LIONS TAMED AS ROCKS ROLL BY, BBL ROUND-UP

Milton Keynes Lions were tamed in the opening game of their BBL, crushed 115-88 at Glasgow Rocks.

DeAundre Cranston grabbed 19 points and 10 rebounds as the hosts broke their duck.

The Kelvin Hall outfit went ahead for good in the third minute but left the Lions for dead with a 15-0 run in the second quarter.

And after building a 61-34 half-time lead, Sterling Davis’ men went as much as 34 ahead in the third to coast to their first win of the new campaign.

Davis said: “It was really important to bounce back from losing our opener because that one slipped away from us. We came out with more intensity and heart offensively and defensively and it really showed here. But every game is a test for us right now.”

Gareth Murray fired a game-high 20 points for Glasgow while Demarius Bolds led the out-classed Lions with 34.

Saturday: Raiders progress

Plymouth Raiders moved into the last four of the BBL Trophy with a hard fought 87-83 victory over Guildford Heat.

The lead changed hands several times during the match but a decisive 13-6 run in the fourth quarter by Plymouth, which took the score to 77-71 proved crucial.

Anthony Rowe led the Raiders scoring with 20 points while Martelle McLemore for Heat was the game’s overall leader with 21.

A tight first quarter, which Raiders were shading 17-16 suddenly became a great period for Heat in the final minute. A 6-0 run with four points from Brandon Shingles gave the visitors a 22-17 lead.

Heat continued on their good run to take the score out to 29-19 on a McLemore two but after that it was all Plymouth as the home side chipped away at the Guildford advantage.

Lehmon Colbert split two free throws to end a 14-5 run to make it 33-34 before two Anthony Martin free throws answered a Julius Joseph bucket to send the teams in at half time with Heat holding a slender 35-36 lead.

Plymouth had the better of the opening minutes of the second half. A Paul Williams free throw gave Gavin Love’s team a five point lead at 43-38.

Heat responded with a 6-0 tear to go back in front at but Williams capped a 7-0 Raiders run to give Plymouth a 50-44 margin.

The topsy-turvy nature of the quarter continued with Guildford stringing together a 15-3 run to surge ahead and they took a 61-56 advantage into the final quarter which proved enough.

Friday: Newcastle signal intent with Sharks rout

In the BBL Championship, Newcastle Eagles crushed Sheffield Sharks 86-67 at the EIS with Joe Chapman bagging a game-high 30 points for the victors.

Fab Flournoy’s men started really strongly as they opened up an early 20-7 lead off the back of a 11-1 burst in the opening quarter and they kept extending their lead throughout the remainder of the game enjoying their biggest lead of the game at 84-59 with 2 minutes left.

Glasgow Rocks began the new league campaign as they finished the last one, with a frustrating defeat, as poor shooting saw the Kelvin Hall outfit slump to a 78-73 loss to Worcester Wolves. And although Sterling Davis’ new-look side threatened to snatch victory in the closing stages, there were enough flaws to suggest the American player-coach might have to consider personnel changes if a title challenge is to arise this term.

The hosts led by as much as seven after an 11-2 run in the second quarter before Worcester closed the gap to 39-37 at half-time. However as Glasgow’s foul count grew and their ability to convert shots shrank, the Wolves hit nine unanswered points to take a 56-53 lead into the fourth period.

With momentum behind them, Paul James’ men blasted 69-57 clear with four minutes left. And although as the Rocks – led by 21 from Mychal Green – produced a frenetic rally that cut the deficit to three with eight seconds left, England international David Watts secured victory from the foul line.

Cheshire Jets ended their Trophy campaign with a 74-62 victory over the Mersey Tigers at their new Knowsley Leisure Centre home with Matt Schneck being the star man for the Jets as he netted an impressive 21 points.

In the second quarter, the Tigers who enjoyed the better of the period as they outscored the Jets 19-16 to trim the deficit to just two points at 34-32 at the break.

In the second half both sides traded baskets in the early going of the third period, but the Jets broke the game open as they stepped up their intensity at both ends of the floor and they ended the quarter well to open up a 60-46 advantage heading into the final stanza.

In the final period the Tigers tried valiantly to get themselves back into the game but could not close the gap significantly enough to trouble the Jets as the visitors ran out comfortable winners.

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