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Teesside Lions 114-71 Nottingham Wildcats
Teesside Lions MenV
Nottingham Academy Wildcats
Sunday 5th February|
Teesside Lions tamed the Nottingham Wildcats with a brow-raising 40-7 opening quarter, from which the visitors would not recover.
Lions claimed a 43pt victory at Eston Arena for the three game clean sweep of the Nottingham outfit ahead of the big derby game this Sunday at Eston Arena versus local rivals Mohawks.
The game will be first placed Teesside v second placed Mohawks after Tees Valley lost to Calderdale Explorers. Teesside and Milton Keynes remain the two only unbeaten teams of the 50+ division three teams across the country.
Matt Hughes was on top form yet again in the first quarter as he opened his account with a 3-pointer and was a handful through the period adding heartache and misery to the opposition along with his 15pts in this quarter alone. Lions captain Theo Turner was also in spritely fashion as the 7 footer stamped an authority on to the game at both ends of the court. Turner would add 10pts to an all-round explosive team performance.
In the second quarter Nottingham were able to shake off their fuzz and double their first quarter production, but they had a mountain to climb and were still unable to stop Teesside from scoring freely. A more human 25-15 second quarter score gave the Lions an impressive 65-22 scoreline heading into half time as Siman Stewart demonstrated his value and court time was shared with Riley Anderson hitting 7pts to help increase the gap.
In the third quarter Teesside struggled to find their rhythm and actually lost the period 20-25. Coach Hylands was happy to run the bench and provide valuable playing time to the less experienced players and while the flow was affected in the third quarter, the result was never in doubt.
The final quarter saw a return to Lions control, although not the complete dominance of the first period. The damage would have been much more had it not been for the impressive Manpreet Hundal who hit 29pts including 23pts in the second half of which five were 3-pointers.
The Game MVP could have gone a number of ways with Luke Mitchell delivering 14 assists in another fine display for the court general. Matt Hughes top scored with 32pts, but a return to dominance with 30pts, 18 rebounds, 2 blocks and two thumping dunks was Theo Turner.
Teesside will be pleased to have shown their potential in the first quarter and also fend off an improved challenge in the second half but will be keen to iron out the kinks that produced the dry spell in the third quarter. This though was still Teessides second biggest score of the season and biggest win margin so far. It was an enjoyable occasion for the Lions fans and good preparation for the derby game against Mohawks this Sunday.
Tickets are on sale now at TeessideLions.com and the potential is to surpass the previous club and league of 800 spectators. Fans are advised to book their tickets early and arrive around 1.30pm for the 2.30pm tip this Sunday at Eston Arena.