Lions Show Promise Ahead of Durham Season

Teesside Lions 68-76 Richmond Vikings B

Teesside Lions hosted a pre season friendly against Durham League D2 opposition Richmond Vikings B at Queens Campus.

The Lions boast a very young side but showed a real maturity against a well drilled Vikings led by player/coach Mark Williams and Ash Farrel and veteran Andy Reid.

Lions drew first blood with Anthony Reed connecting on a jump shot from a James Thomson assist. This was then followed up with a strong drive by Tshering Lama. Vikings then hit back via Farrel and Sinjali and the first period would see both teams trading baskets, finishing as they did, on even terms 10-10 at the end of the quarter.

At the start of the second quarter Vikings charged ahead thanks to a 12-2 run instigated by Reid with Farrel adding another 5pts.

James Thomson and Tshering Lama, the only players over 17 on Lions side re-entered the game and brought some composure to help the hosts produce a 16-6 run to bring Lions within 2pts, 28-30 at the end of the half.

Lions Coach Thomson spread court time between his 14 players with 14 year old pair Connor Hutchinson and Elliot Maude both impressing in their short appearances. Meanwhile Lama was impressive as expected and Thomson pulled the string on offence as he opened the door to a number of impressive plays. The movement of the Lions was excellent at times with Coombs, Reed, Bailey and Watts all converting from Thomson assists. In addition Jack Ridley made a powerful impression as did Adam Ghalleb and the awe inspiring Ryan Stephenson (right) who generated a shiver in the spine of Richmond as he blocked three players five times in the second period alone.

The second half saw a tight affair as both teams traded the lead not passing 6pts until the end when Vikings pounced into a 9pt lead. Thomson converted two coast to coast baskets to reduce the deficit but the game was already decided and although Richmond celebrated the victory, the Lions were celebrating a strong performance with a silent confidence ahead of the new season.

Coach Thomson was very proud of the players and believes the club will enjoy a fruitful season. This sentiment was backed up by Owen Waddington who enjoyed a decent game and said afterward “It was a good game and everyone contributed something which was nice to see.”

Lions will now have a couple of weeks hard training in preparation for the start of the Durham and National Leagues.

While the majority of Lions marked the scoresheet, two players led the way with Lama hitting 16pts and Reed adding 11pts.

About host