Eagles lose their perfect start

AS EARLY pacesetters Bury Bulldogs were without a game last week several clubs had the opportunity of taking over at the top of the Ipswich & District Basketball League.

AS EARLY pacesetters Bury Bulldogs were without a game last week several clubs had the opportunity of taking over at the top of the Ipswich & District Basketball League.

Holbrook Eagles had their 100 per cent record dented by the Lasers and it was left to Colchester to move into the top spot as they continued their good start to the season with a close win against newcomers California Cougars.

BT Jets still prop up the table as they gave Stowmarket Slammers their first victory for a couple of years.

Slammers had a full squad of 12 while Jets only travelled with eight.

The visitors found it tough going from the start, only managing three baskets in the first quarter while Craig Douglas was hitting eight personal for the home side.

A run of 11-0 at the start of the second put Slammers well in control with Jets only managing one field goal in eight minutes.

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Half-time saw Slammers ahead by almost 40 with Jets having little to offer in reply. Five of the Slammers hit double figures with ten of the squad getting on the scoresheet.

This first win in two years will give Slammers a lot more confidence for the weeks ahead.

Holbrook Eagles had the chance to go top when BT Lasers were their visitors and for the second successive week were involved in a very close game.

The Eagles introduced Richard Godfrey for his first game of the season and welcomed back their back-up centre Lee Greenan.

Lasers made the stronger start with Lewis Giles and Femi Ariyo helping them to a nine-point lead by the end of the first quarter.

Holbrook hit back in the second thanks to eight unanswered points in the last four minutes.

Player-coach Nick Drane got it going in the third with 10 personal and the Eagles led by as many as eight points at one stage.

Lasers finished the quarter strongly and pulled it back to within two points as Giles and Ariyo continued to dominate their offence.

Drane helped stretch Eagles' lead again at the start of the final quarter with five points in three minutes but that would be the end of his scoring and with no-one else being able to step up their game and four missed shots from the foul line, Lasers took the initiative to squeeze home by four.

California Cougars and Colchester met for the second time in three weeks and having come out on the wrong end of a big scoreline first time round the Cougars were not going to give Colchester an easy ride this time.

Cougars led 8-2 after three minutes and although Colchester pulled it back, Josh Carson hit eight points in three minutes for the Cougars to put them five ahead at the end of the first.

Within two minutes of the re-start Colchester were level and with Ben Lister hitting 13 personal in the quarter it was Colchester that went seven up by half-time.

Cougars came back at the start of the third as Neil Lister and Phil Green began to find the hoop while Jules Keeling replied for Colchester with five baskets in a row and a 10-0 run in the last two minutes of the quarter put Colchester seven up with one quarter to go.

With Cougars in foul trouble Colchester made the most of it as Nathan Syrett hit three three-pointers in as many minutes to stretch the lead into double figures.

However, Cougars were still not out of it and with three of their starters on the bench having fouled out the bench players rallied strongly and narrowed the gap to three with less than two minutes on the clock.

Colchester pulled it out to five only for Lister and West to bring it back to one point but as time ran out Keeling hit two crucial free throws to give Colchester the win.

This week sees Slammers at home again looking to build on their recent success when they entertain BT Lasers.

Cougars should be too strong for the Jets when they travel to Whitton on Thursday while the final game of the week will test league leaders Colchester when they travel to play the Eagles.

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