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TBL Lifts Off in New Season

Basketball in association with Game Time & PrincipulPSD.com

The first week of TBL basketball lived up to its expectations as Lions and Supersonics top the table after 2 wins each. Norton SCM Supersonics claimed big wins over Nunthorpe Velocity and Hartlepool Heat with Michael Thompson and Lee McLaughlin looking the part for Supersonics collecting 47 & 42pts respectively over the 2 games. Middlesbrough Lions enjoyed a comfortable win over Redcar Mariners but had to claw out a victory over Ormesby Tigers. James Burton collecting 60pts over his 2 games.

In D2 Middlesbrough Lions B are sitting pretty in pole position after beating Mariners B by 60pts and Richmond Vikings B by 34pts. Matthew Brown 41 & Michael Peddie 35 both look to be in good scoring form.

Game of Week Ormesby Tigers 60-65 Middlesbrough Lions Two of last seasons D1 contenders met in their first game, both sporting depleted sides due to illness and injury, although the match was as exciting as they come with a nail biting end to provide Lions with their first win over the Tigers.

Tigers started strong as big man Lee Woolams dominated proceedings with 8 straight points. Neil Harrison provided the only response with Lions with a sweet 3 pointer. In the fourth minute Lions clawed back to within 2pts with Leighton hitting a nice shot and Burton adding 1of2 free throws. It was then basket for basket until Tigers finished strong, again Woolams at the centre of things as he added another 6pts to take a 19-10 score into the 2nd quarter.

Lions focussed their defence on Woolams with the smallest but most tenacious defender in Neil Harrison closing down the 6’82 big man after an initial basket. Leighton was also producing good defence along with great rebounding from Michael Wassell but still Lions were down 10pts. In the fifth minute Wassell went to the line but failed to convert both free throws, while at the other end Steve Dolphin nailed a 3 pointer. A 3 pointer from Burton and a mid range shot from Thomson brought Lions to within 8 which was further reduced 5 after more good play from Burton, taking the half time score to 34-29.

Tigers had the edge in height and experience and were enjoying a comfortable lead throughout the first half but the third quarter would tear up the rest of the script as Lions produced an 11-0 run instigated by Burton and Thomson 3 pointers to take their first lead of the game 36-40. Woolams halted the run with a strong low post move and Dolphin again fired a 3. Rob Brown then regained the lead for Tigers on the stroke of the eighth minute to provide a pendulum of advantage in the final four minutes of the quarter, Lions finishing on the right side of a 43-46 score as Wassell cushioned a shot off the backboard.

In the final quarter Rob Brown and Woolams combined well to provide 14 of the 19pts Tigers scored but it was James Burton who won the game with two huge 3 pointers in the final 30 second to seal a 60-65 win for the Lions.

Woolams was the main threat for Tigers but the MVP was a tight call between Lions’ Neil Harrison for his defence and eventual winner James Burton who top scored with 30pts Top Scorers Lions: Burton 30pts; Thomson 11 Tigers: Woolams 28; Brown R 15 Rebounds Lions: Wassell 14; Leighton 9; Harrison 8 Tigers: Woolams, Cowell 11 Steals Lions: Wassell 7, Harrison, Leighton 5 Tigers Brown M 4; Brown R 3 Tees College League The new league, developed by Game Time, now has 10 members with Darlington College and Middlesbrough College registering teams. Queen Elizabeth and Stockton 6th Form have enjoyed recent friendlies with Stockton beating Macmillan Academy then being beaten by QE. Early indications are that QE will be contenders for silverware while Prior will also hoping to be challenging. The other colleges provide a sense of the unknown and will be hoping to put on a good show against some of the established sides.

For more information regarding basketball visit www.game-time.co.uk

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