Basketball: Full Match Report

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Lancaster Men’s Basketball team claimed the four points on offer in their Roses encounter with York winning 65-49.

Memories of the disappointing loss at York last year were put to bed on the last day of Roses allowing Lancaster to finish the season on high. The home team will be delighted with the result following an indifferent league campaign that saw them finish mid-table, winning four and losing the same amount.

The game kicked off and it was the home side who were clearly the more up for it. Lancaster stormed into an early lead, leaving a shell shocked York team stunned by the impact of some powerful players in red. BK Sibanda was in confident mood from the first whistle and terrified the York rearguard with a number of dazzling dribbles. Charalambos Hajitheodosiou was also up for the challenge, and the imposing number 13 launched a tirade of assaults on the York basket.

Charalambos appeared to be finding joy with every foray into his opponents half and was emphatic in his shooting, scoring no less than half of his team’s points at the end of the first quarter.  With a 21-8 lead, and with the team glistening with confidence it looked inevitable that Lancaster would increase their lead upon returning to the court- and so they did.

Contributions to the scoreline from Max Jacovella and captain Dan Conway ensured that the tie was quickly beyond any doubt, and that any chance York had of staying within reach of Lancaster was slipping from their grasp. Charalambos carried on his fine performance, wowing the crowd with his free scoring efforts and his effortless dribbling.

Lancaster found themselves 39-24 to the good by the beginning of the third quarter and they were in no mood to stop there.  York however were not merely here to roll over, and the visitors did all they could to try to desperately claw their way back into the tie. A flurry of early baskets in the third period did enough to warn the home side that despite their lead there was still work to be done, and that York’s revival needed stomping out.

York came within ten points of Lancaster at one stage, and might have looked to close the gap if it weren’t for Charalambos.  He seemed to be re-introduced to the action whenever Lancaster looked flat and out of ideas.  Without him, there did not seem to be an awful lot of difference between the sides, and when the number 13 was present, Lancaster were able to turn possession into points where York were not.

With plenty of points scored and an array of attacking play on show, captain Conway was understandably delighted: “I was pleased we managed to get the win and with the way we dominated. They weren’t a bad side and we were beaten last year so it was pleasing to come out on top.”

He continued, “It was also pleasing as it was a whole team effort which managed to get us such a good win- it was a good finish to our year.”

Lancaster Women’s Basketball team were also victorious, beating rivals York 49-34 with a convincing display on the final day.

Lancaster were in fine form as they raced to an early lead that put them out of sight of the visitors who were always playing catch up. It was a victory that never really looked under threat from a timid York side who were rather out of their depth, but that is not to take any of the spotlight away from Lancaster who were both efficient and stylish in their victory.

After a tight opening period which saw a York awarded a free shot to pull the scores almost level at 4-3, Lancaster began to assert themselves. If there was one player that exemplified Lancaster’s style of play, it was number nine Nadvia Davis who was both energetic and powerful in attack and defence. Davis was responsible for most of Lancaster’s points throughout the match but she was equally adept around her own basket and never shirked away from her defensive duties.

The first quarter ended with Lancaster taking a 17-5 lead and were firmly in control. Their willingness to keep the tie tightly within their own grasp was demonstrated as the second quarter got under-way; Davis once again converting on a number of occasions. But to say their win was purely down to the number 9’s efforts would be a poor reflection on the rest of the team. Elena Falzon and Laurie Kremer were particularly impressive in keeping the ball, neither being wasteful in possession.

For their credit, York saw plenty of the ball in the second and third quarter but were slow in attack and seemed unable to pick out the right pass at the right time. Lancaster however were pinpoint in their passing and precise in their shooting and stormed further ahead, leading 36-23 at the end of the third quarter.

If there was a game that could possibly have summed up the overall Roses contest, it was this. Lancaster had done the hard work in the opening quarter and thus knocked the tempo down to cruise control. Indeed their could not have been anything more demoralising for the visitors than the news sounding from the sports centre P.A that Lancaster had officially won Roses. What had been known for the past day, was now certain and Lancaster really enjoyed the rest of the game.

Daivis continued her player of the match performance, leading Lancaster to a 49-34 victory. After the game Elena Falzon commented on how important the win was: “We’re delighted to have finally won the game after losing at the last two Roses. We played really well today”.

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