CWA Lynn Fury 72
Brentwood Fire 80
CWA Fury’s play-off hopes were burned by Brentwood Fire as they suffered a demoralising defeat at Lynnsport on Sunday.
CWA Fury took to the floor for a game perceived to be of crucial importance as they fight it out with the Fire and Cambridge Cats for play-off places.
Last season Fury finished behind both; missing out on a play-off spot when narrowly beaten in the last game of the season by the Cats.
Having already lost to both on their travels, and seen the Cats benefit from a walk-over victory against previously undefeated Barking and Dagenham, Fury knew that a win was imperative. Winning all their remaining fixtures would leave them in pole-position for a play-off berth.
What a start they enjoyed! Eivydas Aleska was prominent as Fury surged into a 17-10 lead after eight minutes. Even better was their run of nine unanswered points before Fire replied to give them a 26-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Fury were dominant in the early stages of the second quarter demonstrating good ball and player movement to stretch their lead to 16 points at 39-23 midway through the period. Although the Fire reduced the deficit slightly Fury could be well satisfied with a 47-35 interval lead which was reflective of their excellent play.
Immediately after the break it was clear that Brentwood were fired-up for the challenge.
They responded to Fury’s first half display by upping the intensity of their defence, pressing harder and this paid early dividends. Fire’s pressure was behind a 16-4 run which saw them wipe-out Fury’s interval lead and tie the scores at 51.
Thomas Liberis managed to convert a free throw and a triple to stabilise the Fury and this saw them enter the final quarter ahead by the narrowest of margins, 56-55.
Fire were not to be doused so easily and began the final quarter with a 10-2 run which meant that Fury were required to chase the game. The slick passing and interplay of the first half seemed a distant memory as Fury struggled to find a way back into the contest.
Consecutive baskets from Aleska reduced the arrears but Fire again responded to take a 70–64 lead with three minutes remaining.
Fury is a team capable of scoring in a rush and managed to draw to within two on a Jonas Pranevicius three. When Fire scored again early in the last minute Fury were forced to send them to the line and conceded a further four points from the stripe as Fire sent Fury to a defeat which dealt their play-off hopes a real body blow.
Aleska led the Fury with 24 points. Deividas Butketvicius, 12, and Liberis, 10, also notched double figure scores.
Fury must get quickly back on track when they face Oakland College Wolves at Lynnsport tomorrow (6pm). Nothing other than a victory will do as they need to ‘win out’ for the remainder of the season and hope that other results go their way.