Hemel Storm survived a mixed weekend and remain atop the EBL Division 1 table with a 7-1 record after picking up the 75-53 victory over NASSA on Saturday. Their top three scorers matched NASSA’s score with 53 combined points from Adeluola, Mumuni and Adorian.

Sunday, however, saw a loss to the Essex Leopards by 76-58, who themselves sit in 4th place after their own winning streak was broken this weekend by the Manchester Magic.

EBL Division 2

The Loughborough Student Riders took their place at the top of the Division 2 table with a 65-68 victory over London Westside on Saturday and now hold a 6-3 record heading into the Christmas break.

35 points from Leon Best saw the Killamarsh Derbyshire Arrows defeat London Utd, 81-75, a victory which sees them now occupy an early playoff spot with a 3-4 record so far this season.

American Forward Charles Gamble led the Mansfield Giants to a 67-73 win over the Derby Trailblazers, contributing 35 points as the Giants picked up their first win of the season on Saturday.

Finally, Ipswich Basketball Club got themselves back on track after two defeats in two weeks to hold a 3-3 record, as they defeated Worcester Wolves II, 86-70.

The scoreline suggests the game was closer than it actually was. The Ipswich lead was in the twenties for the majority of the second half, but a late sequence of three pointers while the Ipswich bench was gaining some experience made things a look a little closer than it actually was – although Tom Sadler had the last laugh, as he chucked up a long three on the buzzer that he looked almost embarrassed to make.

“That wasn’t the Worcester we were expecting and I take nothing for granted – when we go to their place it will be a battle, they are a great organisation and have some excellent players and staff in Chris Lowe and Andy Cahill.” said Ipswich Head Coach Nick Drane.

“They seemed to be missing some guys who have been promoted to their BBL team which is a great advert for their programme. Take nothing away from our guys today though, we were awesome in that second quarter which effectively killed the game off”

EBL Division 3

Northern Conference

Title hopefuls Stockport Falcons saw themselves drop into 5th place following the 75-80 loss to the Sheffield Sabres.

The Falcons suffered two other losses this weekend as they parted company with Head Coach David Atkinson who will now be looking for another job and player Paul Cantwell who has joined the Manchester Giants.

Veteran Garnet Gayle scored 22 points as the Sheffield Saints overcame the Tees Valley Mohawks II with a 76-79 victory to go 5-4 for the season.

The Birmingham Mets moved into joint first place in the conference following the 62-69 win over the Sefton Stars, while their fellow leaders the Northants Thunder went down 89-77 to the Derby Trailblazers II.

Veteran guard Jason Swaine continued his incredible scoring form with 39 points for Leeds Carnegie II as they defeated the Nottingham Hoods, 75-73, while the Rossendale Raptors moved into 3rd with a 71-81 victory over the Birmingham A’s.

Southern Conference

A very quiet weekend in the south of the country saw Barking Abbey defeat Team Solent 79-74, while the London Greenhouse Pioneers moved into second place with an 88-61 win against the London Phoenicians.

Last year’s Division 3 playoff Champions Plymouth Marjon took the top spot this weekend with a 58-66 win over the Bracknell Cobras.

EBL Division 4

Northern Conference

There were no shocks this weekend as three of the main challengers for the Northern conference crown all picked up victories.

The Hull Wasps won 103-87 against the Durham Wildcats II with the Wasps top four scorers combining for 80 points, each scoring atleast 19.

41 points from Alvaro Pontes wasn’t enough to stop the Teeside Lions being defeated by the Kingston Panthers who now sit in 3rd spot.

The largest victory (as usual) came from the Mersey Tigers as they crushed Leeds Allerton High Carnegie by 41-127 to remain undefeated this season with an 8 game win streak.

Midlands Conference

NULC Knights picked up the 59-63 win over the Derby Trailblazers III to stay joint top of the table, while the Birmingham Mets II defeated the Loughborough Student Riders II by 72-75.

South East Conference

BC Medelynas London continue to storm through league competition with a 10-0 record following an 83-56 win over the College of West Anglia Fury, while London Westside II jumped up to second with an 86-92 win over Medway Park Crusaders II.

There were wins elsewhere for the Brentwood Fire and Greenwich Titans, while the Cambridge Cats won at home against the Ware Rebels.

London United Harefield Academy picked up the 47-73 win over the Maidstone Warriors for their first win of the season.

Midlands Southwest Conference

Oxford Brookes suffered their first defeat of the season  to Cardiff City, 68-69, while Oaklands College were thumped by the Milton Keynes Mustangs, 74-55. The Mustangs now occupy 2nd place with an 8-2 record.

In third place is the Middlesex LTBC, who defeated the Bristol Storm, 81-45,while there were wins elsewhere for the Hertfordshire Warriors, Bristol Academy Flyers II and the Woking Blackhawk Flyers.

Oaklands College did pick up one win this weekend, however, as they took down the Hertfordshire Warriors 89-79 to sit in 4th place.

Thoughts? Did you get to any games?

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