Bognor teams put pride in the basket
The basketball season has ended for Bognor's Pirates and Amazons.
The Pirates capped their campaign with a win that made them champions - while the Amazons can also look back on a successful year.
Here are their final match reports...
Bognor Pirates 82 Worthing D&D 65
Bognor Pirates are the men’s Sussex basketball champions.
They travelled to Brighton for the county basketball finals and their opponents were Worthing D&D, who they had beaten and lost to during the season.
Within the first 49 seconds, the Pirates had managed to foul four times, giving a significant advantage to their opponents.
It soon became evident both teams really wanted the title.
The Pirates set about reducing the effect of Worthing’s stronger players and concentrated on clean outside shots, Andy Pleskys leading the way by scoring 11 points in the first quarter.
Matt Wakeling played hard inside but picked up fouls for his trouble, as did Arne Suchanka. The first quarter saw Pirates take the lead 22-18.
Coach Robbins was concerned by the fouls and rotated the bench. The teams scored equally in the second half.
Arne Suchanka was warming up and driving hard to the basket with Luke Artfield working the post hard. At half-time, Pirates led 39-35.
Playing a three top, two down zone defence, Pirates kept themselves safe from fouls. Pirates dominated the quarter with quality ball movement and plenty of baskets. However several players were in serious foul trouble and Wakeling fouled out. The third period ended 65-49 to Pirates.
Worthing were strong in the final quarter and caused Pirates to turn the ball over several times. The decision was made to slow the game, go back to man-on-man defence and play the ball safe.
This reduced the tempo of the game and saw Pirates extend their lead – an excellent example of teamwork, passion and control.
It was a great way to finish the season for Pirates, who were also runners-up in the Sussex Men’s League.
PIRATES: A Pleskys 30, A Suchanka 28, L Atfield 11, R Lowe 5, S Hardyman 4, M Wakeling 2, A Sewell 2, M Morling, J Parker, B Dyson. Coach: K Robbins.
Bognor Amazons fought to the end in their season, overcoming lots of opponents and displaying a higher standard of basketball.
Amazons found themselves facing undefeated league winners Southdown Suns in the semi-final of the Sussex Basketball League Cup.
The Suns had been the only team to beat Amazons all season, resulting in them finishing second in the league. Under England Basketball regulations, the game began 18-0 to the Suns following a disappointing first leg away from Amazons. Having home advantage and great support, the Amazons took an early eight-point lead.
Suns began to flirt with foul trouble but eventually found their feet and it wasn’t long before the score evened out to 11-10 in the Suns’ favour at the end of the first quarter.
An early basket from Lara Whitaker at the opening of the second quarter saw Amazons continue their uphill battle.
Agile footwork and impressive moves to the basket from Lydia Stapley and Christie Rourke saw them go to the free-throw line countless times throughout the game.
At the halfway point it was 21-20 to Amazons.
A half-time team talk from head coach John Cornelius sparked belief into the Amazons team, executing an exceptional third quarter.
Hard work and great communication on defence saw the Suns score only two points in the quarter, giving a nine-point lead to the Amazons.
As the fourth quarter began, the Amazons knew it was all or nothing. Strong driving to the basket again by Stapely and Rourke saw them score an unanswered six points, making the score 71-68 to Suns.
A nail-biting finish saw the Suns sink two late three-pointers and even with a few more points by Zsofia Vitanyi, it was not enough for Amazons to overcome the league champions.
The final score on the night was 48-35 to the Bognor side, which meant Suns scraped the win on aggregate 84-79.
After winning on the night, realising the Suns can be eclipsed, Bognor Amazons have the double in their sights for next season.
Amazons: C Rourke 15, L Whitaker 13, L Stapely 7, Z Vitanyi 5, D King 4, S Tooley 4, S Graham, S Pavey.
n If you are female, over 16 and interested in playing basketball, Bognor Amazons host training at Arena Sports Centre in Bognor.
The team thanked everyone who had supported them this season.
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