Killamarsh Arrows head coach praises his side’s response at Loughborough Riders

Killamarsh Linbraze Arrows v Ipswich Basketball, pictured is captain James Kelly
Killamarsh Linbraze Arrows v Ipswich Basketball, pictured is captain James Kelly

Killamarsh Arrows head coach Andrew Purnell hailed his side’s 92-77 win at Loughborough Riders as one of the best performances of the season for his promotion chasers.

The north Derbyshire outfit brushed off last week’s disappointment to table toppers Lancashire Spinners with a clincical display against fifth-placed Riders.

Purnell, whose team sit third, said: “This was one of the best team performances we have had this season. Loughborough are a strong and talented team and we came into it knowing only our best would do. Thankfully we had several high level performances none more so than Cameron McCallum, Joseph Baugh and Andre Rankine, who all showed the leadership and scoring we needed.”

Arrows survived an early scare to recover and finish the first quarter strong, thanks to a piece of individual brilliance from Rankine, to turn it around 23-18. Arrows, playing on the home court of the BBL Leicester Riders, were comfortable and McCallum showed why he is so highly thought of with an array of eyecatching offensive moves.

Sam Spare made an immediate impact on his return before Rankine finished the quarter by hitting a three-pointer as time expired to extend the Arrows’ lead to 12. Defensively, Arrows looked strong, and they were taking full advantage on the offensive, moving the scores along to 65-50 before Riders responded in the fourth.

A flurry of key baskets brought the deficit down to ten but the Arrows endured and showed the same resilience to see the game out.

“I believe as a team this was the most complete game we have played since I have been here,” said Chris Dixon, who led the scoring with 25.