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Teesside Lions Men 64  65 Worcester Wolves


Teesside Lions Men


Worcester Wolves

Sunday 3rd December


2:30pm tip-off

An injury ravaged Teesside Lions picked up defeat yesterday but almost upset the odds with a dramatic finale to the league encounter with Worcester Wolves at Eston Arena.

In a game where American star Tom Horvat was unable to play following the pre-game warm ups, it was always going to be an uphill struggle. The team’s top scoring guard has an ankle injury and joins six other players who were unable to play. Tom Wylie, who had missed the last two games due to an ankle injury suited up to make the seventh player available to Lions on Sunday.

Despite the missing players, Teesside showed a determination throughout the game that was hard to fault. Both teams struggled to find the net in the first two minutes of the game, but the spell was broken when Humerto Ferreira converted a lay up. Almost instantly Luca Gaillet hit a 2pt jump shot from distance from a Theo Turner assist.

Teesside v Worcester Luca Gaillet

As the game approached the mid point of the first quarter Teesside were moving the ball well but just not clinical with the finish. Peter Palmer extended the Wolves lead to 2-6 but neither team was taking control.

In the sixth minute Gaillet was growing in stature as he stole the ball and finished at the other end. He then secured a defensive rebound in what was looking set to be a stand-out performance from the Monaco native.

Palmer converted another lay up for Wolves and Gaillet again responded with a jump shot off the glass to leave Lions trailing 6-10.

The introduction of Thomas Wylie reaped reward as he hit a 3-pointer and with 41 second left in the first period Tyrese Nfon converted two free throws to take the lead for the first time.

By the end of the quarter the scores were 14-14 with all to play for.

Tyrese Nfon opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer and it was now Teesside who were controlling the game. In the third minute Aaron Maxwell hit a nice jump shot to extend the home lead to 5pts, 21-16.

In the sixth minute however the tables would turn as Ferreira instigated a 15-0 run for the visitors. A finish from Theo Turner would break the spell at the end of the quarter, but it was a psychological blow to the Lions as they were now down 7pts, 27-34, heading into half time.

Teesside v Worcester Luke Mitchell tripple threat

Teesside showed grit as they entered the second half with Luke Mitchell, Aaron Maxwell and man of the moment Luca Gaillet all disrupting the Worcester flow through their tenacious defence. Lions forced three quick turnovers on the visitors and slowly started to chip away at the lead.

Turner converted a lay up and Maxwell hit a big 3-pointer both from Gaillet assists. In the third minute Maxwell tied the game 34-34 but had to come out after picking up his fourth foul.

The game was starting to heat up with both sides producing moments at both ends of the court. With less than two minutes remaining Mitchell picked up another assist after finding Nfon for the 3-pointer to take a 3pt lead 46-43.

Heading into the final quarter Lions were protecting a 47-45 lead and following a finish from Nfon and a free throw from Mitchell this grew to 5pts. Teesside held their lead until 2:50 remaining when Peter Palmer converted two free throws followed by a shot from James Harrop, 58-61.

With 2:54 left Luke Mitchell took a hit and had to withdraw to add to the recent fouling out of Aaron Maxwell and Tyrese Nfon. Mitchell re-entered the game with a minute remaining and a spectacular conclusion almost unfolded as Mitchell found Gaillet who slammed home on the break to bring the crowd to their feet.

Gaillet then went to the line to convert 1 0f 2 free throws and bring the Lions within 4pts, 61-65.

With less than 5 seconds remaining Coach Bojev called a timeout and drew up the play for Gaillet to hit a 3 and reduce the lead to just 1pt, 64-65.

Gaillet then fouled out leaving Teesside with just four active players on the court.

Unfortunately for Teesside that is how the score would remain, but in all the recent misfortune on the injury front, Teesside are showing their depth of players and character and gave the Teesside fans a performance to be proud of.

Following the game Teesside Coach Serge Bojev was disappointed at missed opportunities but proud of the heart on show, stating:

I am proud of how we played. We moved the ball well for 90% of the game and showed good energy on defence. There were some lapses in concentration and our finishing was at times poor. These things will hurt us in any game but especially in close games.

The disappointment is in what could have been. Last week we only had 6 players against the current league leaders Bristol and almost won that one. Today we finish with four players against Worcester and could have won this one. Those two wins would have given us the best record in the league.
Coach Bojev
Teesside v Worcester Luca Gaillet rebound

The fine margins can be cruel in sport and Teesside will be sweating on a few injury returns ahead of the next league game away to Myerscough this Sunday.

Luke Mitchell produced 9 assists in a relatively low scoring game, and Tyrese Nfon gave a scoring clinic with 3 of 4 from 3-point range, 66% from 2pt field goal and 100% from free throws.

The MVP however was awarded to Luca Gaillet who produced a sublime performance with 22pts, 11 rebounds, 2 assists & 2 steals.

MVP: Luca Gaillet

Top Scorers

Teesside: Gaillet 22, Nfon 17, Maxwell 11

Worcester: Palmer 19, Yeboah 14, Effah 9

Teesside v Worcester Tyrese Nfon
Teesside v Worcester Maxwell
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