WARWICKSHIRE Bears avoided going a whole British Wheelchair Basketball League campaign without a victory as they defeated Tees Valley Titans 48-39 in Saturday’s Premier Division finale.
Influential Dan Gill found the form of last season form again and, with the help of Jacob Robinson, the Bears were able to take a healthy 14-4 lead in the first quarter.
Titans came out fighting at the start of the second quarter and tried to press the Bears to make inroads into their deficit, but the Bears regrouped and once again found their way to the Titans basket to go into half-time with a 27-16 lead.
The third quarter was a tense session with the Titans trying to find their way back into the game but the Bears were determined to try and hold the lead they had fought hard to build and they led 40-31 going into the final quarter.
The Bears were forced into silly mistakes and turnovers in the final period as their lead was whittled down to three points but coach Tom Masterson reintroduced experienced Daz Peasley and he marshalled the team home.
Masterson was thrilled with the victory and said: “Titans pushed us all the way, but I knew we had a win in us. The past few games we have improved game by game and left the best until last.
“Titans have some really special junior players who are going to be fantastic in years to come. They are the team we need to base our future on to keep looking for the future stars and bring them through our teams.”
Bears 3rds were also victorious as they defeated Titans 4ths 50-34 in Division Three Central.
Harry Draper and Aaron Grant both made a considerable impact on the Titans basket and Ellen Fraser also impressed as Bears secured third place.
Coach Dan Smith said: “This was another great win for our developing players. Titans gave us a run for our money but we were good enough to see it out for a win.
“We have a great bunch of developing players, such as Ellen Fraser and Harry Draper to name just two, but if we can keep hold of them then the future looks good for the Bears.”
Bears 2nds travel to Sheffield to compete in the BWBL National Play-offs for the Division Two title on May 25/26.