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Coventry Crusaders (56) 102
Sutton Pumas (38) 98

Coventry’s basketball teams got some much needed cheer at the weekend, with the Crusaders and the Quality Cats recording home victories.

The Quality Cats registered their second league win with a 73-58 victory in the relegation dogfight with the St Albans Saints.

The Crusaders again faced a tense finish as the lead switched as both teams took it into turns to surge forwards.

The first quarter was a tight affair with the teams trading baskets.  Laws from Sutton was the hottest shooter as he had chalked up 12 points in the opening ten minutes of play to give the Pumas a 24-22 edge.

In the second quarter the Crusaders turned their offence up a notch, letting Marvin Livingston loose.

He continued his first quarter shooting by adding two more three pointers to his total, and combined with Matt Collins and Derrick Pope who were scoring at will against the Pumas’ collapsing defence.

Collins had netted 20 points by half time and the screaming hometown supporters had the feeling they could be on the verge of watching a massacre.

But the team lost the momentum at half time, and the 56-38 lead quickly started to evaporate.

Laws was on fire again, adding another ten points in the quarter. Sutton also used 6ft 10ins James Cook well, and he quickly scored 14 points.

By the end of the third quarter the Pumas had stolen the initiative, leading 76-75.

Both teams dug their heels in for the final sessions, as each could sense victory was in their grasp.

The Pumas led for the first six minutes of the quarter but un the closing minutes the lead switched hands a number of times. The game was in the balance at 96 apiece with 41 seconds left to play. 

When Pumas missed a chance to go ahead with two missed free throws the Crusaders took control.

The teams both went to the line, stopping the clock over and over again in an effort to regain control, as the seconds continued to tick by.

At the final buzzer the home town Crusaders and their delirious supporters celebrated their first home win of 2001.

Crusaders head coach Dip  Donaldson said:

“The great crowd support, the special music from the Nexus College band, Alvin Scott’s early blocked shots and the good lead we had at the start, all contributed to setting the tone of the evening.

“In the end we made the right moves and set up the right plays to pull off the win.

“When Collins, Pope and Harrison all score in high double figures it sets the table for the rest of the team.

“When one or more players comes off the bench and scores well for us on top of that it just lifts the team so much. Tonight that was Livingston.  He hit 13 points for us.

“Having Manny Sharland and Colin Rhooms back was a bonus as they alternately came in with their quick defensive pressure. Nicholas Pope was also steady on the floor when he came in to run the point for us.

“On top of that Scott played well, blocking shots and rebounding.  It was a good overall performance by our side and I am happy with the win.”

Crusaders: Rhooms 2, Davis 4, Scott 7, Livingston 13, Harrison 20, D. Pope 21, Collins 35

Pumas: Williams 2, Jones 2, Lloyd 10, Powlesland 10, Cook 14, Bristol 16, Hopper 18, Laws 26
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CWN / Sport / Basketball / Coventry Crusaders / 15 Jan 01
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