Wasps Start 2013 with Dragons Win
Hull Wasps returned to winning ways in a thrilling encounter at Ennerdale Leisure Centre, defeating Bradford Dragons II 74-71 in a match that went right to the wire.
Coach Fawcett's team made a strong start to the match. A 10-0 run gave the Wasps a 21-9 lead at the end of the first 10 minutes, with Matt Brutnell in particularly fine form with 10 points in the quarter. Setting the scene for the match, Coach Fawcett rotated his players, giving 11 of his team court time.
By the third minute of the quarter the Wasps had extended their lead to 15 points after Jimmy Coulson nailed the first of his three 3-pointers in the game. However, any thoughts the 200-strong crowd had that this would be an easy victory were soon dispatched as Dragons' top scorer Rob Donaldson responded with 11 points in the quarter to close the gap to 10 points despite the efforts of Matt Wison who was beginning to dominate inside. H/t 39-29.
The 3rd quarter saw the Dragons dominate proceedings as the Wasps struggled to break their pressing defence with John Kelsey off the court in foul trouble. 10 points in the first 5 minutes including 2 3-pointers from dangerman Donaldson further reduced the Wasps' lead to 4 points. Brutnell responded with 6 points of his own, before a 9-0 run from Dragons gave them the lead. On the buzzer Coulson nailed another triple to give the Wasps the lead at 54-53.
Coulson continued where he left off with the first 6 points of the 4th quarter as he took advantage of the Dragons' defence leaving him wide open. The Dragons responded well though and levelled the match at 66-66 with 3 minutes to go. Aidy Blatherwick, who had 7 points in the quarter, hit a trademark 3 to regain the lead before Donaldson levelled with his 4th 3-pointer of the game. With the Dragons in foul trouble, the Wasps retained possession, forcing their opponents to foul and enabling Brutnell to seal the victory with four straight free throws in the final minute. Dragons still had a chance to tie but thier last gasp Hail Mary pass was intercepted, giving the Wasps a hard-fought win.
Coach Fawcett: "It was a good win. The Dragons were a tough team, but it was nice to start the year right. What I also love about our games is the amazing support we receive from our supporters. When you come to play against Hull, you are not just playing against the twelve guys in uniform! You are playing against the hundreds of fans in the stands too. That's what makes Hull such a good basketball city."
Rob Donaldson led all scorers with an impressive haul of 39 points for the Dragons.
Matt Brutnell continued his sensational season with 24 points including 12/13 free throws and 15 rebounds. He was backed up by Jimmy Coulson's season high 12 points 3/6 3 pointers and Aidy Blatherwick 11 points and 4 assists.
Scorers - Brutnell 24, Coulson 12, Blatherwick 11, Rymer 7, Wilson 6, Marr 5, Anderson 5, Baker 2, Kelsey 2.
Next match is 26th January v Mold Magic. Tip off 6.30pm at Ennerdale Leisure Centre.