Contrasting weekend for NBL teams

Men shock Hoods but women exit Cup

It was a contrasting weekend for London Lions’ NBL Division One teams as the men recorded a shock 84-80 victory against Nottingham Hoods but the women lost in both the league and the National Cup.

Hoods arrived at Barking Abbey after a summer which saw them make several big sigings, but after the home side had trailed going into the locker room, they produced an excellent second half to keep their push for the play-offs alive.

“It was a bit of a surprise if I’m honest” admitted coach James Vear. “Zamuka was already out with a broken finger before Bradley ??? sprained his thumb in training, so we were two starters down. The most pleasing thing is that Jase [Harrison] didn’t play very well – and he admitted that – but the rest of the guys stepped up and played really well. Some of the younger guys who haven’t had much playing time stepped up. The players said it was their best performance of the season, they felt that everyone contributed.”

The hosts started slowly, with Hoods going into the first break leading 26-18 but fought back to trail 43-40 going into the locker room. Lions outscored the midlands side 18-14 in the third period to tie things heading into the final break tied before edging the fourth quarter to take the win.

Ignas Juskevicius led Lions for the first time this season as he finished with 23 points with Elijah Maynard adding 18 and Rhys Sundimalt 13, while Josh Gudemmi top scored for Hoods with 26.

Meanwhile, a 24 point, 11 rebound double-double  by Fatmata Janneh wasn’t enough to prevent Lions women losing 71-48 at Bristol Academy Flyers.

Jenneh gave Lions the first lead of the game and Nichole Lavinier’s triple put them 7-4 up in a low-score first period. Chenai Mushore made it 10-4 in Lions’ favour with 2:38 on the clock but that was as good as it got for the visitors as Bristol scored the final six points of the quarter to tie things at ten going into the first break.

Jenneh hit the first point of the second period but six straight Kayla Goldsmith points in a 13-0 Bristol run put the Flyers into a lead they would never lose.

Mushore broke the run at the foul line but despite a Lavinier three-pointer, Flyers went into half-time with 32-24 lead.

That lead was swiftly doubled as Flyers opened the second half with n 8-0 run and they went on to outscore Lions 25-13 in the third period to lead 57-37 at the final break before wrapping things up with a 14-11 fourth period.

Lavinia finished with 12 points, all coming from downtown, while Flyers’ Goldsmith had a season-high 29 points on 11-from-13 shooting.

A miserable weekend for David Lavinier’s team as they went out of the National Cup with an 86-50 loss at Anglia Ruskin University.

Lions never recovered from a disastrous first period which saw them outscored 24-2, and although they chipped a couple of points off the deficit to trailed 40-20 at half-time the hosts edged the second half 36-30 to progress to the quarter-finals.