A big win for Bognor Amazons and a defeat for Univeristy of Chichester Thunder feature in this week’s basketball round-up.
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University of Chichester Thunder 74 Oxford Hoops 84
EBL division four south west
Despite a bright start to this Worthing Leisure Centre game, Chichester let Oxford back into the third quarter as the visitors hit a tiring university side in transition to turn a six-point deficit into a double-digit advantage.
They claimed the win and narrowed the gap between themselves and Chichester to just two points with Chichester having played one game more.
Alex Barbary scored with 21 points for Chichester, supported by Josh Scanlon with 18. Nathan Oyenuga led Oxford with 19 points.
Chichester coach Emmanuel Davies said: “We went up against a strong Oxford team that was more organised than when we played them last. When we played our best, we were consistent, but the third quarter was a killer. We need to pick ourselves up and learn from this ahead of the Swindon game next week.”
Adam Hield scored four points as Chichester Thunder got into a 6-0 lead early on, but the visitors responded with an 8-0 burst of their own, six of them coming from Oyenuga.
Thunder continued attacking the hoop as Hield found himself going to the foul line on back-to-back possessions as Chichester led 15-10 but the visitors fought back and with two seconds remaining tied the score at 21-21 thanks to a three-point play from Michael O’Hanlon.
Barbary nailed the first five points of the second quarter as the hosts extended their lead with good ball rotation and solid execution. Scanlon connected on a three-point play from the baseline to give the hosts a 29-23 advantage, forcing the Hoops coach to call a timeout. As the quarter wore on, the visitors battled their way back - but couldn’t get closer than four points as Thunder led 46-42 at half-
Thunder’s new recruit Povilas Lengvinas scored his first points in blue and yellow early on in the third quarter as Chichester took advantage of over-zealous three-point shooting from their opponents.
Thunder then missed several opportunities inside as Oxford started playing with a lot more maturity – they scored often in transition – as Hoops hit 13 points, unanswered to lead 59-53 before Scanlon hit from the baseline to break the hosts’ cold streak. Oxford hung on and led 62-59 after three quarters.
Chichester were able to hit only a single point in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter as Oxford scored often in transition to stretch their lead to 71-62. Thunder resorted to three-point shooting as the visitors kept themselves organised in the final three minutes to pull away for the win.
Bognor Amazons 76 University of Chichester 25
After a long break, Bognor Amazons welcomed Chichester University. With supporters from Chichester flooding the Bognor
home court, the atmosphere was tense.
On a cold evening it took both teams a long time to warm up, taking three minutes to get any points on the board.
Amazons’ scoring was slow but steady and they managed to creep ahead to end the quarter 12-5 up.
Sensing an opportunity to put space between the scores, Amazons upped their intensity on offence by utilising their opponents’ man-to-man defence and driving hard to the basket, with captain Vicky Smith leading by example.
An unexpected three-pointer from Chi’s captain lifted their supporters’ spirits, but by the end of the first half they were trailing 29-13.
Another three-pointer from the Chi captain started the second half, but from then on they struggled to penetrate Amazons’ zone defence. A spirited effort from Amazons’ Ellen Campbell off the bench saw her score eight points in three minutes, and the third quarter ended with Amazons holding an impressive 52-19 lead.
The start of the fourth quarter saw a renewed energy from Chichester and they were determined not to go down without a fight. For four minutes they really pushed their offence, picking up shooting fouls and scoring outside shots, which shocked Amazons to react.
In the final four minutes, Amazons focused on their defence, which prevented the Uni from running any set-plays, but also allowed Amazons to make some steals as they picked off early passes to exploit the fast break. Amazons ended the game with an inspiring 18 unanswered points.
AMAZONS: Smith 15 (MVP), Lowe 15, Wilson 14, Campbell 14, Stapely 4, Thorne 4, Phillips 4, Vitanyi 2, Van Der Ouderaa 2, Ritchie 2, Camburn.
Amazons’ next home game is at 7pm on Tuesday, February 26, at The Arena, Bognor. It’s free entry so come and show your support.