The McDonald’s Nottingham Hoods go into the 2014/15 season Christmas break with a 91-102 victory away to local rivals Derby Trailblazers leaving them at the top of the league ahead of Liverpool.
Local rivalry games are always physical, action packed and nail biting and serve as an exciting confrontation for the spectators and fans! This weekend proved to be no exception. With an excited squad raring to go after an amazing 1st half of the season and Spanish player Alvaro Guerra returning home to complete his studies the Hoods went into the game with both confidence and apprehension.
The starting 5, consisting of Dameatric Scott, Lukasz Siczek, Kirk Davis, Ben Stanley and England under 18 Luke Mitchell, started the game and set the pace, tempo and intensity early on.
Scott got the first points from a power play close to the basket followed by a tip-in and a fast and furious break by Polish penetrator, Lukasz Siczek, getting fouled on the way to the basket and hitting the bonus shot. Trailblazers however hit back with back to back big three 3-pointers to stun the Hoods into causing Coach Phil Waghorn to take a late time out.
In the second, the Hoods started to find their form with Scott dominating inside, Stanley’s slow motion antics and big scores as well as huge shots from Davis and Mitchell. This was the Hoods that the travelling crowd had expected to see and the team were gelling well on court and patiently waiting for the easy shot rather than forcing the tough one. Coming off the bench Kieran Wright and Captain Apostolidis made a huge and instant impact hitting big shots and hussling hard at both ends of the court. The Hoods finished the half up 48-49.
The Blazers started the third finding their range again to pull the deficit back, but solid work from guards Mitchel, Apostolidis, and Stanley kept the Hoods offence ticking over. A couple of quick baskets by Hoods at the end of the quarter pulled them out in front, but only juts as the Hoods led 66-67, with 10 minutes to go.
In the final quarter the Hoods stepped up a gear as Scott continued his domination inside. England international Luke Mitchell also made a huge contribution in controlling the offences and hitting massive threes and Siczek was causing chaos until injury struck meaning he had to leave the game and not return. The Hoods had the game won mid-way through the quarter and so were able to control the game, causing Derby to get into foul trouble – much to the delight of the strong travelling support.
General Manager Lee English commented, “Glad to finally get back in the habit of winning! Derby shot well today to keep it close throughout. On the whole I am pleased with our efforts and the team’s ability to stick to Coach Waghorn’s game plan.
England under 18 Luke Mitchel commented, “A win over Derby is always good especially after they were trying to recruit me in the summer to playing for them. I’m glad I made the decision to stay in my home city and represent The Nottingham Hoods. Bring on the start of 2015 and the chase for the Championship.”
Top Scorers: Scott 33; Mitchell 20 and Siczek 14
The Hoods band of merry men has been amazing this year and is growing on a weekly basis. If you would like to watch a game of become a part of the Hoods family the check out www.hoodbasketball.com or follow @hoodsbasketball on Twitter