Hat-trick celebrations are down to increased focus on defence

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Leeds force claimed their third win in a row for the first time in the BBL by beating Surrey Scorchers.

The Scorchers came to Leeds seeking revenge after their defeat at the hands of Force earlier in the season but ended up leaving disappointed after a 73-63 defeat.

The game got off to an exciting start fuelled by DeAndre Bullard’s hot shooting. He scored 13 of his 15 points in the first quarter alone.

Scorchers fought back with some offence of their own, however, and went into the half-time break with a 38-34 lead.

It was pretty much level-pegging all the way through the third period as the teams went back and forth.

But, as was the case against Cheshire Phoenix last week, it was in the fourth quarter where we took the upper hand.

Solid defence by Force helped limit the visitors to just 11 points in the final period and saw us take the victory.

Leeds Force are now up to fourth place in the table after five wins from their opening 11 games.

On an historic night for the club, Rob Marsden came up big with 21 points and eight rebounds.

Kwan Waller also had a stellar performance finishing with 16 points, seven assists and an impressive six steals.

Force’s captain Armand Anebo pulled down 11 rebounds for his team and Bullard contributed 15 points of his own. In our past three games, it has been the defence that has made the difference and ultimately earned us the wins.

It is no coincidence that the increased focus on our defence in practice has benefitted us in games.

So it will continue to be an area of focus for us and something that coach Matt Newby will be wanting to progress further this week.

Elsewhere in the BBL, London Lions’ guard Nick Lewis surpassed the landmark of 100 BBL appearances on Friday night.

He did it in style, too, as his side took an 85-60 win at home to Manchester Giants and he finished with a game-high 20 points.

Cheshire Phoenix made a statement in a huge 94-76 away win over the Worcester Wolves as they looked to regain some form going into Christmas.

They were led by an impressive 36 points from Akeem Ellis, including seven three-pointers.

Also, the league’s two front-runners, Newcastle Eagles and Leicester Riders are refusing to be dislodged. They remain undefeated going into week 10 of the 2015-16 BBL season.

On Friday, Carnegie Sports Arena hosts Leeds Force as they take on Cheshire for the second time is as many weeks.

After we claimed victory in our match-up with them on their home floor, they will certainly be looking to return the favour and redeem themselves with a win which would put them level with us and with a game in hand.

We may be on a three-game run at the moment, but we are still hungry and determined to keep the run going.

With both teams coming into the game with confidence and a real desire to win, it is most definitely a recipe for yet another thriller for the Force fans to come and be a part of.

Hopefully, we’ll see you there as we try to extend our run to four.

Eric Curth hit 12 points for Leeds Force (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

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