Final will see new name on plate

CLUBS took a break from Ipswich & District Basketball League action last week and concentrated on the knockout competitions with the semi-finals of the cup and plate being decided.

CLUBS took a break from Ipswich & District Basketball League action last week and concentrated on the knockout competitions with the semi-finals of the cup and plate being decided.

There will be a new name on the plate this year when Stowmarket Slammers meet Holbrook Eagles II, while the cup final will be an all-Essex affair, both games to take place on Sunday, April 22.

Slammers went into their game against Bury Bulldogs as second favourites as the Bulldogs have a perfect league record.

However, the Bury side were without leading scorer Chris Dixon and were soon behind, only managing four baskets in the first quarter.

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With Arron MacDonald and Duane Kostrzewski hitting 19 points between them, the Slammers soon opened up a double-figure lead.

Eight unanswered points at the start of the second put Slammers even further ahead and with the Bulldogs only managing four field goals in the second quarter, they were almost 20 behind by half-time.

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Eleven points from Aaron Caldwell in the third gave Bury some hope but they were still 16 behind going into the final quarter.

They narrowed the gap to ten within two minutes of the re-start but could not get any closer as Slammers controlled the tempo of the game to finish worthy winners.

Their opponents will be Holbrook Eagles II who travelled to Cornard to face the Kings. Both teams were newcomers to this competition and it was the visitors who controlled the game in the opening quarter.

All of their starting five got onto the scoresheet while Kings relied on the hot hands of Ollie Williams who hit 11 personal in the first ten minutes. Williams did not score in the second and the Eagles pulled away to lead by 17 at half-time. The Eagles pulled further away in the second half with Christian Daley and James Fairs hitting almost 50 points between them and Daley finishing on a game-high of 28.

The cup final will be contested between Colchester Veterans and holders Brightlingsea Sledgeham-mers. The Vets visited Holbrook Eagles in the semi-final and relied very much on Nathan Syrett to keep them in the game in the opening quarter.

Syrett hit three long-range efforts to give his side an early lead before Tendai Simbai replied for the home side, hitting ten personal and helped the Eagles to a five-point lead.

Eagles extended their lead to twelve in the second quarter only for the Vets to hit 14 unanswered points and open up a seven-point gap by half-time.

The third quarter saw the Eagles narrow the gap a little and two minutes into the final quarter the gap was down to three.

The Eagles then went scoreless for six minutes allowing the Vets to pull away again as Syrett hit two more three-pointers and kill off any last-minute revival.

Cup semi-finals

Holbrook Eagles 67 (Simbai 18, N Drane 14, Wheeler 11). Colchester Veterans 84 (Keeling 32, N Syrett 27, Smith 9).

BT Lasers 84 (Ariyo 24, M Ward 17, Peters 12). Brightlingsea Sledgehammers 87 (Matthews 31, Barton 26, A Ward 15).

Plate semi-finals

Stowmarket Slammers 75 (Kostrzewski 21, MacDonald 19, Anderson 15). Bury Bulldogs 67 (Caldwell 31, Lyne 13, Grimsey 11).

Cornard Kings 60 (Williams 15, Stacey 12, Brook 9). Holbrook Eagles II 90 (Daley 28, Fairs 21, Calver 14).

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