WARWICKSHIRE Bears 2nds’ hopes of a winning start to the new season were ended after opponents Essex Outlaws rallied in the final quarter to win 39-34.
The Bears team, promoted last season to the British Wheelchair Basketball League Second Division South, had led 32-26 going into the last quarter on Sunday.
However, the Outlaws’ stranglehold press meant Bears were unable to score and the visitors pulled into the lead to win by five points.
Led by new coach Derek Hall and with three new players making their debuts, Bears opened an 11-9 lead after the first quarter.
The game started with new signing Brian Stone stealing the ball from the tip and scoring his first basket for the Bears. From then on the game was a close affair with both teams scoring basket for basket.
In the second quarter Bears were put under pressure around their basket whilst also being able to convert their chances and fell 21-19 behind by half time.
The break seemed to work in the Bears’ favour as they started to keep a hold of Outlaws’ offence, whilst taking advantage and building up a 32-26 lead going into the last quarter.
The final quarter was a decisive period for the Outlaws who put on a full court press and forced Bears to turn over possession on numerous occasions, whilst also scoring from their opportunities.
After the game Bears coach Hall said: “Firstly I would like to congratulate the Outlaws team who played a great game. Whilst disappointed with the result, I’m still proud of the team’s performance, seeing as they have just moved up a division and with the new signings we have.
“We will get better hopefully as the season goes on and it will be interesting to see the result in the away fixture after we’ve had more time together.”
Bears are in action when the third team play their first fixture in the National League with a Division Three clash against Wolverhampton WSC on October 7.
Bears are looking for a sponsor for the team and are always keen to recruit new members, especially female and junior players. Contact Bears at [email protected] or call 07946 518354.