Teesside League

Tigers kept up their First Division title challenge with a 81-74 home win against a depleted Darlington Devils side.

The home team opened a seven-point gap at the halfway stage, 39-32, dominating inside play with Lee Woolams and Steve Cowell in good form.

Going into the third quarter, Devils tired and the home side took command, flying into a 21-point lead at 68-47. With nothing to lose Devils fired in the three-point baskets as Aaron Hope and Steve Hardy clawed their side back into the game, restricting Tigers to 13 points in the final quarter all scored by Woolams.

Devils' 27 points in the quarter was just not enough to take the game into overtime as they went down by seven points.

Woolams finished on 33 points but was outscored by Hope who hit 34 for Devils.

Thirsk Vikings made a good start in the home game against Norton and surprised the visitors to lead 26-18 at the break. Their game plan of restricting Glen Urban seemed to work as he hit only five points from the free throw line. After eight minutes of the third quarter Norton trailed 40-24 and changed tactics to a half court press which gave them nine unanswered points, closing the gap to seven points. In the final period, Norton found extra reserves to get into the lead for the first time in the game up by two points at 50-48 with two minutes remaining. Vikings kept a tight rein on Urban as they held on to win by two points 54-52. However, Urban still finished the game's top scorer with 27 points as Berens led Vikings scoring 13 points.

Mavericks, looking to keep ahead of the pack, found a spirited Thornaby side difficult to shake off as only two points separated the sides at 15-13 with Mavericks in front. The second period was competitive as Steve Butler kept Thornaby in the game but 22 points from the Mavericks put them in the driving seat, up 37-22 at half-time. Butler again master-minded and shot out of his boots to pull Thornaby closer with 13 points in the third period. Thornaby got within five points in the final quarter, but they gathered as many fouls putting the visitors on the line and the opportunity to pull away to a ten-point win by 73-63. Steve Butler's 36 points were more than half his side's score but was still not sufficient as Mavericks spread of points with Ian Viveash, Andy Reid and Wayne Bailey featuring.

In Division Two, Norton II hosted Middlesbrough College Academy and in an even opening quarter the Academy took the game by the scruff of the neck with aggressive pressing defence and crisp outside shooting with Tony Smelt and Lindsay prominent. At the half-way stage the game was more or less sewn up as the visitors led by 21 points, 50-29. The second-half was no different as the students kept up their scoring to record an easy win. Smelt top scored with 26 points with Chris Ellis replying with 24 for Norton.