Pirates teach university a lesson ... Leopards knock spots off Thunder

Dave Turner on the attack for Bognor Pirates  Pictue by Neil Egerton
Dave Turner on the attack for Bognor Pirates Pictue by Neil Egerton

The latest outings for Bognor Pirates and the University of Chichester Thunder features in this week’s basketball round-up.

Bognor Pirates 62 Oxford Brookes University 52

National League division three

Bognor Pirates beat Oxford Brookes in their first home National League game.

They started at a much better pace than usual, scoring first and making it hard work for Oxford to settle. The Pirates began to be too fast for their own good – they showed great work getting shots next to the basket but were unable to convert them.

This left the Pirates frustrated as it allowed Oxford to trade baskets with neither team able to pull away. The first quarter ended with the Pirates leading 19-17.

The second quarter saw more of the same but both teams strung together small runs in which the lead changed hands several times. It was 29-29 at the break.

Bognor upped intensity and at the offensive end they moved the ball well to make better shots and start converting them into points.

With Dave Turner shooting well from outside and Matt Robbins causing problems inside against Oxford’s zone defence, the Pirates started to pull away. Oxford grabbed a few baskets of their own but the third quarter ended with the Pirates 47-41 up. The fourth quarter saw Bognor up their effort levels in defence. They worked tirelessly, causing Oxford to take pressured shots and make turnovers, which allowed to Pirates to attack on the break, with Joe Mclaren grabbing points to increase Bognor’s score.

Oxford were still in it with the referees giving them numerous shots from the line, but failure to convert them left Bognor leading.

The Pirates continued to work hard and run down the clock.

PIRATES: D Turner 19, L Attfield 13, J Maclaren 10, M Robbins 9, R Lowe 5, N Bukslvics 2, R Stapely 2, K Wilson 2, L Barnes, S Hardyman, D Morgan.

University of Chi Thunder 63 Barking Abbey Leopards 75

National division four south

A youthful Barking side were just too strong for Thunder in their second home National League game of the season.

Thunder took the early initiative, Green finding Oram under the basket for an easy two and Johnson driving inside and converting to continue his fine early-season form.

Barking responded using their height effectively inside through Akibo and 7ft Robertin, but a seven-point scoring run including a long range three from Green saw Thunder up 20-16 at the end of the first stanza.

Barking stretched out a lead in the second, but Thunder responded through Gear and Johnson late on in the quarter to wrestle back the initiative, and see the half finish with Barking ahead by one point.

Akibo scored eight out of Barking’s next ten points.

Thunder rallied with Corbin, Nyathi and Green all hitting threes and a late three-point play converted by Corbin at the free throw line saw Barking leading by three with one quarter left.

Despite Thunder’s full court pressing, Barking continued to move the ball smartly and they held out for a 75-63 win. Top scorers were Akibo with 24 points for Barking and Sam Johnson with 17 for Thunder.

Thunder team secretary Sid Fletcher said: “This was another good display but without the result. There are clear signs of the squad gelling.”

THUNDER: Johnson 17, Oram 12, Green 10, Corbin 7, Stanley 6, Coxon 5, Gear 3, White, Fleming, Phillips.

Bognor Pirates 58 Crawley 66

National Shield

Bognor Pirates opened their home 2011-12 season with a packed home crowd but a narrow defeat to a formidable Crawley team, who were undefeated last season.

The Pirates welcomed newly-appointed coach Kev Robbins to The Arena, along with assistant coach Adam Robbins.

The first quarter saw Crawley power their way through the Pirates’ defence for some impressive scores around the hoop.

The Pirates’ ball movement was quick and caused Crawley to come up with some fierce defensive plays.

Dave Turner would not be denied and took it straight at the taller Crawley defenders.

Wilson was also on form, hitting jump-shots. The Pirates led at the end of the first quarter 20-16.

In the second, Pirates wanted to extend the lead by hitting more outside shots but Crawley took the opportunity to fast-break and score numerous open lay-ups.

Coach Robbins adjusted defensively but this disrupted the offensive movement and the lead was cut by half-time, when it stood at just 34-32.

The beginning of the third quarter was a struggle for the Pirates, with unstoppable three-pointers hit by an abundance of Crawley players.

Pirates were not having the same luck offensively but showed strong defensive efforts with Stapely and Barnes displaying strength.

Luke Attfield, who is just 16, stepped up for his first national-level game and hit a flawless three-pointer while Robbins and Buksevics were also in form as Crawley led 50-48 at the end of the third quarter.

Crawley ensured their presence was known inside once more with athletic defensive stops and fast transition baskets.

Spells of play from the Pirates were promising but Crawley had more firepower around the basket and didn’t seem to miss a shot in the final quarter.

Pirates’ lack of execution from outside shots hurt them and Crawley’s clinical finishing clinched it for them.

PIRATES: Turner 14, Robbins 13, Wilson 6, Stapely 6, Lowe 6, Barnes 4, Attfield 3 , Buksevics 2, Jackson 2, Knight, Pridie.