Hornets suffer first defeat of season

RECENT matches in the Suffolk Senior Basketball League have seen wins for Sledgehammers, Cougars and Bulldogs - with the Brightlingsea side regaining top spot.

RECENT matches in the Suffolk Senior Basketball League have seen wins for Sledgehammers, Cougars and Bulldogs - with the Brightlingsea side regaining top spot.

They were pushed all the way in their game against local rivals Colchester Hornets and the game was not decided until the final two minutes. Hornets had the home advantage and were ahead with eight minutes gone of the first quarter. Ten unanswered points from the visitors saw them ahead by that margin going into the second. Hornets soon narrowed the gap as they hit eight without reply and 20 personal from Simon Taylor in the quarter put Hornets ahead by four at half-time. With Taylor only finding the basket once in the third it gave the visitors the chance to fight back.

Three long-range efforts from Bert Scott and seven personal from Armin Abdollahi gave them a seven-point cushion going into the final period. Hornets were not out of it and reduced the deficit to four within four minutes, but that was the closest they got and Hornets suffered their first defeat of the campaign despite a game-high 38 from Taylor.

Reigning champions Bury Bulldogs got their season going with a trip to BT Jets and a comfortable win. Jets scored first, but that was

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to be their only lead of the evening as the Bulldogs defence restricted them to just three field goals in the opening quarter. Chris Dixon was the main offensive threat for the visitors as he knocked down 17 personal in the quarter.

Despite nine points from Milan Lalovic for the Jets in the second, Bulldogs were still too strong and the gap opened to more than 20 by half-time. Only five more baskets in the third gave Jets too much to do and with Dixon finishing on a game-high 50 the champions will take some stopping.

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California Cougars and Holbrook Eagles were involved in the proverbial game of two halves at Copleston Centre. Only one point separated the teams after the first quarter with Nick Newman the main threat for the visitors and Joe Rudd replying for the home side.

Both sides put together runs in the second as Rob Wheeler came off the bench for the Eagles to hit seven personal, but there was still only one point between the teams at half-time. Cougars came out strongly in the third and made a 14-2 run with Steven Eley hitting eight points in a five-minute spell. Eagles managed two field goals in the quarter by which time the home side was more than 20 ahead.

The fourth quarter saw the Eagles hit back with an 18-6 run but with Neil Lister and Leroy Manhertz scoring for the home side at crucial moments Cougars made it home by 12.

Cougars next take on the Bury Warriors while Hornets could make moves up the table as they have back to back games against the Warriors and the winless Jets.

Results round-up

California Cougars 92 (Manhertz 25, S Eley 18, Rudd 17) Holbrook Eagles 80 (Newman 21, Webb 19, Wheeler 9). BT Jets 46 (Carson 14, Lalovic 9, Turner 8) Bury Bulldogs 98 (Dixon 50, MacDonald 12, Benford 10), Colchester Hornets 84 (Taylor 38, Smith 11, A Syrett 10) Brightlingsea Sledgehammers 94 (Abdollahi 26, A Ward 20, Keeling 19).

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