TROJANS COMPLETE TROPHY HUNT IN STYLE

Tile Hill Trojans added two more trophies to their impressive cabinet as both the Club’s first team and their ladies completed their quest for silverware.

Having dominated the first division for the entire season, Trojans had to make sure they did not slip up when they met Leamington Spartans, and they duly obliged with a superb 95-52 victory which means that Arden Griffins, who are the only side to beat them all season cannot now catch them. Trojans have completed a hat-trick of league titles, and for player/coach Trevor Robinson, it is his eleventh championship win, with him he fully deserving of his place in the Warwickshire Basketball Hall of Fame into which he was inducted a couple of years ago. Robinson has restricted his playing time at the local league’s highest level this season and spends much of his time on the bench, but in turning out for the Club’s thirds he has added his own tenacity to the veteran side’s playing and is top scorer for them on a regular basis. Instead, he has directed his senior team to a cup and league double and will be aiming to make it even better next season.

Against Spartans, Trojans were never going to be out-done, holding the aces in all departments, but the league’s newest side gave their all and were competitive throughout the game in which their hosts scored more or less two to one over the entire playing time. Back to the top of the scoring list was Ash Dickson who landed 23 points, and Trojans, who had a virtual full-strength side, eased to victory, made more emphatic with a 13-2 final three minutes as they knew, by then the trophy was going to stay at the Hereward College-based Club.

Trojans’ ladies (pictured) were in action in the Leicestershire League play-offs. They take part in this central-venue competition only because there are few opportunities for competitive play in this area, and after travelling over throughout the season, they lost in the first round of the tournament but won through to the final of the Plate competition and lifted the trophy at the Leicester Riders’ Arena with an hard-earned 56-38 win over Leicester Warriors, with Jana Bambuchova also taking the Most valuable Player award.

AUSTIN’S RARE VINTAGE WINS CUP FOR TROJANS

Tamworth Tigers 88-98 Tile Hill Trojans
Tile Hill Trojans bounced back to their impressive best to lift the Bob Castledine Handicap Cup for the first time with a 98-88 victory over Tamworth Tigers.

And it was largely thanks to their youngest player, Austin Dickson that the Coventry side travelled home from The Rawlett Academy with the trophy, as he turned in a vintage performance from the start and finished as the game’s top scorer as Trojans hauled their way back from a thirty point handicap. Dickson usually takes second place in the scoring charts behind his elder brother Ashley, but when he rose to sink two three-pointers in the first minute, it felt as if this might be his day. Following up with a collection of successes from all around the court, Dickson hit a match total of 26 points, ably supported by Mark Larner who grabbed 25 and Ashley, who completed the family’s evening with 22 as Dad Andy, the Trojans Chairman was celebrating his birthday and was beaming as the brothers gave him a super present and ran the show from the off.

It was much to the delight too, of their player/coach Trevor Robinson who said afterwards, “With 30 points to make up at the start of the game, I told the team we had to play hard defense and if we let our offense be quick and decisive, we would prevail. I am very proud of young Austin and the rest of the team with the effort they put in during this cup run.”

Tigers were in buoyant mood at the start and fancied their chances with their handicap start, but after the early shock of seeing their advantage dwindle to fifteen insdie the first quarter, Coach Darren Mortiboy was switching his players around with regularity to try to keep fresh legs on the court as Trojans pressed them. Fouls were flying about and the intensity grew as Tigers stemmed the flow up to half-time when they were still ahead, now by sixteen points.

But it all went right for the visitors as Trojans harried their hosts and Ash Dickson came into the picture in a big way. He landed ten points inside three minutes to send Tigers reeling and the gap closed to three. A counter period saw Tamworth stem the flow, but when Dickson the younger struck two more triples, the game was up.

High-scoring Lukasz Bolda was shackled, fouled out early in the final quarter and with him went his side’s last hope of grabbing the silverware. Trojans took full advantage and then the lead with seven minutes remaining, and, despite a brief recovery from the tiring home side, went on the move confidently away to their ten-point winning margin.

Robinson and company must now focus on the one league victory they need to complete a memorable double, but on this form they will be licking their lips as they welcome Leamington Spartans to Hereward College next week before their final game at Stratford in early May.

Scorers: Tamworth Bolda 15, Evans 11, Harriot 10, Mee-Harris 9, Somers 7, Davies 4, Irving 2.

Trojans: Austin Dickson 26, Larner 25, Ash Dickson 22, Robinson 10, Owen 8, Onions 5, Hernandez 2

ROBINSON RAGES AS 100% RECORD GOES

Tile Hill Trojans’ player/coach Trevor Robinson was fuming as his side slipped to a 68-76 defeat against rivals Arden Griffins.

But Robinson’s rantings were tempered by the fact that his team can only be caught if they lose the final two games of their campaign. Griffins Coach Jack Forrest on the other hand, was left ruing their opening-week defeat at the hands of Cracovia Stratford making their task that much more difficult as they tried gamely to unseat the reigning Champions.

If ever there can have been, this was a game of two halves as Griffins saw almost every shot penetrate the Trojans’ hoop during the opening two periods, while at the other end, nothing went right for the usually self-assured Coventry side. Arden raced into an massive 50-22 lead by the interval, but probably for the first time this season they had to rely on the shooting ability of Luke Hatfield and Sam Workman, as the league’s record-setting three-point shooter Paul Roberts was shackled by the defensive power of Alex Hernandez and restricted to just one point. By half-time the pair had contributed to over half Griffins’ total, and they came out for the second half in similar mood when, with the words of Robinson still ringing in their ears, Trojans suddenly found the target.

Baskets rained in with the opposite ring seemingly covered in cling-film and the gap began to reduce. The twenty-eight point difference was down by ten as Robinson brought his own brand of physicality onto the court and it made all the difference as Griffins wilted. Before the end of the third quarter, the margin was fifteen and Trojans knew that if they continued like this they could take the game.

Workman brought brief respite with a brace but the game then turned on an altercation between Trojans’ Scott Owen and the match officials. The 6’7” centre had landed three more baskets when he complained once too often and picked up his second technical foul which sent him out of the game with the score now 63-67. Owen continued to rage as he left the arena and collected another technical foul which raised the temperature once again but seemed to ignite the Arden offense and bring a halt to the intensity of Trojans’ play. Try as he may, Robinson could not lift this side again and Griffins cashed in from the free-throw line to thwart their rivals and take the points.

Hatfield finished with 25 and Workman 22 with Ash Dickson taking his match total to 23 on the back of a 15 point second half for Trojans who now face Tamworth Tigers in this week’s Handicap cup final as they try for the double.

Elsewhere in Division One there were wins for Aylesford Hawks who eased past Tamworth 90-75 on the back of a devastating second quarter in which Wayne Jones hit 21 points before finishing on 29, and Stratford, who disposed of the challenge of Leamington Spartans early in the piece to run out 72-50 winners. JM Grizzlies had a good second-half to break the resistance of Trojans 2 as they raced from 27-27 to win 78-41 and Ernesford Eagles had a 20-0 default over Coventry college who had to cry off their fixture late on

THE SEASON END IS NIGH!

After a season of almost non-stop basketball the end is finally coming as we enter month eight and next week should determine the result of all teams’ efforts in Division One with Division Two already signed and sealed. Favourites for the title are Tile Hill Trojans 1 who, up to a couple of weeks ago had gone unbeaten in all fixtures – that is until Arden Griffins stopped them on their own patch too.
So, detailed below are the fixtures for the penultimate week and those for the days following the May bank holiday which will being the curtain down and put an end to more postponements and cancellations.

WALKING BASKETBALL – NEXT SESSION THIS SUNDAY 28th …….…
The walking basketball craze is growing in Warwickshire, and players from several clubs are joining in. If you fancy doing something on a Sunday morning and you are feeling active, why not turn up at the Trojans walking basketball session at Woodlands and get working at walking.
Starting at 10am there is a warm-up followed by a game and it’s great fun. The cost is £5. Details from mike.maddox@trojansbasketball.co.uk

FIRST TROPHY GOES TO TILE HILL!

Easter rolls in once again and our season starts to draw to a close – BUT there are things to settle before the curtain comes down on a busy eight months.
One issue which was sorted was the Handicap Cup Final which was won for the past two seasons by Arden Griffins but yesterday it went the way of Tile Hill Trojans 1 who defeated Tamworth Tigers at Rawlett School in Tamworth.
Trojans 2 were undone at Aylesford earlier in the week as were Leamington Spartans at the hands of Coventry College – both games in Division One.

NOW GET READY FOR WOODLANDS SUMMER LEAGUE….
After three successful Summer League competitions at the Woodlands Sports Complex, it is returning for a 4th year and will be tipping off late May/early June. If you didn’t know how it works, the clock is a running one it’s very much aimed at development and a bit of fun. Officials from the WBA support the running of the Woodlands Summer League and it contains a mixture of experienced local players and beginners. For more information or to register your interest, please contact Dec Connolly – Declan.connolly@coventry.gov.uk / 07943 846142

HALL OF FAMER ROGER PAYNE IS BACK IN COVENTRY!
Roger Payne, (pictured) arguably Warwickshire Basketball’s most successful coach has returned to the city of Coventry and has joined forces with Paul Adams in the running of Coventry Tornadoes. Roger, who won two titles as a player before taking NINE as a coach after injury cut short his playing career has been out of the area for a few years enjoying success as a joint owner and coach at several clubs.
Roger was inducted into the Warwickshire Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013 as an acknowledgment of his services to basketball in our Area. He is arranging camps involving several NBA players and a tournament called “Kings of the Court” which takes place in August at The Wildcats Arena Nottingham.

He has also employed the services of his son Bryson to work with the youngsters of Coventry and he will be coaching the under 17 side as “The Family Business” continues to develop. Roger’s details are found by logging onto www.ballersheaven.com

WARWICKSHIRE BASKETBALL ANNUAL AWARDS EVENING…..
It is time for you to nominate your favourites for consideration for the Warwickshire Basketball Awards which will be presented at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting and Presentation evening which this year takes place on
THURSDAY 20TH JUNE AT
JAGUAR SOCIAL CLUB, FENTON ROAD, COVENTRY CV5 9PS.
The categories we are looking for nominations for are:
Individual Award
Refereeing Award
Table Officiating Award
Club/Team Award.
PLUS
Young Player of the Year (under 19)
If you feel that someone qualifies for consideration in any of the above please e mail us with their name and why you think this – in no more than 150 words please.
ALL SUBMISSIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY 31st MAY
Please E MAIL to mike.maddox@warwickshirebasketball.co.uk

TROJANS SLIP UP – GRIFFINS CELEBRATE!

It was always going to be tense and that’s exactly how it was – BUT, Arden Griffins basked in the glory of taking the first points off Tile Hill Trojans 1 this season.
The Champions elect were awful in a first half they would like to forget as Griffins ran riot at the other end to go 28 points up before half-time at 22-50, but the second half was a different story as they were pegged back and Trojans came to within four at 63-67 before a series of technical fouls broke the momentum and Arden realized their ambitions.
Elsewhere Aylesford came past Tamworth and Stratford chalked up their second victory in five days at Leamington. JM Grizzlies went ahead of Trojans 2 in the league table and Coventry College had to forfeit their game at Ernesford tomorrow due to illness – time constraints preventing a re-match before the end of the season. Stratford play again tonight as Tigers visit and Rugby do likewise in Division Two against Westwood.

NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAY-OFFS – GLADIATORS OUT!
With Warwickshire Hawks’ interest in the play-offs ending at Gladiators, the teams who made progress faced off in the quarter-finals last weekend. The results were as follows:
Bristol Hurricanes 89-85 RCT Gladiators
Chelmsford Lions 85-67 Taunton Tigers
Richmond Knights 75-85 Doncaster Eagles
Nottingham Trent Hoods 67-83 Lewisham Thunder
This weekend Lewisham play Chelmsford while Bristol host Doncaster.

QUARUPLE OVERTIME IN TWO BBL GAMES….
The history books were out last weekend and records were smashed as Worcester Wolves and Surrey Scorchers went to QUADRUPLE OVERTIME before Wolves edged home 152-150! Then, unbelievably Glasgow Rocks repeated the act in their game against Bristol Flyers with a result of 113-111 also coming after four additional periods. Can you imagine that in the Warwickshire Basketball League – how would we get to the pub – energy-wise and in time?

GRIFFINS RIP INTO SPARTANS TO AVOID CUP REPEAT

Arden Griffins remain the only team who can stop Tile Hill Trojans from winning their sixth title in eight years and took no chances when they tore Leamington Spartans apart at St. Peter’s. Griffins’ captain Jack Forrest (pictured) said “We slipped up by underestimating them in the Handicap cup and as a result we went out of the competition so this time we were sure we would not make the same mistake again.” And this is exactly how it worked out as Griffins were immense in offensive play whilst being intense at the other end, restricting Spartans to just 27 points in a game which saw leading three-point scorer Paul Roberts adding another six to his already superb total for the season.
Roberts is now heading for an unprecedented hundred triples and seems to rise from nowhere to land his shots with apparent ease. Arden powered to the front and led 22-7 after the initial quarter with five already in the bank from outside the arc, and when they added another four after the restart, the record books looked to be in danger. But things quietened down as the game wore on, griffins going on to win 88-27 with Roberts and fellow hot-shot Luke Hatfield both on 18 points, behind Sam Workman’s 24.

Trojans meanwhile gave Tamworth Tigers something to think about as the pair prepare to go head-to-head in the cup final in a week’s time. Admittedly things will be different then as Tigers will probably get a sizeable start but to give an indication as to the power in the Coventry side’s squad, they were without four regulars and still went home with a 90-57 win under their belts, led by Mark Larner and Ash Dickson who equally shared 38 points.

Aylesford Hawks put their game against Ernesford Eagles to bed with a good second-half showing after Eagles had threatened to upset the applecart early on. The final quarter belonged almost exclusively to Ricky Fennell as he accounted for 21 of Hawks’ 28 points as they took complete control and coasted home, the Aylesford marksman hitting a match total of 39 points.

Cracovia Stratford had to work hard before finally overcoming the challenge of JM Grizzlies as the Warwick side looked capable of pulling off a surprise away win. As things turned out, Stratford used their three-point shooting ability in the final quarter to surge from 49-48 to 62-50 and that was that.

Rugby Rage are on the brink of a perfect season and they racked up yet another win in Division Two. This time their victims were Team Rebels who were taken down 78-50, and Rage are only three games away from achieving their aim for the season as promotion beckons. Rebels’ tale of woe continued when they played host to Westwood Rhinos and, in a very low-scoring match Rhinos won 36-29 and Nuneaton Predators almost grabbed a sensational win against Tile Hill Trojans 3 at Hereward College before the home side’s inside power took them through 60-58 with Trevor Robinson snatching 25 for Trojans and Zoheb Deen 23 for the unlucky visitors.

HAWKS BACK ON WINNING TRAIL

HAWKS BACK ON WINNING TRAIL

Aylesford Hawks sprang back to winning form after their home defeat by Tile Hill Trojans and the victory brought some relief as they hammered Coventry College 90-50

Admittedly College were without leading scorer Vaidas Cerkunovas for the trip to Moreton Morrell but Hawks were in dominant mood right from the first tip. Ricky Fennell landed a three-pointer in the opening minute to set the tone and this gave him and Hawks a lift as they went on to win all four quarters of the game as College fell away. Fennell hit 40 including six triples, but the final period of the match belonged almost exclusively to Hawks play-maker Maarten de Jonge who came from nowhere to hit the scoring button and grab 14 of his 18 match total during eight electric minutes. Coventry’s six-man squad had no answer to Hawks ferocious offensive play, although they could have done better had they landed a better return than 4 from 16 attempts from the free-throw line. Going, but not gone at 35-50 College were hanging in mid-way through the third quarter when Hawks hit them for six – well, fifteen to be precise and that closed the door on the visiting outfit and pushed the target too far away. Matt Glover chipped in with nineteen to add a gloss to his colleagues’ efforts and only Ikwunna Ukwu gave the scorer much to do as he grabbed 26 for College.

Tile Hill Trojans 3 had a mixed week as they took the points from Nuneaton Predators in the Division Two basement battle then became the twelfth victim of the season for unbeaten leaders Rugby Rage at Hereward College. Trojans unearthed a new star at Nuneaton as Davide Nicolini dominated the boards alongside Trevor Robinson and Mike Buckley, the Italian dropping in a season high 25 points to lead Trojans home as Robinson and Buckley both hit 19. Predators were without their mentor Lloyd Taylor, but their shooting at the Jubilee Centre was on song and they were led by Zoheb Deen who scored and impressive 28 points.

The Trojans versus Rugby game also doubled as a challenge cup-tie due to fixture congestion and as they bowed out of the handicap competition Westwood Rhinos moved onwards and into the semi-finals. Rhinos took on first division Warwick China Red and received a 25 point start, needing most of them to get over the line against the fast and furious play of the Warwick University students who tried desperately to reduce the deficit. A storming third quarter brought them into contention as they moved to within eight of their hosts who then reciprocated with a final period of control with Dale Kearsley driving them home.

Westwood and Rugby will be joined in the semi-finals by JM Grizzlies and best runner-up Nuneaton Predators 2 who were awarded their game 20-0 when team rebels failed to arrive at their own home match, and the draw for these fixtures will be made next week.

CAN GRIFFINS DO WHAT NOBODY ELSE HAS?

All eyes will be on Hereward College on Monday evening as Arden Griffins try to stop the Tile Hill Trojans roller-coaster in the top of the league tussle.
Trojans have won all their games so far and Griffins are their nearest rivals so a defeat here could prevent the Champions from retaining their title. Griffins were at home last night and destroyed Leamington Spartans while third-placed Aylesford Hawks were in impressive form when they defeated Ernesford Eagles earlier in the week but failed to arrive at Coventry College last night where the game was awarded 20-0.

Cracovia Stratford entertain local rivals JM Grizzlies tonight and in Division Two, leaders Rugby Rage – also unbeaten so far play host to Team Rebels who lost on Wednesday to Westwood Rhinos. Trojans 3 hit 5 from 12 free-shots in the frantic final three minutes before edging it over Nuneaton Predators.

HOT SHOTS – PART DEUX!….…
Here are the game statistics from the games played to the end of FEBRUARY.
***********************************************
FIELD GOALS (points per game)        3 POINTERS                      FREE SHOOTING %
(min 10 games)                                                                                   (min 50 shots)
DIVISION ONE
V Cerkunovas (Cov. Coll.) 31.10    P Roberts (Arden) 78          R Fennell (Aylesford) 71%
R Fennell (Aylesford) 27.64             R Fennell (Aylesford) 36      L Hatfield (Arden) 68%
L Hatfield (Arden) 24.55                   L Hatfield (Arden) 34           L Bolda (Tamworth) 64%
S Workman (Arden) 23.60        N Evans (Tamworth) 34       P Somers (Tamworth) 62%
L Bolda (Tamworth) 22.00             B Linnett (Tile Hill 2) 30        S Workman (Arden) 60%
………………………………………………J Coulson (Stratford) 30…………………………………..
DIVISION TWO
G Trabliks (Rugby) 25.55              L Taylor (Nuneaton) 38          Z Deen (Nuneaton) 79%
T Robinson (Tile Hill) 21.22          G Trabliks (Rugby) 21            S Alford (Rebels) 76%
D Martin (Rugby) 18.50              M Kearsley (Westwood) 21    M Buckley (Tile Hill) 61%
L Taylor (Nuneaton)) 17.77         A Popadadrosos(Rebels)15     G Trabliks (Rugby) 60%
M Kearsley (Westwood) 16.71    D Martin (Rugby) 12               L Taylor (Nuneaton) 56%

Thanks to Tony Bates for the statistics – tony.bates@warwickshirebasketball.co.uk

CORPORATE GAMES SET TO RETURN TO COVENTRY…..

Phil John has been asked to assist with the organisation of the basketball tournament for the Corporate games which is returning to Coventry this August to be based at The XCEL Centre.The basketball games will be played on the 3rd and 4th of August and there will be two registration evenings on 1st and 2nd.
It is hoped to have between 8 and 10 teams in the competition, with the first day pool games and then
Play-offs on day 2 for places. There is also a need for 6 referees and 2 table officials on both days as it’s
the intention to use two courts each day. Also needed are at least one or maybe two administrators
to sort scores and monitor progress of games. Fees are yet to be fixed but would be line with the
usual officiating rates applying.
There is also a need to have 2 people at the registration evenings.
For further information e mail: phillip.john@warwickshirebasketball.co.uk

ARE YOU PLANNING TO ENTER THE LEAGUE NEXT SEASON…..

As the end of this season looms the Executive Committee of Warwickshire Basketball are looking at the structure of the leagues for 2019-20. It would assist us greatly if you and your team could indicate their interest in playing in Warwickshire next season by dropping an e mail to us at the address below.
This is purely to give an indication and formal entry forms will be sent out shortly.

EAGLES SOAR – BUT LEAVE IT TOO LATE!

Arden Griffins lingering hopes of a second title almost came unstuck when they scraped past a resurgent Ernesford Eagles 74-66.

Whilst Tile Hill Trojans 1 have the top spot virtually wrapped up, Griffins are probably the only side who can upset the Coventry club’s aspirations, and their game against Eagles should have been a formality. But Ernesford produced a late challenge and Griffins heaved a sigh of relief that there were not another couple of minutes play when the buzzer signalled the end of an exciting game which the Solihull side had dominated for long periods. Leading 66-48 with eight minutes left, Griffins offense suddenly dried up and Eagles pounced to come back to within eight when the end came.

It was another night of triumph though for Arden’s three-point hot-shots Luke Hatfield and Paul Roberts, who bagged thirteen between them with Roberts netting ten of them for a thirty point match haul as Mauro Goncalves led for Eagles with 17.

Trojans march towards more honours continued as they brushed aside the challenge of Aylesford Hawks who were completely out of form at Moreton Morrell with Trojans winning all four quarters on their way to a 74-54 victory. The usual sublime performance of Ricky Fennell was noticeably absent as the Hawks’ sharpshooter scored just seven points and he fouled out early in the final quarter to deprive Coach Jim Martin of any hopes of a come-back. Trojans, on the other hand were ebullient as Ash Dickson grabbed 21 points and Scott Owen iced the cake in the last few seconds with a couple of long-range triples.

Tamworth Tigers pounced on JM Grizzlies at Rawlett School to land an 82-45 win after a lightening start saw Tigers race into a 34-16 lead. Defences dominated the second quarter and from then, it turned into the Lukasz Bolda show and the Tiger hit 17 of the next 22 points to seal a fine victory before ending the game on 28.

Coventry College had a terrific shooting evening at Tile Hill Trojans 2 as Vaidas Cerkunovas excelled once again with 32 points as a Trojans side, weakened by injury and work commitments struggled. Once College had taken the lead after trailing 9-4 there was no stopping them and a deluge of points in the third quarter took the game from 45-37 to 64-39 and that was that.

In Division Two leaders Rugby had no game but there were wins for Westwood Rhinos and Team Rebels who gained revenge at Trojans 3 for their defeat seven days earlier. The Hereward visitors were much stronger than their previous trip to the College and were in control until Trojans hit ten between them inside two minutes to bring the scores to 49-55, before Rebels had the last laugh. Rhinos were too good for Nuneaton Predators and took the first and last quarters to land a 60-46 win with James Todd sparkling on 24 as Rhinos consolidated their second spot.