WARWICKSHIRE BEARS are celebrating after booking their place in this year’s British Wheelchair Basketball National League Play-offs in Sheffield courtesy of Sunday’s 68-35 victory at CWBA 2nds.
The win sealed top spot in Division One South and also secured promotion to the Premier League for the first time in the club’s history. Bears will now await the play-offs in the Steel City on May 26/27.
Bears controlled the game with Ian Beach, Ben Haigh and Jacob Robinson finding their shooting range to shoot their side into a 16-8 lead at the end of the first quarter.
After the break the Coventry team came out strongly with impressive shooting from their exciting young prospect Tom Cutts.
CWBA were able to make a comeback of sorts but were just unable to fully pull back their arrears and they trailed 27-15 by the midway point.
Bears’ Invictus players Rick Powell and Andy Roberts were introduced in the third period and junior players were instrumental in the fourth as the visitors sealed their title triumph.
Bears head coach Tom Masterson said: “I’d like to thank CWBA for two wonderful games. I know I’ve said it a lot this season, but I’m immensely proud of this team.
“Six years ago we had six registered players and entered the league in Division Three and we are now entering the Premier League, playing against the top teams featuring international players.
“We can now look forward to the National Play-offs again and see what happens there.”
BEARS 3rds were beaten 40-28 at CWBA 3rds in Division Three Central.
Bears fought to stay close to Coventry but, with the visitors’ influential player Aaron Grant picking up early fouls and having to sit out much of the game on the bench, Coventry were able to pull away.
Bears were also able to feature their other talented junior Ellen Fraser and give her much-needed experience of league basketball.
Bears coach Jacob Robinson said: “This was a great performance from a young squad against a team with age on their side.
“It’s great to see how everybody has developed as the season has gone on. It’s been a very successful season and I couldn’t be happier with where the squad is at now.”