National Basketball sponsored by TADEA; Sustainable Energy Solutions & Heaven Scent; Yankee Candles Middlesbrough
The TADEA Middlesbrough Lions suffered a horrible defeat at the hands of Wirral Hornets, who despite their reputation as a physical team, showed a class about them that was head and shoulders above Lions injury ridden side. With so many key players on the sideline Middlesbrough were in need of a big performance and sadly it would not appear.
The game started fairly evenly, a 1pt lead in favour of the Hornets at the end of the first quarter. Good ball movement and sharp shooting aiding the visitors. By half time though their lead had extended to 14pts and then 22 in the third quarter. At the final buzzer Lions found themselves 32pts down, a heavy defeat by any standards and the Lions players were visibly frustrated throughout and completely deflated at the end.
So what went wrong, many were asking and obviously the injury situation is a factor but the players on court were just not on par. The game seemed too much for James Thomson who produced too many turn over's and DaWaun Wells would struggle to live up to expectations with some poor shooting. Ryon Dixon, who had hit fifteen 3's in two local league games couldn't manage a single one and the second best scorer on the Middlesbrough side was Ben Thompson with just 8pts. In a game where at least three double figure scorers are required to win games, to have only one is not good enough.
What was developing into a good finish to the season took a severe blow against Wirral and the Hornets will not maintain 8th place, 2 pts ahead of TADEA Lions.
"It's a massive shame, that was the kind of display you wish was away from home so your own fans don't have to witness." added Coach Thomson. "We were riding high from the previous few wins but this was a big blow and i think everyone could see how badly the game had effected us."
The Lions must now re-group for the local derby game on Saturday although the club will be hoping for some good news on the injury front. player/coach Thomson has said there is no way he can play after battling through recent games. Dixon has also signalled he will be unavailable and at present the paper thin squad has only four players available.