On Saturday at Lynnsport Lynn Fury were edged out 58-52 when welcoming fourth place Shropshire Warriors.
Earlier in the year a short handed Fury side had slipped to a narrow eight-point loss so the players hoped to put a dent in the visitors’ playoff hopes.
A good start with Jack Ford landing a three saw Fury leading 14-10 after the first period despite not firing on all cylinders.
In the second period Fury continued to misfire and still couldn’t find any commitment to pressure defence with silly fouls resulting in easy points for Shropshire. The visitors went into the half down two.
The third period would be decisive with Fury only managing to score four points as several layups and free throws were missed. To compound the situation Fury just seemed to lack effort on the defensive end and Warriors took full advantage to move into a commanding 16 point lead.
As the fourth period ran down it seemed Fury were just outclassed on the day but with four minutes remaining the small but noisy crowd finally came to life and sparked the players. All of a sudden Fury were everywhere on defence and Shropshire couldn’t find any easy options.
This pressure allowed Fury to play in transition and Edga Lomsargis landed back to back three point plays. With under two minutes to play Fury closed the gap to just five points but a Kerr turnover followed by Jasiunas missing a layup allowed Shropshire to survive.
Fury captain Edga Lomsargis said: “We are all frustrated after the game today, it perhaps shows how far we have come as a squad that we felt we could win. As players we have to take more responsibility for playing with energy on the defensive end if we do that we have a good chance to win our last two games.”
Head coach James Bamfield said: “That was a real Jekyll and Hyde performance. For 35 minutes I wasn’t very happy with how we played, we just did a terrible job of letting them do whatever they wanted on offence and indecisive in possesion. But we put together five minutes of real old school aggressive pressure high scoring Fury basketball. The challenge moving forward is to decide who in the squad is committed to our style of play to ensure we produce that type of performance for 40 minutes.
“On another positive note Dontas Zakaras again showed his promise and should be a key player next year while Gerardis Simaitis made a great debut and played very well.”
On Sunday Fury travel to Nottingham Hoods, 4pm.
l Ben Rayner and Eivydas Kriunas combined for 47 points as the u-16’s won their third straight game in U16 NBL action to move to 9 & 9 on the season.
A good first quarter saw Fury take a 22–15 lead but then inexperience against a zone allowed Leopards back into the game. Fury trailed by one at half-time but always had another gear to go into. A great third quarter meant they were up by 12 going into the fourth and comfortably saw the game out, winning 84–62.