Aylesford Hawks and Arden Griffins are both former champions, both contenders for this season’s titles and both slammed in over a hundred to keep up the pressure on unbeaten leaders Tile Hill Trojans 1.
As expected, following the merging of the two divisions, the top of table has a familiar look with Griffins playing “catch-up” after having several games postponed before Christmas, and looking threatening when they demolished Cracovia Stratford just after half-time. They hit the “Bards” into touch as they moved from 48-35 to 71-42 in the space of six minutes, with “hot-shot” Paul Roberts adding six more triples to his already impressive season’s tally, and that was that.
Roberts ended the game with 21, as Sam Workman took the honours on 29, but spare a thought for young Jamie Summers who toiled all night for his 33 in the black of Stratford, but could not muster enough support to stop the rout.
Aylesford Hawks had their match-winner in back-to-form Ricky Fennell, who totalled 40 as Hawks downed Coventry Tornadoes 102-55. Fennell has been nursing a knee injury of late but he returned with a vengeance, much to Tornadoes’ cost, and, with Matt Glover making 24 in support, they rejected everything that the Coventry side could throw at them. Leading 22-7 after one period, they extended their lead in the second before turning it on in the final quarter to grab 37 points in the thrilling finale which saw them cross the hundred mark in the final seconds.
It was tough at Hereward College as defences dominated when Trojans 1 entertained Coventry College. Both sides were guilty of missing easy chances but the physical offerings more than made up for it as College gave their all in an attempt to upset the current Champions. Trojans took the game 60-48, but were completely at sea when they went 19-5 down in the opening eight minutes. Recovering their composure, they bounced back in the second to take a 32-30 lead when Mark Larner dropped in a couple of efforts, and, as College struggled to stay with them, Trojans opened up a winning gap in the third, but could not breathe comfortably until the dying minutes when the College offense petered out. Ash Dickson led them home on 18, while the defensive tactic of stopping the high-flying Vaidas Cerkunovas worked well as he managed just 17 for College.
JM Grizzlies finally broke their duck with a narrow 59-54 win at Warwick China Red after a thrilling encounter ebbed and flowed as the pair battled for supremacy. There was little to choose between the two throughout but in the final run-in Grizzlies found the missing ingredient and the smiles at the end said it all. It was a similar story at Grace Academy where Ernesford Eagles grabbed the opportunity to get back on court the 67-43 score going in their favour, at the expense of Tile Hill Trojans 2. It was 37-35 to Trojans before an amazing Eagles 23-0 run killed off visiting ambitions.
Tamworth Tigers had little trouble at Leamington where Spartans offensive play was in short supply. Tigers play it tough and Spartans could not find a way through their visitors back-line, as Lukas Bolda led the visitors home on 15 points.