ABOUT TO GO IN recaps the games played last weekend in the NBL, and as always, Nhamo Shire and Swarzy Macaly have much to discuss as what a weekend it turned out to be. With a stand-out performance from Kyle Carey this week to help Spinners triumph over Worthing, the NBL is becoming increasingly exciting to cover and so stay up to date with all that’s happening in the league by watching the video above.
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LANCASHIRE SPINNERS 95 v 93 WORTHING THUNDER
KYLE CAREY LIFTS SPINNERS OVER THUNDER
WORTHING – Kyle Carey drove the lane, slipped, but recovered in time to convert a layup with one second remaining giving Spinners a 95-93 win over Worthing Thunder on Saturday.
“I felt confident having the ball in my hands,” said Carey. He finished with 15 points on seven-of-15 shooting from the floor, adding six rebounds and three steals in 21 minutes.
Following two free throws by Worthing (9-5) with four seconds remaining, Connor Murtagh zipped his inbounds pass from the right sideline into an open Carey who capitalised on a defensive lapse. The ball bounced around the cylinder multiple times before dropping through.
“It’s a huge moment for Kyle to take his team to victory,” Spinners coach Neal Hopkins said.
It was Lancashire’s fifth-straight victory overall and fourth in NBL Division One play. Worthing, meanwhile, has yet to record consecutive league wins in two attempts.
“Our composure towards the end of the game cost us,” said Thunder coach Daniel Hildreth. “At the end of the day, when it’s a one or two-point game anything can happen on those last few possessions.”
After seven lead changes and nine ties, the Spinners trailed at halftime for a third time in four games but were again able to overcome a mere two-point deficit at halftime and a five-point spread in the fourth quarter.
Lancashire (12-2, NBL1 4-2) scored six of seven three-pointers in the second half, including a timely conversion by Mark Rangeley with 3:09 remaining in the final quarter, which sliced the Thunder lead to 84-82.
“They’re a well balanced team that was in good form but to come away with a win in a tough environment is big,” finished Hopkins.
Tom Ward and James Cambronne each scored 22 points whilst Josh Brown added 20 in the loss for the Thunder.
The Spinners will face Manchester Magic in the quarterfinals of the National Cup today, tipoff 5.30pm. For full preview, click here.
Article and photography by Lancashire Spinners
MANCHESTER MAGIC 84 V 71 LANCASHIRE SPINNERS
Cooper Returns to Power Magic into National Cup Semi-Final
Manchester Magic made it 14 competitive wins on the bounce with a hard-fought 84-71 victory over local rivals Lancashire Spinners in the quarter-final of Basketball England’s National Cup.
Back in action after an injury lay-off, American forward Ellis Cooper led Magic into the semi-finals of the competition with a game-high 24 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.
Cooper’s heroics were backed up by another superb showing from Simon Anumba, who claimed 17 points and nine rebounds. Jack Minister added 15 points, while point guard Franc Garcia Garrido was instrumental in dictating the tempo of the game and converting steals into points at crucial moments.
Magic held the lead for all but 90 seconds of the contest, but the game was on a knife-edge for the majority, with Spinners’ veteran duo of Mike Bernard and Nick George both proving difficult to stop. Bernard’s presence in the post was particularly imposing, with the former Manchester Giant recording a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds.
The turning point in the game came midway through the final quarter, when a Cian Hickey score gave Spinners a brief 65-63 advantage. This forced Magic coach Paul Middleton to call time-out, after which his team went on a decisive 16-4 scoring run, inspired by Cooper’s determination and Anumba’s relentless energy.
Spinners only scored eight points in the closing seven minutes, while Magic poured in 21, epitomising a night on which Lancashire’s offence lacked consistency. Spinners fired up 20 three-point attempts during the contest, making just three, and were held to an overall field goal percentage of just 38%.
Magic may have been helped by Lancashire’s long trip to Worthing a night earlier, but having Cooper back also provided a huge boost.
Cooper commented: “I was so excited to get back on the court with the guys. Just to come back and be able to contribute, there’s no expression to tell you how I feel about it.
“There’s a lot of pressure because we’re both in Manchester and you want to have that crown to be the king of Manchester. We’re both great basketball teams, we both have great talent and different talent.
“They made it very difficult and we needed everyone’s contribution to get a win. It gives us momentum going into next week, especially given that we did lose to them earlier in the season. They’re a very tough team, so it was big to win tonight.”
The previous night, Magic made light work of Tees Valley Mohawks in NBL Division One action, cruising to an 83-46 victory. Alvaro Alarcon-Lizaur claimed a big double-double of 15 points and 15 rebounds in just 18 minutes on court, with the result propelling Magic to the top of the table with a 5-0 record.
Magic face an instant re-match with Spinners, as the two sides will meet in the league in Bury on Saturday 21st November.
Report by Graeme Roberts
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– NOTES TO EDITORS –
Statistics from Manchester Magic vs Lancashire Spinners can be found here:
Statistics from Manchester Magic vs Tees Valley Mohawks can be found here:
Manchester Magic’s fixture list for the 2015-16 season can be found here:
Manchester Magic Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/ManchesterMagicBasketball
Manchester Magic Twitter Account: http://www.twitter.com/Mcr_Magic