UNIVERSITY TOP OF THE CLASS AS THEY HIT THREE WINS

Warwick University’s basketball team earned straight A’s with their three thrilling victories in a week which took them to a third place finish in Division One.

And they were all emphatic wins for the students who dispatched former Champions Aylesford Hawks, Rugby Rage and Coventry Tornadoes as they played “catch-up” to complete their fixtures in style. First on the list came Coventry Tornadoes who had a weakened team on display as they crashed 53-95, and then, two days later the students travelled over to Rugby, where, despite a mix-up in the start time they came strongly again and Rage went with a whimper 66-96.

Next on their “hit list” came visitors to the campus, Aylesford Hawks who met a similar fate to the other two and they went down 81-56 to bring the league season to a halt, with the Tornadoes v Rage game being awarded after Rugby failed to register a team. Rugby were in action though on Friday night when they entertained Arden Griffins in the second leg of their Handicap cup semifinal.

Griffins won the first encounter 115-89 but Rage had an additional 15 points on their handicap so they started off looking to reduce the overall deficit of nine and it looked good for them in the opening exchanges. However, Griffins are made of tough stuff and they started to dominate before moving into a second quarter showing which saw them reeling Rage in. Rugby had Austin Dickson in fine form as he landed eight three-pointers in his match total of 31, but he had little support and Rugby were no match for the fast furious play shown by an exuberant Griffins who accelerated from 51-50 to 72-52 and eased into the final where they meet the winners of the Tile Hill Trojans v Coventry Phoenix tie which takes place this week.

The race to the final of the Challenge Cup saw first-leg wins for Henley Hurricanes who butchered Tornadoes 2 125-78, and Rebels who pulled back a fifteen point handicap to beat Tile Hill Trojans 3 81-74. The second leg games in both of these fixtures are on the schedule for this week with the finals set for the following week.

In the semi-finals of the Youth Basketball League in Birmingham, there was no joy for the local teams as they all bowed out. Trojans Under 19 side lost to Bromsgrove 60-39 while Coventry Tornadoes went down 43-42 in the Under 11 competition. They managed a win in the Under 13 quarter-final though and now meet West Bromwich in their semi-final on Friday, hoping for a spot in the finals day which is held at Nechells Sports Centre on 20 th May.

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