Effort and application were the keywords for the Brewers as the bottom side in the North Wales Basketball Association faced the unbeaten league leaders.
Before proceedings got underway, both teams agreed to take part in a minute’s applause in memory of Kobe and Gigi Bryant and the victims of the tragic helicopter crash that took place a few days earlier.
The Brewers knew what was coming from Cheshire Raptors – after all, the majority of their players once wore the Brewers name – but for coach Alec Doyle this encounter offered a benchmark for how far his team has truly progressed.
That question was answered loud and clear. The high points were celebrated – new signing Nick Whittaker’s debut marked with a five-point haul including a buzzer-beating three in the third quarter. Doyle himself returned to a more full-time role with the second unit to inject some defensive intensity while on the boards LMC Lighting & Electrical MVP Joel Homfray (10pts) and Dan Partington won plenty of rebounds.
“I was impressed,” said Doyle post-game. “We had guys out there who were not 100% who gave is 100%, we had rookies out there holding their own against players who have played at National League level and higher.
“Yes it was a heavy defeat, but despite the pressure we were under and the quality of our opposition we were composed enough to run some of our sets, create opportunities with our plays and the hustle on the boards and in defence generally was exactly what we have been preaching all season.
“Raptors are a good side and they have done similar things to most teams in the league this season, but the way we handled it showed maturity and I believe makes us a better team going forward.”
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