Bognor Amazons have been enjoying an upbeat end to the basketball season.
Bognor Amazons 59 Brighton Phoenix 37
In their last league match, Bognor Amazons - having lost to Phoenix in their first game in the Sussex League - Amazons were keen to prove how much they have progressed over the season.
Amazons started strongly with Jo Lowe and Debz Wilson leading the scoring. It was immediately clear this was going to be physically-challenging, and the team fouls were starting to rack up for Phoenix, sending Amazons to the line.
After struggling to get points on the board Phoenix ended the quarter on a three-pointer to try to bridge the gap but Amazons still managed to keep a hold of the lead 12-9.
In the second quarter, Phoenix pushed their aggressive man-to-man defence and picked up team fouls. Amazons made the most of Phoenix’s tight defensive positioning to take their players one-on-one to the hoop and use full court passes to score easy under-the-basket shots.
They put more pressure on the guards and prevented Phoenix easily setting up any plays.
In an incredible display of athleticism, Amazons scored 21 points in the final four minutes of the first half to finish 40-22 up.
After a short break, the players took back to the court with Amazons hoping to maintain their stamina from before the half.
However, after being sent to the line in the first minute for foul shots, it took them a few minutes to get back into the swing of the game.
Phoenix struggled to penetrate Amazons’ zone defence and became frustrated at perceived missed calls from the refs. In the meantime, Amazons refocused and steadily increased their points. The third quarter ended 51-30.
The final quarter was more even. Amazons reached team fouls for the first time in the game, sending Phoenix to the line for six free throws, but they converted only one.
After a fast-paced and demanding game in which both teams put in a great effort, Amazons were thrilled to come away with the win.
AMAZONS: Lowe 24 (MVP), Wilson 11, Vitanyi 10, Stapely 5, Campbell 5, Thorne 2, Phillips 2, Lawrie, Ritche, Van Der Ouderra.
Amazons meet the University of Brighton South Down Suns in the cup semi-final.
Bognor Amazons 59 University of Brighton South Down Suns 40
Sussex Cup semi-final
Amazons had the home advantage for the semi-final and having beaten them twice already in the league, Amazons were keen to match their previous standards. The first quarter saw Amazons’ Smith, awarded MVP at their last meeting after scoring 27 points, put under pressure. A battle of wills began as defence conquered offence at both ends, resulting in a very low-scoring quarter. Amazons squeezes in a few more points to take a 9-4 lead. Amazons were keen to make more of an impression in the second quarter as Wilson and Vitanyi took control of baseline plays, securing the first 11 points of the quarter.
Suns’ Mason, who has represented England and Great Britain at junior and senior levels, took charge of their offence and scored three much-needed baskets in a row.
Amazons replied by trying to shut down Mason and by pushing their own offence, and ended the half with a spectacular 3 pointer on the buzzer from Campbell to finish 29-18 up. A tactical team talk helped Suns dominate the start of the half and Amazons found themselves on team fouls. This sent Suns to the line five times in first five minutes, but they could convert only four shots.
Amazons took the advantage for the remainder of the quarter, driving to the basket and scoring 11 unanswered pointsto lead 46-30. The final quarter was more even with baskets traded.
Amazons stepped up to the free throw line five times to secure seven more points. Despite a three-pointer from the Suns, Amazons were thrilled to win by 19 points. AMAZONS: Vitanyi 13, Stapely 12 (MVP), Wilson 12, Campbell 9, Smith 8, Lowe 3, Phillips 2, Thorne, Ritchie. Amazons face Brighton Cougars in the final today (Sunday, May 12) at 12.15pm at the Brighton Aldridge Community Academy in Falmer. All support welcome.