Basketball: Marjon of victory is pleasing for Pirates

Bognor Pirates enjoyed a well-earned 72-60 National League victory against a strong Plymouth side who defeated the Pirates by 26 points earlier in the season.

The game was cagey to begin with as both teams trading baskets, Lee Barnes finding his way through the opposition’s defence and sinking some easy buckets.

This was the story for much of the first quarter and the Pirates trailed by just three points after ten minutes.

The second quarter saw the Pirates’ defence tighten up, inspired by the energy and determination of Buksevics protecting the hole and team-mates Wilson and Stapely taking hard-hit charges on the chin. Stapely literally received one on the chin and had to take a trip to A&E for his troubles.

This quarter also saw Pirates point-guard Robbins take over as he made several successful drives to the basket and seemed unstoppable.

Half-time saw the Pirates 38-28 to the good.

At the start of the second half, Plymouth were determined to get back in it but something rarely seen this year, man-to-man defence, kept the visitors at bay. Roythorne and Turner chipped in with some beautifully-worked shots to keep Plymouth away from the lead.

At the start of the final quarter, the Pirates held a 12-point lead. They knew some tough defence and solid offensive plays to keep the scoreboard ticking over would result in a superb home win.

Attfield and Lowe, providing the muscle off the glass, denied Plymouth any second-chance opportunities while seven-footer Attfield, just 16, showed the composure of a man twice his age at the other end to finish some well-worked moves.

The result was never in doubt and it delighted a raucous home crowd, meaning the team consolidate eighth spot in the league, dropping local rivals Solent Smugglers down to ninth.

PIRATES SCORERS: M Robbins 22, L Attfield 14, L Barnes 10, R Lowe 7, K Wilson 6, R Stapely 5, D Turner 4, G Roythorne 4, J Maclaren, N Buksevics, S Hardyman.

* Bognor Pirates’ next home game is against Portsmouth Smugglers this Saturday (Feb 18) at The Arena Sports Centre, The Regis School, Bognor. Tip-off is at 7pm – all support will be welcome. Tickets: £3 for adults, £2 students/concesions, £1children, £5 family.