Derby Delight For Teesside Lions
Teesside Lions 73-78 Derby Trailblazers
Teesside almost re-wrote the script as they came within a whisker of beating one of the top NBL Division One teams in a pre-season friendly. It was a great game for the fans and a good indication of progress for Lions as the home team almost caused an upset at home to Derby.
The game was a close contest throughout and Lions held a slender 1pt lead at half time 37-36 with 7 foot Theo Turner hitting 9 of his 17pts in the first half.
Guarding Turner was a problem for Coach Shaw and his Trailblazers and with focus on the big man, Lions managed to move the ball well and create good opportunities both in the half court and transition.
American forward Malcolm Smith was a cut above for Derby and finished the game with 30pts despite Lions restricting the talented scorer to just 4pts in the final quarter.
With just less than a minute remaining the score was 71-72 in favour of the visitors with an upset looking possible until a 6-0 run by Derby pair Kayne King and Raheem May-Thompson sealed victory.
Matt Hughes hit the final shot of the game to reduce the deficit to just five and add to his tally of 18pts. Carl Alexander made his debut for Lions and wowed the fans with his dribbling, passing and shooting, finishing the game with 15pts.
Also making his debut, following minor calf surgery, Alex Parr impressed with 6pts including one basket from a sleek spin move and extended lay up.
Overall the game was a good team performance from Lions and a mouth-watering prospect of what to look forward to during the season.
Lions Coach Marc Steutel was pleased with the improvements this week and a little surprised at how well the players responded against Derby:
“We were missing core players, so I was expecting a tough afternoon, but the players stepped up to the mark and I was pleasantly surprised at how well we played. We are not the finished article yet, but the progress we are making, both in training and in games is pleasing.”
Lions are back in action again next Sunday against another tough side in Durham Wildcats. Durham boast a number of top American players and will be another good game for the fans to enjoy.
Teesside Lions v Durham Wildcats
Sunday 19th September 2pm Tip
– Doors open 1pm with music, snacks and entertainment.
– Spectators must be seated 30mins prior to tip
– Adult £6.50
– U18 & OAP £4.50
– Family £16 (2 adults & 2 u18)
Tickets must be purchased in advance to allow the club to cater for the attendance in accordance with venue & government covid guidelines.