Coach Jonathan Kelly hailed one of his side’s best performances of the season as Linbraze Derbyshire Arrows beat bottom-of-the-table London Greenhouse Pioneers for a vital win in the National Men’s Basketball League.
After four defeats in five matches, Arrows had slid too close to the foot of the Second Division for comfort. But aggressive defence and well-organised offence resulted in success over Pioneers by 89 points to 62. They won every quarter and visibly grew in confidence throughout the game.
“This is the type of performance that the team has been building towards, and finally we saw it on the court,” said Kelly. “If we can replicate this type of intensity and attacking execution, there are other wins out there for this developing group.”
Arrows shook up their usual starting line-up, but it worked as they soon got on top of a bigger London side. James Kelly set the ball rolling with a series of assists for Andreas Lycoudis and talisman Joseph Baugh.
They continued to play well in the second quarter when Matt Wilson and Kendal Glapion were prominent and, showing a new intensity in defence, they reached the halfway stage of the match with a 38-29 advantage.
Arrows clearly had their game faces on as the second half began, and the third quarter became the most entertaining of the game as they scored 29 points, which clearly demoralised ther confused visitors, who found themselves trailing 67-44. There were standout performances at both ends, with Baugh and Wilson very much to the fore.
The confident hosts continued to battle in the fourth quarter, which featured an eyecatching spell from Aidan Dennison, who completed an ‘and one’, as well as several smart plays, showing he is settling in nicely at this level now.
As Arrows completed their success, the individual points’ tallies read: Baugh 22, Lycoudis 17, Glapion 14, Wilson ten, Dennison seven, Napthali Nembhard six, Pav Malik six and James Kelly two.
The win lifted them into ninth place in the 12-team table, level on points with Team Birmingham Elite but only four points behind the team in fourth position, Sussex Bears.
“We have struggled in matches away from home so far, but our season will clearly be defined by our performances at home in front of strong and vocal support,” said a team spokesman.