The Nottingham McDonald’s Hoods made home court count after a long road trip to defeat Barking Abbey Crusaders 76-60, despite missing Powell and Watts. A slow start to the game saw Crusaders take an early 6 point lead before Welle and James to take over for the home team, trading buckets to push the Hoods into a 10 point lead at the end of the 1st, 22-12. James the star in his first start for the team, notching up 7 points and 4 rebounds in the first stanza.
Missing the top two scorers of the season so far in Powell in Watts meant the bench came into the game earlier than usual and certainly performed well in front of the home crowd of Merry Men. Ballentine hit the first pints of the quarter and continued to be a nuisance under the basket, whilst Maher hot a couple of 3s to push the lead up to 14. Olarerin did a great job pushing the basketball and getting some stops at the defensive end, backed up superbly by Williams who was providing some slap up defence. A lapse in concentration at the end of the half allowed Crusaders to close the gap back down to 34-24.
Mitchell started the 3rd quarter in typical fashion with a 3, which sparked a mini-run including a thunderous dunk by Slavic, much to the delight of the Merry Men. A couple of Brownell free throws and another lay-up from Slavic and the Hoods suddenly had an 18 point lead after only 7 minutes. The Hoods bench sparked into action again as first Nelson, the. Wright, then Nelson again hit 3s and the lead was a massive 27 by the end of the 3rd, 61-34.
With the game all but won, Coach Westley was able to rotate his bench to great effect and give youngsters, Nelson, Olarerin and 15 year old Pedro Eller so good game time and the6 all made a mark on the game, with Olarerin hitting a 3 of his own as the Hoods ran out 76-60 winners, with the bench contributing a staggering 35 points to the win.
It was good to see Nottingham born and and ex-Hoods Junior, Nathanial Powell contribute strongly to the Crusaders cause, with 10 points including a nice dunk of his own.
Coach Westley commented after the game, “I have a lot of respect for Coach Gardener and the Barking Abbey programme. They are going to be very strong and only get better as the season goes on, with a host of talented youngsters. From our side, I was really happy with the way we played as a unit to bounce back from last week’s tough defeat against Solent.”
Centre, Andrew Slavic added, “I’m really happy that we won tonight, especially because it was our first home game this season and we played without our two best scorers. All of the guys stepped up and played well at both ends of the floor”
#hoodsmvp – Cole Welle
Welle – 15 points – 7 rebounds – 1 assist
Slavic – 9 points – 9 rebounds – 1 assist
Ballentine – 9 points – 5 rebounds – 1 assist – 1 steal
James – 8 points – 5 rebounds – 1 assist
Maher – 8 points – 3 rebounds – 1 assist
Brownell – 6 points – 4 rebounds – 2 assist – 2 steals
Nelson – 6 points – 2 rebounds – 1 assist
Olarerin – 6 points – 3 rebounds – 1 assist
Wright – 5 points – 1 assist
Mitchell – 3 points – 3 rebounds – 4 assists – 1 steal
Williams – 1 point – 1 steal
Ellery – 1 assist