Bears v London Titans 2, Bears 2 v London Titans 3 and Bears 3 v Wolverhampton WSC
First Division South
Bears : 56
London Titans 2: 54
The Bears first team opened their 2017-18. Season with an incredible performance. Facing London Titans 2, the team that pipped them for second spot in the previous season, the Bears pulled together to deliver a game that may go unparalleled for the remainder of the season . The game saw Rob Whale make his debut, after signing for the Bears over the summer.
From the tip off both teams competed in a tense, hard fought battle. Neither team was able to gain any headway as they met one another basket for basket, to end the quarter with only one point separating them: Bears 15 – 16 Titans.
The second quarter continued this end to end excitement, with both teams scoring basket for basket. The Titans pulled forward in an eight point lead half way through the second quarter; the fantastic shooting of Andy Dear leaving all spectators in awe. All was not lost, however, as the Bears called a time out and regrouped to come back and bring the scores back to a close one point lead: Bears 29 – 30 Titans .
The second half saw a re-run of the first with the two teams battling to get a lead and both meeting each other point for point. The whistle blew on the penultimate quarter with Titans in possession a narrow lead; the stage was set for an epic battle in the last quarter. Bears 42 – 44 Titans.
The final quarter was as nail biting could be imagined, with each shot and each play heavily contested by both teams. The Titans kept their lead till the final minutes, as the Bears kept trying to claw back the scores. Their task was an arduous one, as they were unable to stop the impressive trio off Andy Dear and the Weeks’ brothers, Andy and Chris. The Bears finally got their chance to pull level, with only 58 seconds left on the clock, and they seized it was the full force of the team. Dan Gill faced a foul and successfully took two free shots to pull level. The Titans had one last chance to win the game, but narrowly missed, giving the Bears the last opportunity to score. With the clock ticking down Jacob Robinson scored a final basket to secure a win for the game : Bears 56 – 54 Titans.
After the game Coach Masterson said “ What a game to start the season off. We knew it would be close. I am so proud of all the team today but have to give a special mention to my guards Lee Powell, Derek Hall and especially Rob Whale. They were all awesome. To beat a team as good as Titans is a massive achievement for the club, but it’s still only the first game and we have a long hard season ahead of us.”
Second Division South
The day saw Bears 2 take to the court also, to play the Titans third team. A tough game was met with rigor and determination by all. Despite the hard work of all, however, Bears 2 were convincingly beaten by a strong Titans 3 team. With a number of forwards missing, this was going to be a hard game for the Bears. With the help of Bears 3 team players Harry Draper and Aaron Grant, playing up in support of their team mates, the Bears played out the game hard with the final score: Bears 2 25 – 54 Titans 3. A particular congratulations goes to Harry Draper and Aaron Grant, who stepped up when their teammates needed them, and played out of their comfort zone in well-executed and essential roles.
Third Division Central
Bears 3 were also in action as they played the return fixture, but were unable to overcome a strong Wolverhampton WSC team and lost Bears 35 – 56 Wolverhampton WSC. A tough game for all, Bears 3 played a strong, impassioned game that gave many Bears 3 players an opportunity to get onto the court and play their part. This fixture even saw the Bears Women’s Team take to the floor as a complete squad for the first time this season, in preparation for their upcoming fixtures.