West Craven Turbines 71-79 Chorley Cougars

Posted on October 26th, 2013

DSCF3354West Craven Turbines vs. Chorley Cougars

West Craven Turbines faced a tough challenge this week as they took on a Chorley Cougars side that were long waiting their first win against the Turbines. The Cougars had never beaten the Turbines and in the past this fixture has always gone to the wire, however, this was a much more improved Chorley side and with Turbines in excellent form both teams knew they were in for a tough night. This was also top of the table clash as both teams stood unbeaten at the top of the table with Turbines just a fraction ahead on points difference. It was also a step up for both teams in the standard of play as they previously had played new teams in the league.

Despite the lack of numbers for Turbines they had a strong team with all players being experienced in the league and all willing to make an impact on the game as this tie was always set to be a close game. The starting five was the same as the previous weeks with guards Ireton and Smith looking after the ball and forwards Marshall, Robinson and Gonzalez looking to get on the score sheet. Along with Widdup and Capps on the bench the Turbines had plenty of opportunities to rotate the game.

Turbines started out well with Marshall winning the tip, as Gonzalez would go to score the opening basket straight from the tip. After this Turbines could not have had a better start with Gonzalez providing offensive dominance under the hoop, Marshall hitting two 3s and Robinson earning ‘and ones’ on the drive. At this point Turbines took a comfortable lead at 15-4 but then the second half of the first quarter would show a lapse in the Turbines defense both failing to collect rebounds and close out Chorley’s array of three point shots ending the 1st 23-26.

The second quarter began with the Turbines and Cougars matched on offence strategies with both teams turning up the tempo. Capps and Widdup were brought in the game for Smith and Gonzalez with Widdup making an immediate impact on the scoresheet. However, lapses in concentration forced Ireton to call a time out. The game began to get heated with both teams playing strong and looking for the fast break which would lead to Turbines being a head at the half by just three points 39-42.

The third quarter would see Turbines press the ball well and force Cougars to turn the ball over giving them an excellent start just like in the first. The pressure began to get to Cougars as Widdup would prove fine shooting form close to the basket and collect points to provide the Turbines with an alternative scoring option. Along with a good vision of the game from guard Smith would earn him more assists on the stat line. Cougars would only then come out of a time out and chase after Turbines by closing the gap to just three points at the end of the third quarter the matter not help by Marshall picking up a back injury was forced to sit and not re-enter until late in the 4th qtr with the 3rd qtr ending 54-57.

The heat was on in the forth as Cougars would press the score sheet with some big threes and at the other end Gonzalez and Widdup would try and take the score away from the opponents. A good post move from Ireton also came in handy as Turbines had to match the Cougars well-preformed offence. A drop in play from the Turbines saw Chorley take to lead for the first time in the game as the earned themselves two points on the break and plenty of three throws. Signs for Turbines also looked bad, as Marshall looking injured had come back in the game as guard Smith fouled out. Turbines had then run out of ideas and had no options on the offence, which saw Cougars take the game well away from them in the closing minutes, ending the game 79-71 to Chorley.

A tough night for the Turbines as they watch Cougars get their well-earned victory against them, a blow to Turbines winning streak, however, a learning point for Turbines as the title challenge is wide open and the fixtures will now get harder with Turbines taking on title favorites LT United in the coming weeks. MVP of the night goes to Gonzalez as he provided the Chorley defense a lot to think about inside the key and on the boards. A positive mention to Widdup being the top scorer with 19ts after struggling in the first 3 games of the season, also a mention to Smith for his effort on court and his determination to win the game albeit falling short.

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