Basketball: We’ve made great strides in recent weeks, now bring on Eagles – Sayers

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Leeds Force were unfortunate at the weekend as they lost to Worcester Wolves (76-66).

Friday night saw Leeds Force travel to the University of Worcester Arena to face Worcester Wolves for the second time this season. Our first encounter with the Wolves was a performance we did not want to repeat.

This required a strong start to the game, which is something that has eluded us in the past. So when we arrived at the venue with less than 30 minutes to spare due to delays on the roads, we knew we had to focus that little bit more in order to get our minds ready for the game.

We locked in, made no excuses and took to the floor with our eyes on the prize. We came out strong, establishing a 17-9 lead by half way through the first quarter.

The hosts rallied back, however, and with us unable to find the basket for a prolonged period of time, they managed to catch us and finish the quarter ahead (22-19).

A combination of defence, as well as, a cold spell for both teams resulted in a very low scoring second quarter with Wolves putting up 14 points and Force scoring just 10 in the entire period. As the half-time buzzer sounded, the game was still all to play for at 36-29.

The second half was a slightly higher scoring 20 minutes of basketball but although Force won the battle between the teams in the third quarter, it was Wolves who took the fourth and ultimately won the game 76-66.

Robert Marsden, Kwan Waller and DeAndre Bullard scored 18, 16 and 15 points respectively while Bullard grabbed 11 rebounds too, which gave him a ‘double double’.

This loss was a particularly frustrating one for us as we felt that it was an opportunity we failed to capitalise on. One of our goals going into this game was to defend at a higher level compared to how we defended the last time we were in Worcester. The frustrating thing about it is that we did just that. We played a team who, last time we faced off, scored 92 points and we held them to 76 points which should have allowed us to take the victory. That is something that we can take as a positive and build on. Unfortunately, there seemed to be a lid on the basket for us on Friday night but that’s just how it goes sometimes.

Around the BBL this week the Glasgow Rocks triumphed in a thrilling come-from-behind win against the Sheffield Sharks, led by Warren Gillis’ 27 points. They won 92-86 after late baskets from Rocks Guard, Jonny Bunyan and former Leeds Force forward, Will Hall sent the game into overtime where they finished the job!

Just two days after their exciting road win, the Rocks took on Newcastle Eagles. Despite it being a close game throughout, the Eagles eventually took their 13th straight victory and continued their incredible undefeated streak.

This weekend will see the unbeaten Newcastle Eagles visit the Leeds Beckett Arena where they’ll take on Leeds Force and look to add another win to their streak.

Despite recent results not going in our favour, we have made great strides in the last few weeks that we aim to build on. What better test than the league leaders to see how far we’ve come? We look forward to seeing you this Friday as we return to our home floor.

Eric Curth

No respite as poor Force are thrashed