Outlaws Senior Men Have Another Winning Week
The Outlaws Senior Men’s first and second teams both had games this week. With the first team playing at home vs the Grantham Outlaws – A team that haven’t been featured in the Sherwood league in around 20 years. This year the Grantham side put a team into the SBL Cup, to see whether they could deal with the longer travel times to away games before fully commuting to the league.
The second team squared off against Racing Academy, one of the affiliated teams of the Derby Trailblazers, a club that the Outlaws seem to be playing nearly every week at some level!
The first team’s game started slow and sluggish, with team captain Chip Humphreys out with prior commitments and team top scorer James Wood out injured, the tempo was lacking and the players struggled to find their rhythm. As a result the referee’s whistle barely had to blow for the entire first quarter, as the Ilkeston Outlaws edged a 4 point lead to finish the quarter. After what seemed like 2 minutes!
The Grantham Outlaws managed to tie the game up at half time, As the Ilkeston defence started to slip, giving away 20 points.
As the game went on, the Outlaws managed to find some form at home, slowly picking up the tempo and easing into the game, winning both the third and fourth quarters by 5 and 6 respectively, mainly due to a great performance by both Zach Mairura and Tom Goshawk, who both scored new season high’s – With Zach taking home the MVP award for the game.
The team gave a special shout out to player-coach Liam Hayman Tansley, who missed all of his shots from 5 feet away from the basket, but miraculously hit a 40 foot shot from half court to finish the 3rd quarter, giving the team a bit more breathing room heading into the end of the game.
Overall, Ilkeston took the game 67-56
The second team’s game proved to be a more high-scoring affair, and started similarly with the Hawks (the official name for the Outlaws 2nd team) opening the scoring early. However short back-and-forth runs between the two sides made the game very even – The first quarter ending with Academy up 16 to 12.
Things were similar in the second, as both teams managed to split hairs over who would gain a lead. However the Hawks managed to edge ahead this quarter by 5, heading into half time down by just 1 point, 28-27
The Hawks started the second half rejuvenated, and ran a full court press with their younger players to force some key turnovers and gain a solid lead, and just when the Academy side got used to the pressure, the Hawks rotated in their older, more experienced players – keeping Academy on its toes and slowing the game down.
This tactic worked wonders, as the Hawks found themselves up 61-50 at the end of the 3rd.
To finish the game, the Hawks experience played out again, as the older guys controlled and calmed the game down. Coach Roberts gave a shoutout to Leon Cierech, who rises to mind when you talk of experience in this team, playing with the club since its inception 50 years ago!
The Hawks won the game 86 to 66 and fan-favourite Dave Conlon was voted match MVP, finishing as the top scorer with 18 points.
Neil Gorse – 14, Ethan Roberts – 13, James Pacey – 8, Darren Parr – 8, Richard George – 6, Leon Cierech – 5, Dave Tomo – 4, Jed Davies – 4, Ben Gorse – 2 & Darren Roberts – 2.