For the fourth consecutive away match this season, Hull Wasps returned home from their away game with a defeat after losing 86-82 to the Stockport Spartans
Ben Burns was still absent due to illness but the team was virtually unchanged from last week’s impressive victory over Newcastle Knights, with Mark Baker’s replacing Jimmy Coulson the only change. Confidence was at a premium as the Wasps tipped off, but, led by ex-England international Jason Swaine, the Spartans controlled the early exchanges and opened up an early 6 point lead at the end of the quarter: 22-16.
Both teams exchanged baskets in the second quarter and despite Blatherwick and Brutnell continuing their fine form from the Knights game. the Wasps could not close the gap, trailing 43-37 at half time.
The Spartans dominated the opening minutes of the third quarter as they took advantage of defensive lapses by the Wasps to open up a 20-point lead. Coach Fawcett called a timeout to reorganise his team and his words had the desired effect as his side gradually chipped away at the defecit, reducing it to 8 points at the end of the third quarter. 64-56.
With Matt Brutnell and James Rayner working hard on the inside the Wasps quickly reduced the gap back to 4 points as they used their speed advantage over Spartans’ big men to good measure. However that was as close as they would get as Swaine continued to knock down his shots on the way to a game-high 30 points and lead his team to a 4 point victory of 86-82.
Aidy Blatherwick led the Wasps in scoring with 19 points, along with Matt Brutnell who continued his fine start to the season, whilst James Rayner had his best game so far finishing with 16 points.
That defeat leaves Wasps in 8th position in the V-cars.co.uk division 4 with a 1-3 record after their victory over Bradford Maroons was deemed void due to the Maroons dropping out of the league.
The Wasps’ next match is Saturday 17th November v Liverpool, tip off 6.30pm at Ennerdale Leisure Centre, and then at home again on Sunday 18th November when they entertain high-flying Tees Valley Mohawks II in the 3rd round of the National shield. Tip off 4.30pm.
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