Hull Wasps progressed to the quarter final of the National Shield on Sunday when they beat the previously undefeated Teeside Mohawks in a thrilling encounter at Ennerdale Leisure Centre.
The Wasps swarmed all over their opponents from the tip off, with Captain John Kelsey leading his team with 7 points in the first quarter as they easily coped with the Mohawks' full court pressure, to lead 28-19.
Into the second quarter and the Mohawks continued with the pressure defence, however Coach Fawcett rotated his bench to keep the players fresh enabling eight Wasps to score and continue to score at will, breaking the press time and time again for easy scores. Matt Brutnell led the way with 10 points giving Wasps a massive lead of 23 points at half time as they racked up their highest quarter score of the season with 31 points.
Within four minutes of the third quarter the Mohawks were back to within 12 points as their Captain Thompson scored 11 points and defensively they were able to contain the Wasps by changing to a zone defence. Despite 2 three-pointers from Aidy Blatherwick the Wasps lead was down to 10 by the end of the third quarter.
Both teams traded scores until the seventh minute of the final quarter when Thompson and the dangerous Lawrence Smith combined for 9 quick points to reduce the Wasps' lead to 2 with just 1 minute 30 to go. Matt Brutnell scored from close in with 35 seconds remaining and on the next play blocked Thompson's shot and fed Miles Anderson who was fouled in the process of a breakaway lay up. The Mohawks were called for an unsportsmanlike foul and with Anderson hitting both free throws and scoring from the resulting possession the Wasps triumphed 88-80.
The Wasps' victory sees them in the quarter final of the National Shield for the first time ever in Wasps' history, where they will play V-cars.co.uk 3rd division high flyers Ipswich Tomcats. This is also the first time that Tees Valley have lost in this season, making the Wasps' victory against the League leaders all the more impressive.
Coach Fawcett: "I'm so pleased for the team. We only had one goal this weekend and that was take two wins. This weekend has been fantastic for team morale and the team have really proved themselves as worthy opponents. To make the quarter-finals of the National Shield is a huge achievement and a first for this club. The players should be so proud of their effort."
Matt Brutnell once again put in an MVP performance with 22 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. He was however pushed for the honour by John Kelsey who had a season high 17 points to go with 8 assists.
Scorers; Brutnell 22, Kelsey 17, Rymer 13, Blatherwick 12, Anderson 9, Rayner 5, Burns 4, Wilson 2, Coulson 2, Hewson 2.
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