King’s Lynn Fury dug themselves a huge First Quarter hole from which they were unable to escape as they fell 68-89 against Nottingham Hoods II in National League Division Four (Midland) at Lynnsport on Saturday evening.
Fury’s developing side have been learning lessons in what has been a bumpy ride so far this season and were hopeful of maintaining the run of home form which has seen them win three on the bounce against a team coming into the game with a 1 and 5 record.
Against the Hoods they came out with great defensive intensity, putting the opposition under pressure in an attempt to forge a quick start.
Whilst the tactic was justified, the execution was poor. When playing aggressive defensively players need a clear mind as they need to ensure that the transition to offence comes with good decision making. This was not the case as Fury made a number of poor decisions as a result of rushing their offensive play.
At the other end of the court their defence became more ragged leading to the Hoods paying six separate visits to the Free Throw line in the opening period.
Having led 6-3 in the opening minutes, Fury gave up 14 unanswered points and went without a field goal until the closing minute of the frame to trail 22-11 heading into the break.
Coach James Bamfield had his team revert to a zone defence to help them regain some composure and control and they were able to match the visitors for most of the second quarter with Edgar Lomsargis working hard to spark the offence from the point guard position and contributing a welcome triple which kept the margin within reach at 33-21.
However, a late 10-1 burst saw the Hoods take a firm grip on proceedings as they headed into the intermission with a substantial 46-25 advantage.
With the home side kept in the changing room for the entire half time they emerged with a much more energetic approach and this led to a 10-2 run, including six from Ethan Allen, which gave fans hope that they were back on track.
Unfortunately the team could not sustain the run and after a period of relative calm it was the Hoods who sparked again using an 11-1 run to consolidate their grip on affairs.
Fury trailed 63-41 heading into the fourth and realised that a supreme effort was required to turn things around.
Fury knew the minimum requirement would be to score at least thirty points whilst keeping the Hoods below ten. This seemed unlikely but Jardel Kerr gave a clear indication that he believed hitting three consecutive baskets which sparked a 13-2 run which saw belief surge through the players. Despite the fact that they still faced a 65-54 deficit the run had taken little time off the clock and a continuation might have seen them right back in contention.
Strangely, the players then opted to move away from that which had been successful. Having scored most of their points driving to the basket they suddenly launched three consecutive three point attempts, none of which were particularly good looks.
The game then turned the way of the Hoods as, from 67-56 they found a score, Fury immediately turned the ball over and a second basket pushed the margin back to 15.
Artunas Jasiunas pulled one back for Fury but then a dagger triple pushed the lead back out to sixteen at 76-60 with just over three minutes to play and the belief finally faded from the Fury side. As they became ragged Hoods closed out the contest with a 10-2 run.
Fury were led by Kerr who grabbed 16 points, whilst Allen and Lomgargis added 13 apiece. The Hoods were paced by Truzzell Spencer who was a constant thorn in Fury’s side amassing 33 points.
Coach James Bamfield said: “As a group we were all very disappointed with the first half display. We lacked focus and effort and when you are also giving up experience and lack fundamentals you are going to struggle.
“I spoke to the guys very candidly at half time and made it clear that the effort and focus on both ends of the floor was unacceptable. I was therefore really pleased with the response in the second half and that we were able to close the lead from 20 to 8.
“Unfortunately individual offensive errors again caused turnovers and they were able to close us out.
“We will continue to work on our basic fundamentals of triple threat, movement off ball and passing under pressure and I am confident this group will establish a great identity. That identity must be based on getting defensive stops though we can’t have a lack of effort on the defensive end like we had in the first half today.”