Bognor Pirates lost their undefeated home record and failed to avenge their overtime loss to the Haywards Heath Panthers earlier in the season, going down 76-58.
Right from the off, Haywards Heath, who took only eight players to the game, took control of the game with a nine-point run which left the home team struggling to find a basket – until Kevin Wilson got the Pirates under way.
However a scoring drought for the Pirates continued with Heath keeping Bognor to just ten points in the first quarter while Joel Conner of the Panthers poured in 17 of the Panthers’ 24 points.
The start of the second quarter saw a stronger Pirates team come out, with Andy Pleskys scoring well. But this did not last long as Conner again demonstrated how to score while the Pirates struggled to contain the Panthers without fouling and putting key Pirates players in foul trouble.
Remy Udras and Andy Plesky started opening up the Haywards Heath defence and trailed only 36-35 at halfway.
At the start of the third quarter both teams came out scoring, with passing becoming crisper and movement improved.
Defensive errors started to creep into the Pirates’ game which the Panthers took advantage of. The quarter ended with the Pirates 56-48 down.
The fourth quarter was no better for the Pirates… except one moment of magic from Matt Wakiling as the 6ft 10in centre showed everyone his ball-handling skills as he dribbled and spun in for a fantastic score.
But this was the only highlight in a woeful Pirates display dominated by Conner with 40 points.