Panthers leave it late to prey on Pirates

BOGNOR PIRATES played away against another tall basketball team – Haywards Heath Panthers - and suffered an overtime 70-65 defeat.

The Bognor side came out well and saw some great movement of the ball in attack scoring 18 points in the first period, while Matt Wakeling and Rich Lowe did a good job on defence, holding Panthers to nine points for the period.

In the second, Pirates put on a press while continuing to drop back to their two-three defence, but Panthers were able to break this down, and with some weak passes from Pirates, they clawed back some points to finish just three points behind with Pirates leading 31-28.

Pirates upped the tempo again in the third period with the guards passing the ball inside to Rich Lowe for his long-arm shots.

With Matt Sharpe taking advantage of some turnovers with several fast breaks, they scored 14 of Pirates’ 19 points in that period between them.

There was a nice three-pointer from Alex DeHaan and a near three-pointer resulting in a two-pointer from James Parker.

At the start of the fourth, Pirates were sitting with a lead of 50-43 but despite some fast breaks to the hoop by James Bennett, with a further five points, Panthers kept the ball outside on offence and secured two three-pointers to bring the game to within three points in the last minute.

Panthers were desperate and knew they had to put up another three-pointer to tie the game and go to extra-time. Panthers put up the shot, contested by Rich Lowe, and the three went on to tie the game 62-62 with Lowe fouled out on his fifth.

In extra-time Pirates were down to just six players with MVP Lowe out and Marcus Morling sustaining a knee injury, and they could only manage three points to Panthers’ eight.

Scorers: R Lowe 15, M Sharpe 14, M Wakeling 12, J Bennett 7, A DeHaan 6, J Parker 4, K Greenway 4.