Monday, 12 November 2012

Heat and Flames Visible in Guildford

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Sunday 11 November 2012 at the University of Surrey Sports Park followed by the Spectrum Leisure Centre
Surrey Heat 81 Leicester Riders 74
Guildford Flames 3 Basingstoke Bison 2
The BBL (top tier basketball)
The English Premier League (second tier ice hockey)
Number 13 on the courthopping list, and a second visit to an arena already on the rinkhopping list.  My first hoops/hockey daily double.
Pre-match preparation
Leicester Riders are leading the BBL and unbeaten in all competitions.  Surrey Heat are unbeaten at home, so someone’s record has to give today.  The decision to add the ice hockey was impulsive – no prep other than the teams had played each other yesterday at Basingstoke and Bison won 3-1 to stay at the top of the table.
These matches in one sentence each
A very good, solid performance from Heat to hand a first defeat to Riders built on a points/rebounds double from Frank Holmes.
Flames came from behind twice and scored a last minute powerplay winner to delight the home crowd.
So what?
If Heat can win their game in hand, they will join Riders and Newcastle Eagles with 8-1 winning records.
The drama unfolds
Heat settled the quicker on their home court and a three by Albert Margai opened up a seven-point gap at 13-6 midway through the first quarter.  Riders’ coach Rob Paternostro took less than three minutes to become Mr Angry on the sidelines and he was to spend much of the afternoon prowling back and forth to the officials.  My scene-setter clip comes from late in the period as Riders close the gap to three points with just over a minute to go.  Heat are in black, Riders in red.  They got one more score before the buzzer and Andrew Sullivan was leading all scorers with 9pts.  24-23 at the end of the 1st quarter

Peter Semek continued his good defensive work for Heat, impressing with his rebound count, but Heat got into foul-count trouble in the second quarter.  Riders’ Yorick Williams rolled back the years with a D-to-D break to give them the lead for the first time at 27-28.  This clip is from midway through the second quarter and takes the score from 28-28 to 35-32.

Frank Holmes of Heat was definitely fired-up as two scores in quick succession opened a 43-34 gap and prompted a timeout call from Paternostro.  This time, Riders were in foul trouble but a two from Sullivan on the buzzer meant that the gap was only two points at the halfway mark.  46-44 at the end of the 2nd quarter

The third period was lower-scoring as Riders took control.  The clip ends with them leading 55-57, and they stretched this to four points by the end of the quarter.  Sullivan (18) and Frank Holmes (14) continued to lead the scoring charts.  57-61 at the end of the third quarter

Frank Holmes got the first points of the final period and the next clip is part of the home side’s turnaround.  Julius Joseph got five consecutive points to tie the game at 64-64.  Paternostro was not a happy bunny.  At the end of the clip we have a score of 73-67 with just over 3 minutes to play.

Frank Holmes then contributed another timely score as Heat then shut the Riders out of the next 24s on the shot clock and the clip has them holding the gap to 79-74 with seven seconds to play.

Although Riders used deliberate fouls to try to get control of the clock, Heat kept their composure from the free-throw line and although the last two from Caylin Raftopoulos bobbled teasingly on the hoop they both dropped in to seal the home win.  Frank Holmes finished with 22 points and Sullivan and Zaire Taylor on 20.  Final score 81-74

A brief car journey took me to the Spectrum where Guildford Flames were hosting table-toppers Basingstoke Bison.  Bison took the lead through Joe Rand and Flames' Curtis Huppe equalised, and the first period finished level at 1-1.  Bison took the lead again in the second with a Doug Sheppard strike, but Flames levelled in the third with Huppe's second score of the game.  Here is the turning point in the last two minutes, as Flames converted a powerplay to take the lead for the first time with 27 seconds left  Jez Lundin is the scorer of the vital goal.  Bison took off their netminder but Flames held on for the win.  Final score 3-2

The programmes

Proof that I folded the Heat programme, which is actually an A3 poster.  Shocking.
Something random
The Guildford zamboni is still going round clockwise, but you knew that.
Hopping for Moorfields Update
Nothing to report – these fixtures don’t count towards the totals.
What Next?
In one word – dunno.  Follow @GrahamYapp on Twitter for any revelations.

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