Bognor Amazons travelled to Eastbourne on a snowy evening to face the Suns in their second league meeting - and ended up with a 69-53 victory.
Having lost only one game all season - against Amazons - Suns had a large squad and were confident.
Amazons were noticeably hesitant in the first couple of minutes and allowed the Suns’ Mason to score three straight easy baskets. Amazons, however, responded well and turned extra attention to getting the ball past the Suns’ press defence and utilised quick passes to make fast-break scores, with captain Vicky Smith leading by example.
They slowed down Suns’ offensive play, which made it hard work for them to penetrate Amazons’ speedy zone defence.
After scoring eight points in the first two minutes, Suns then only managed four in the rest of the quarter and finished it 19-12 down.
The second quarter saw more of the same from Amazons, with their strong defence keeping Suns from running their set plays, while making use of early steals at the top of the key which translated into easy baskets.
Two three-pointers from Suns in the second quarter boosted their score, but Amazons led 43-26 at half-time.
The third quarter started more evenly, with both teams exchanging baskets and getting into early foul trouble.
Amazons took 14 free throws in the third quarter, compared to Suns’ five, but this slowed the pace of the game and didn’t help Amazons, who had been relying on pushing the defensive pressure on the Suns.
Despite a disappointing quarter, Amazons still led 55-44 at its end.
Determined to make up for lost ground, Amazons focussed their defence on covering the players posing the most threat and managed to shut down their outside scoring.
This more dynamic defence resulted in Amazons committing more fouls, allowing Suns some opportunities to gain easy points
on the line but which they couldn’t convert.
In the last few minutes, Amazons slowed the pace of the game and it paid as they ran out 16-point winners.
AMAZONS: Smith 27 (MVP), Wilson 14, Lowe 9, Stapely 8, Phillips 4, Thorne 4, Vitanyi 3, Lawie.