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THUNDER DROWN OUT WEARY MERSEY

Posted in: BBL by . January 6, 2013 / 16:53

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Worthing Thunder will fly the flag for non-league sides in the last eight of the BBL Trophy after they crushed Mersey Tigers 84-64.

The hosts, who left the BBL two years ago, raced into a 25-16 lead in the first quarter and consolidated their advantage in the third as Mersey remain winless this season in all competitions.

It was the first time a EBL team have reached this stage of the Trophy and they will now host Cheshire in the next round.

“I had no idea about the stats of EBL clubs not progressing further than the first round but that doesn’t matter to me, the important thing is we won the game,” said Worthing coach Daniel Hildreth whose side are bottom of their league.

“I am thrilled that these young group of lads have beaten BBL opposition when at the end of the year we were bottom of the EBL without a win. It proves that we have never given up hope and good things come to those who wait.”

Bud Johnston led all scorers with 23 points with Hank Rivers supporting with a double-double of 18 points and 14 rebounds.

Glasgow Rocks escaped a major shock after scraping a 72-61 win over Edinburgh Kings to bag a spot in the last eight of the BBL Trophy.

But the amateurs threatened an upset with a brave showing at The Pleasance before Sterling Davis’ men eventually booked a showdown with Sheffield in the quarter-finals.

Kings guard Lee Reilly pulled off a sensational display, firing 23 as the Scottish League champions traded the lead nine times against their full-time rivals.

But Glasgow did just enough to keep their dreams alive of making their way to March’s final at their Emirates Arena home.

Davis said: “I wasn’t surprised by how good they were. I knew they’d come out with a lot of intensity. So I’m definitely relieved that we’re still in the competition. We’ll take it one round at a time but we really want to be in that final.”

After the visitors bagged a 33-27 half-time lead, Reilly reeled off a 6-0 run to draw Edinburgh level.

Scotland skipper Gareth Murray, who scored a game-high 28, eventually put Glasgow ahead for good with five minutes left in the third period.

And they eventually surged clear in the fourth despite a gritty show from the Kings.

EBL side Reading Rockets couldn’t live  with Surrey Heat who delivered a 86-68 win to set up to home clash with Leicester.

Durham improve league hopes

In the league, Durham Wildcats boosted their play-off hopes by edging out Cheshire Phoenix 100-96 at Newton Aycliffe.

Ralph Bucci and Keith Page hit 23 points each as Durham led by as many as 17 points at 74-57 midway through the third period.

Cheshire tried valiantly to get themselves right back into the game, and did so by closing the gap down to 98-96 with 23 seconds remaining in the game before the Wildcats secured the victory from the foul line.

While Plymouth Raiders – despite the absences of Jeremy Bell and Mike Ojo – thrashed a woeful Glasgow 97-69.

After trailing 44-41 at half-time, the off-key Scots were ripped apart in the third quarter as the short-handed visitors reeled off a devastating 21-4 run.

And Plymouth, led by a game-high 28 from Drew Lasker, eventually pulled as much as 20 clear in the fourth as the Rocks came apart.

“It’s just unacceptable and I told the guys that,” said Rocks coach Sterling Davis. “When we give up 97 points, we’re just not going to get results. We preach defence all the time but it wasn’t there and I don’t know what happened.”

After trailing 44-41 at half-time, the shoddy Scots were ripped apart in the third quarter as the short-handed visitors reeled off a devastating 21-4 run.

And Plymouth, led by a game-high 28 from Drew Lasker, eventually pulled as much as 20 clear in the fourth as the Rocks came apart.

On Saturday, Zaire Taylor had 25 points as Leicester Riders held off a second half comeback from Worcester to take an 89-82 victory over the Wolves.

While 18 points from Sam Cricelli led Surrey Heat to an 84-76 defeat of Durham.

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