Hull Wasps will tip off against Liverpool in V-cars.co.uk division 4 on Saturday, hoping to return to winning ways after last weekend's agonising defeat to Stockport Spartans.
Liverpool basketball club have been established for many years and have competed in division 4 for the last four seasons. The 2011-12 season was their best yet as they finished with a creditable 10-12 record in 8th place. Their overall record stands at 15-67; however, they have started this season steadily and are currently one position above the Wasps in 8th.
Last season, the Wasps shared the honours against Liverpool, winning comfortably at home with 83-57, before losing their first ever match having won the previous 7 encounters, 56-69, a result which ultimately ended hopes of a playoff position.
That defeat may well give the Wasps extra incentive to record a much needed win; however, Liverpool are a vastly improved outfit this season. Primarily a very young team with the stars of the squad being graduates of Liverpool's all conquering u-18 team, they include three players signed by BBL side Mersey Tigers, two of whom, Niall Mullan and Jack Hudson, have experience at the highest level this season. Top scorer David Ulph has also signed for the Tigers and makes up a trio with excellent pedigree that the Wasps will have to work hard to contain.
Sunday's visitors Tees Valley Mohawks II provide a formidable obstacle for the Wasps as they aim to progress to the quarter finals of the National Shield for the first time in their history.
The Wasps have a good record against the Mohawks in the Shield, having beaten them in two previous encounters and recorded their all time high score (118) in this competition. Indeed, the Wasps' alltime record against Tees Valley is equally impressive, being victorious in 7 of 10 encounters in the last four years. Last season saw the Wasps win at home with 81-80, but lose away with 65-73.
The Mohawks II have been established for five seasons, are the second team for V-cars.co.uk Division 2 side Tees Valley Mohawks, and are coached by legendary Mohawk Tony Hanson.
The Mohawks have spent all five of those seasons in division 4 with an overall record of 45-54, but, like Liverppol last season, it was their best to date as they finished with a 12-10 record and one place behind the Wasps in 6th place.
This season the Mohawks are unbeaten in all competions and lead the league with a 3-0 record. They are led by the high scoring Romann Nelson who had a career-high 37 points in the Mohawk's win over Mold Magic. Alex Moore is an impressive guard who recorded a triple double in the match versus Mold Magic and Laurence Smith can also contribute big scores when needed.
Unbeaten at home this season, the Wasps hope to extend their winning streak to 6 at fortress Ennerdale this weekend. Tip off on Saturday 17th November v Liverpool is 6.30pm and on Sunday 18th November v Tees Valley Mohawks at 4.30pm.
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