Lions Roar Over Wolves To Head Into Quarter Final
Teesside Lions enjoyed an emphatic victory over the Wolverhampton Wolves to progress into the quarter finals of the Playoffs.
The 23pt win at Eston Arena in front of another atmospheric crowd of Lions fans earned the Teesside outfit a trip to Bristol this weekend; the long fourteen-hour round trip journey will be worth it, should the team extend their journey into the semi-final.
The Wolves travelled to Eston in confident mood and looked energised in the pre-game warm-ups despite forgetting their balls and having to loan from the hosts. The early hope however faded as Lions took a 10-0 lead and dominated the defence to restrict the visitors to just 5pts from open play in the final minute of the first period. A 3-pointer from Tiernan Clarke in the last play of the game took a little of the sheen from what was for nine minutes a sizzling Lions performance led by the towering presence of Theo Turner and Ross Wilson.
In the second quarter Lions began to show their scoring ability as they extended their 6pt lead to 24pts within the first five minutes. Wolves continued to pepper the Lions basket from behind the 3-point line to no avail while in contrast Teesside captain Theo Turner hit hie eighth point in the fourth minute to match the team total for Wolves. Canadian Alex Root hit another 3-pointer immediately after to take his tally to 8pts and the introduction of Matt Hughes in the fifth minute delivered with immediate impact another 8pts.
The Wolves yet again struggled to make any open play baskets and their only respite was 3 of 4 converted free throws. In the sixth minute Landry Mayinga broke the spell with a nice finish and this instilled some confidence into his team-mates as Elias Antoine hit a 3-pointer prior to two more 3’s from Mayinga himself.
At half time the Lions were in control with the scores at 38-22.
The third quarter was tarnished in the first minute as Lions star Alex Root converted an offensive rebound but picked up an ankle injury in the process leading to the Canadian playing no further part in the game.
The re-introduction of local hero Anthony Reed livened the crowd and the Nunthorpe star acknowledged the support with a sweet 3-pointer followed by a nicely timed shot from inside the paint. This was followed by Ross Wilson’s poster dunk as he took flight for his second slam of the game to bring the crowd to their feet.
Cliff Magena ploughed a lone furrow for Wolverhampton with 6pts in the period and the only player to score prior to a late finish from Mayinga. Their 8pt haul another period to forget.
Teesside extended their lead to a game high 29pts in the first minute of the final quarter as Matt Hughes continued his impressive scoring ability. The Wolves found some late rhythm in this period and managed to score 22pts but it was too little too late as the Lions bite in the first three periods was enough to hold a strong 23pt margin, 75-52 to finish the game as worthy victors.
Teesside again enjoyed a balanced team effort with Ross Wilson, Anthony Reed and Theo Turner all contenders for the MVP award. In the end the accolade was handed to 7-foot centre Turner who led all scorers with 17pts along with 15 rebounds to record yet another double-double.
Tickets available now via www.TeessideLions.com at just £6.50 adult, £4.50 u18/OAP and £16 for a family of four.
Lions: Turner 17, Hughes 15, Reed 11, Root 10, Wilson R 8
Wolves: Mayinga 12, Antoine 9, Ballou 8
Bristol v Teesside game preview coming soon.