It was another one of those edge-of-your-seat weekends in the British Basketball League with upsets, overtimes and close finishes as March began with a bang.
Never was the drama more evident than on Friday evening, when all three games were settled by no more than five points.
Leeds Force came mightily close to another big win in their quest for a BBL Play-Off spot, came up but agonisingly short in overtime. They lost 92-91 in a game which was close throughout.
Marek Klassen continued his fine start to his BBL career with a 26-point haul, but the headlines on this occasion belonged to Wolves’ debutante Jordan Aaron, who not only led his side with 23 points, but hit a crucial shot which forced the extra period.
It was another overtime affair at Sport Central as Newcastle Eagles just managed to hold off the London Lions, 83-81.
Lions led by five points (79-74) in the extra period and looked on course for a huge win, but the Eagles were not ready to go down without a fight and closed the game out with a 9-2 run; Scott Martin hitting the game-winning three-pointer with seconds remaining.
Lions’ Jamal Williams led all scorers with 21 points, while Martin had 18 for the Eagles.
The result of the night was down in Devon as Plymouth Raiders kept up their Play-Off hopes with an 82-77 defeat of Sheffield Sharks.
Like the other two games on Friday, this was another close affair and it was only decided late on when the Raiders went on a pivotal 8-0 run which proved just too much for the Sharks to overcome.
Cory Dixon put in a big performance for the Raiders with 26 points and 12 rebounds, while Antone Robinson led the Sharks with a 19-point 13-rebound performance.
“After dropping a game to Manchester last week, which we should have won, to bounce back the way we did against Sheffield, I was pretty proud of the boys,” said Raiders’ player-coach Daryl Corletto.
“We played very well against one of the top teams in the league and to come away with a win was very rewarding.”
It was a weekend the Sharks will want to quickly forget as the following night they ended up on the wrong end of a 69-65 score-line at Bristol Flyers.
In yet another close game, Cardell McFarland led Bristol with 15 points in a victory which boosts the Flyers’ Play-Off bid.
“It’s a very important win,” said Flyers’ coach Andreas Kapoulas.
“We knew Sheffield was going to be a very difficult game, but we knew that if we executed our game-plan we had a chance and we did that very well.
“We had a very good defensive performance and we made a couple of very important plays in the last couple of minutes when they came back.”
Glasgow Rocks have pulled to within two points of the fourth-place Sharks following their 77-69 victory over Manchester on Sunday, Kieron Achara leading the way with 21 points.
Finally, Surrey Scorchers’ Play-Off aspirations took a hit after they suffered back-to-back defeats at the weekend. After succumbing to a 91-74 loss at Leicester Riders on Saturday, the Scorchers just came up short at Cheshire Phoenix on Sunday, going down 81-74.