Bognor Pirates show they can stand the heat at Hackney

BOGNOR Pirates were itching to secure another National League win away to Hackney White Heat – and they got a 59-54 auccess to continue their 2011 winning run.

BOGNOR Pirates were itching to secure another National League win away to Hackney White Heat – and they got a 59-54 auccess to continue their 2011 winning run.

The pace was largely dictated by the Heat’s quickness and ability to score acrobatic shots at close range.

The Pirates showed their core strength of ball movement and controlled attack, with Turner straight away swishing a three-pointer. Hackney, however, retaliated with three consecutive baskets.

Although Pirates seemed to be on the back foot they responded confidently with composed passing, tying the first quarter 18-18.

The second quarter was owned by Rich Lowe who scored ten consecutive points for the Pirates and, combining with McLaren and Watson, proved hard for the Heat to counter.

Some lovely back-door cuts by the Pirates startled the Heat’s zone defence and left them shaken as they trailed 35-31 at half-time.

Matt Robbins took it upon himself to force fouls and poured in continuous shots from inside the paint and the foul line. This countered the fast-break points by the Heat, who were full of energy.

The Pirates stood strong and did not give away any unnecessary fouls. Wakeling distributed the ball well to give the Pirates a balanced offence and plenty of opportunities to score.

Although the Pirates missed some formidable plays at close range, this was overshadowed by the Heat’s lack of composure with the referees.

The Pirates took advantage, scoring a high percentage of their shots at the free-throw line. The third quarter finished 46-41 to the Pirates.

The fourth quarter saw Pirates move the ball calmly on offence, ending with Joe McLaren driving to the hoop for a three-point play. Without great outside shooting, Pirates again relied on their solid defence in the final quarter and managed to force turnovers from the Heat.

The Pirates, now used to very close games, were comfortable with a five-point lead.

The Heat tried to capitalise with their speed, to no avail. The Pirates’ experience took over and they reacted positively, keeping calm heads in the crucial final minutes.

Lee Barnes hit a jump shot after a balanced offensive play which rewarded the Pirates’ patience. The Pirates continued to hit their foul shots and even a late three-point foul on the Heat didn’t sway the momentum.

This gave the Pirates four consecutive victories in the National League.

PIRATES: Lowe 18, Robbins 17, McLaren 14, Barnes 4, Turner 3, Wakeling 2, Watson 1.