In the first game back after the Christmas/new year break, Bognor Pirates lost 55-49 at home to Bexhill Giants.
Having lost at Bexhill in the first game of the season, Pirates were hoping for a win on their home court.
But when the Bexhill team arrived they certainly lived up to their name with several players taller than the Pirates and this showed in the number of rebounds obtained by the Giants.
Bexhill opened the scoring but despite a flurry of baskets from Rob Stapeley, Giants led the way.
Pirates changed to a full-court press but even when they got the fast breaks they couldn’t convert at the other end, missing several lay-ups.
The first quarter ended with the Pirates 15-9 down.
The next period saw an improvement from Pirates and their two big men Matt Wakeling and Luke Attfield matched up to their Giants counterparts, scoring some valuable points from within the paint which helped Pirates crawl back to tie the half-time score at 25-25.
In the third, Rich Lowe found more energy, securing a valuable six points with Matt Sharpe collecting a further four points from fast breaks, and while Bognor led until the eighth minute of the period, that was soon to change with Bexhill securing a further six points, enabling them to finish 38-37 up.
Bexhill went on the run in the fourth, denying Pirates the ball and preventing them from scoring until the third minute.
A few more points for Pirates followed but Giants had a good run, denying the home side from catching up again and even a three-point buzzer-beater from Matt Sharpe wasn’t enough for the loyal home supporters.
MVP went to Rob Stapeley who, with James Bennett, worked tirelessly on hustling the ball.
PIRATES: M Sharpe 12, R Lowe 10, R Stapeley 7, C Jackson 6, M Wakeling 6, R Knight 4, L Attfield 4, A Robbins, J Parker, J Bennett.
The Pirates’ next home game is on Saturday, January 26 versus Eastbourne Hotshots (7pm) at The Arena Sports Centre - all support welcome.