Steve Whitehead Joinery and Double Glazing Middlesbrough Mavericks scored a crucial 75-64 win in this weeks top of the table first division shoot-out with hosts Nissan and in doing so leapfrogged above them into the coveted first spot.

The first half was basketball at its best with excellent defence and hard-working offence from both teams which produced a 21-21 first ten minutes followed by a 20-17 second quarter in which Mavericks just managed to edge in front to lead 41-38 at half-time.

Mavericks won the game in the third quarter. Nissan did hit the opening basket of the second half, then, for no apparent reason, went six minutes without scoring. At the other end of court Marek Pawlak and Ian Viveash were having no such trouble in sharing 17 points to give Mavericks a match-winning 58-40 cushion. Nissan did cut the gap 65-57 early in the final quarter, but that was to be as close as they got.

Middlesbrough Mavericks match winners were Pawlak and Viveash who finished the game with 28 and 25 points apiece, and four players did reach double figures for Nissan; Spragg (16), Lee Davie (14), Gary Simpson (10) and Dale Burrell (10).

Middlesbrough College Academy A kept up the pressure on the two teams above them in the first division table with a comfortable 94-55 win in their derby with University of Teesside. Again the first half was even. Chris Harnish and Kieron Walsh opened well for University before baskets from Pete Osei and Sloane Francis helped ease Academy away to 24-17 after ten minutes and 42-33 by the interval. Academy then made the all important surge as Osei on the fast-break and a host of three-point baskets from a number of players including Eric Milambo, in his first game of the season for Academy, produced a 24-6 third quarter and effectively put and end to the University chances at 66-39 with ten minutes still to play.

Osei led Middlesbrough College Academy A home with 25 points as Francis hit 12 and John Roberts collected 11, all in the last quarter. Only Harnish managed double figures for University of Teesside with 20.

The best second division game of the week gave Old Houghtonians a surprise 74-70 win over hosts Consett Steelers, a defeat which puts a great dent in Steelers championship aspirations.

The lead swopped hands throughout a superb opening ten minutes. Matt Patterson did best for Steelers, but his efforts were countered by Ian Burlison and Phil Smailes and Houghtonians led 41-37 as the first half closed. Houghtonians started the second half the better thanks to Anthony Burdis, although scores from Patterson and Brendan McNeaney did cut the gap was just 58-55 as the third quarter ended. That pattern was then repeated in the last quarter and Steelers did get as close as 66-64 with four minutes left, only for Houghtonians to ease away again.

Burdis and Bulison finished with 18 points apiece for Old Houghtonians as Carr and Smailes netted 15 and 11. Patterson, McNeaney and Stoker did best for Consett Steelers with 27, 14 and 11 respectively.

The biggest win of the week went to Trimdon Community College Association with a 118-53 win against Hartlepool CJ Hydraulics A. Trimdon opened the scoring with a trio of three-point baskets, but it was a full court press during the opening ten minutes which ensured that the visitors got the start they wanted. Lee Norton and Jamie Paul did the early damage on offence and when Simon Ditchburn and Lee Armstrong took up their lead in the second quarter it was no surprise to see a 39-16 first quarter lead turn into a 68-25 advantage by the interval. Trimdon eased off the gas in the second half and Hydraulics had their best spell in a 16-15 third quarter, although a great finish with Martyn Longstaff at its heart gave Trimdon their biggest total of the season.

Five players hit double figures for Trimdon CCA; Norton (39), Ditchburn (22), Armstrong (16), Longstaff (16) and John Anderson (10). Paul MacDonald did score 33 of the CJ Hydraulics A points

East Durham and Houghall College A also topped the 'ton' with a 101-76 success away to Shildon Strollers. As so often, the opening quarter was even as Colin Dockerell and David Wylie did well for College, only to be matched by Craig Lowe and Mal Turnbull for Strollers and the period finished all-square at 23-23. The first chinks in Strollers armour appeared in the second quarter as this time Malcolm Johnson joined Dockerell in a 13-0 burst to give their side a 50-41 half-time cushion. Steve Pattison and Terry Fell rallied Strollers slightly in the third quarter, but when Dockerell and Mark Vickers shared another 12-0 run in the middle of the last quarter College were away and clear at 87-64 with four minutes still to play.

Dockerell collected 42 points as Vickers and Johnson netted 20 and 13 to add to the 12 each which Wylie and Colin McEvoy got for East Durham and Houghall College. Fell did best for Shildon Strollers with 20 points as Lowe, Turnbull and Mal Ballard added 16, 13 and 12 respectively.

Middlesbrough College Academy B produced their best performance of the season so far in beating Specsavers Wear Valley Wolves 75-58 at Acklam. Dean Hanson and Carl Colmer were at the heart of the best early Academy work and by the end of the initial period they had a lead worth protecting of 20-9. Ian Stringer did well for the visitors in an even second quarter, but it was Academy who led at 37-22 after twenty minutes. Any hopes of Wolves biting back were negated when Colmer and Sloane Francis shared the points in a 9-0 two minute opening to the second half and although Craig Dawson pulled out all the stops for Wolves their good finish was never going to be enough to overhaul their hosts.

Four players hit double figures for Middlesbrough College Academy B; Colmer (16), Francis (15), Hanson (11) and Martin Downing (10). Dawson and Stringer did keep Specsavers Wear Valley Wolves in with a shout with 21 and 19 points apiece.

East Durham and Houghall College B opened the third division week with a 87-53 victory at home to Hartlepool CJ Hydraulics B, thanks to 33 and 25 points apiece from James Officer and Paul Cassell.

Hydraulics were the architects of their own downfall as shot after shot missed the target in the opening half. As direct contrast to that College snapped up virtually every one of their chances and after a 21-8 opening quarter they had the match sown up at 45-21 by the interval.

Michael Macklam and Bo Wakelam led the CJ Hydraulics B scoring with 16 and 12 points each.

Belmont retained their 100 per cent record, and their lead in the third division table with a 75-47 win in their derby with Durham Knights at Maiden Castle. Once again Mark Elderkin, Ian Hindmoor and Craig McManus gave Belmont their now customary steady start and a 13-4 advantage after seven minutes. Elderkin and this time David Waldock initiated a burst of 12 points without reply between the fourth and sixth minutes of the second half which finished with Belmont in charge at 57-22 and with no way back for Knights.

Elderkin, Waldock and Ian Hewitt all hit double figures for Belmont with 18, 12 and 11 respectively as only Lee Martin was able to respond for Durham Knights with 18.

Specsavers Wear Valley Warriors set up their 61-44 win over Young Houghtonians with a devastating run of 25-4 which started in the fifth minute of the first quarter and stretched to the eighth minute of the second quarter and which left Houghtonians with little hope of recovering from the resultant 29-10 deficit. All 'twelve' of the Specsavers Wear Valley Wolves players registered scores, but only Jonathan Hirst reached double figures with 19. Paul Carr countered with 22 for Young Houghtonians.

Newcastle College Wildcats snatched a nail-biting 67-65 win in their dying moments of their Womens Division clash with Durham Knights also at Maiden Castle.

Knights looked to have the game sewn up at half-time. Alison Turner, Tamara Davies and Harunu Kaneko had all enjoyed good spells in the opening twenty minutes to take Knights through the first break at 20-18 and into the interval with a 40-27 cushion. Newcastle College then turned the game on its head during the second half as first Sally McLure and Sarah Bennett and finally Emma Lawrence all came up trumps.

Lawrence and McLure were the focus of the Newcastle College win with 23 and 22 points respectively, whilst Kat Abrashkina did all she could for Durham Knights with 22.

Results: Division Two: Middlesbrough College Academy B 75 Specsavers Wear Valley Wolves 58; Shildon Strollers 76 East Durham and Houghall College A 101 ; Consett Steelers 70 Old Houghtonians 74 .

Division Three : East Durham and Houghall College B 87 Hartlepool CJ Hydraulics B 53 ; Durham Knights 47 Belmont 75 ; Young Houghtonians 44 Specsavers Wear Valley Warriors 61 .

Womens Division : Durham Knights 65 Newcastle College Wildcats 67 .