After this disappointment Lions then travelled to Hartlepool to play current champions Heat. Overall, this game provided a great advert for local basketball with two top teams full of talent
putting on a show. The game changed lead throughout and although the leads enjoyed by Heat were more impressive, Middlesbrough did enough to deserve the game. Lee Davie and Adam Turner were
excellent throughout and the almost invisible Ian Barrow proved what a good player he is as he silently added 22pts. Anthony Robinson was the player of the game for Heat with 28pts including six
3's. For Lions Chris Leighton was a true asset in the first half while Luke Thompson proved just as valuable in the second, finishing the game’s top scorer with 29. Lions had five players in double
figures. James Burton and Alex Moore both played well, as did Daniel Cooper who stepped up at crucial times with big shots.
The MVP was awarded to Alex Moore of Middlesbrough who led the game in three categories with 12 rebounds, 6 assists and 6 steals as well as chipping in 24pts.
A well under strength Mariners were always up against it with only five players against the might of Tigers in a game which would see the eventual victors win by a massive 57pts. Tigers big hitters
Rob Harland and Lee Woolams were back after missing the recent defeat to SCM Supersonics and both players were active with 35 & 28pts respectively but the surprise package came in the form of
young David Tingle who hit a career high 26pts as the 16 year old enjoyed a good run. Craig O’Malley top scored for Redcar with 24pts.
Tees Schools League Blakeston Bulls managed the biggest win of the season so far as they beat Norton by 50pts. The Bulls main threat was an impressive display from Callum Foster with 29pts.
Coach Tony Harrington was pleased with the result adding “We want to build on our success from last season and we have started well.”
For full tables, match reports and game photos visit www.game-time.co.uk
Game of Week
Richmond Vikings 86-81 Middlesbrough Lions
James Burton exploded lions into life with the first 5pts and a further 12pts from Alex Moore ensured a healthy start for Lions. For Vikings Craig Nicholson raised his game in response with 5pts
but Richmond were down 2 at the end of the quarter, 17-19.
The second quarter is where Lions collapsed under a devastating barrage of baskets by Richmond, instigated by a Ryon Dixon 3 pointer, 1 of 5 successful 3’s in this quarter alone. Jaycie Hall, Lee
Norton and Chris Lyle added 4pts apiece to outscore the visitors 27-6 for a 44-25 score line at half time. Alex Moore struggled to find the target during this quarter with a number of shots failing
Something special was required to resurrect the Lions and they put in a good shift in the third quarter as James Thomson hit a shot from the baseline. Nicholson responded immediately for Vikings
but a ratio of 2 Lions baskets for each Viking basket was developing and with Michael Wassell and Alex Moore combining well they were beginning to claw their way back. By the eighth minute
Middlesbrough had reduce their deficit to 10pts, a margin which would remain at the end of the quarter thanks to a Chris Lyle fast break.
The final quarter was one of ultimate excitement and tension as Vikings started the better through a Lyle lay up followed by a Lee Norton 3 pointer. Moore replied with two strong drives through
traffic but in the third minute Nicholson again stepped up with a brace of baskets and Mike James chipped in with a nice move to secure a 15pt advantage, 63-78. Middlesbrough once again rallied
some spirit and where many players would have lost hope the guys produced a 13-2 run with Moore continuing his blistering scoring run adding 8pts, Chris Lyle adding the rest including a 3 to bring
Lions within 4pts with just two minutes remaining. With time ticking away, Lions had to foul to stop the clock and Richmond did admirably under pressure converting 6of8 free throws and despite a
late Burton 3 pointer Richmond earned a great 5pt victory over a team considered favourites at the start of the season.
Middlesbrough star; Alex Moore was superb in all but the second quarter and would finish as top scorer on 44pts. For Vikings Ryon Dixon and Chris Lyle led the scoring with 22 & 21 respectively
including the significant 15pts from five Dixon 3’s in the second period. The MVP though was awarded to Craig Nicholson who enjoyed his best performance of the season with 14pts, but more crucially
baskets at critical times as well as a big presence on defence.