Bulldogs lose to open up title race

THE title race in the Ipswich & District Basketball League opened up a little with the first league defeat of the season for Bury Bulldogs, although they are still two points ahead of their nearest rivals.

THE title race in the Ipswich & District Basketball League opened up a little with the first league defeat of the season for Bury Bulldogs, although they are still two points ahead of their nearest rivals.

Bulldogs got the week off to a good start with a win at California Cougars. Seven points in the first quarter from Henry Utku gave the Bulldogs a double-figure lead although Cougars hit back in the second and tied the game within four minutes of the restart.

Twelve points from Chris Dixon helped restore Bury's lead and at half time the gap was eight. The third quarter saw Bury hit more than 30 points to pull away and with three Cougars fouling out in the final quarter, there was no way back for the home side.

For their second road trip of the week the Bulldogs were without Henry Utku when they took on BT Lasers and went nine down in the opening quarter.


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With leading scorer Chris Dixon only managing one point in the second, Bury fell further behind as Andrew Taylor knocked down eight personal for the Lasers and by half time the gap was more than 20 points.

Bury staged a bit of a revival in the third as Dixon and Aaron Caldwell hit 12 points in six minutes, but with Lance Peters replying with seven points in two minutes, Lasers maintained a comfortable lead going into the final quarter.

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The Bulldogs were not out of it and 15 unanswered points at the start of the final quarter saw the gap narrowed to single figures - and it was down to five with just over a minute on the clock. But that was the closest it got, as Lasers hung on and Bury were left regretting 10 misses from the foul line.

Holbrook Eagles maintained third place in the league when they comfortably defeated Stowmarket Slammers. The Eagles opened up a double-digit lead in the first quarter as Slammers only managed two field goals.

Slammers narrowed the gap to seven within two minutes of the re-start but eight points in six minutes from Nick Newman gave the Eagles plenty of breathing space by half time.

Stuart Malone briefly gave Slammers some hope with seven points in three minutes at the start of the third but with Newman keeping the score ticking over for the Eagles, he finished with a game-high 43 while none of the Slammers were able to get into double figures.

The coming week sees the fixture list giving Bury another trip to the Lasers, where they will be looking to have a fuller squad than last week. Another win for the Lasers could throw open the whole title race.

With only one game so far in February, Colchester Veterans get back into the action when they host Holbrook Eagles. The Vets are still only two games behind the leaders but have quite a few games to catch up if they are to make any impact.

Results

California Cougars 76 (Rudd 26, Juriga 21, Eley 11) Bury Bulldogs 97 (Dixon 31, H Utku 22, Caldwell 20)

Holbrook Eagles 85 (Newman 43, Godfrey 15, Simbai 10) Stowmarket Slammers 41 (Douglas/Gittens 8, Malone/Thompson 7)

BT Lasers 78 (Taylor 22, Peters 15, Ariyo 13) Bury Bulldogs 69 (Caldwell 24, Dixon 23, Lyne/Knight 8).

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