On a cold Tuesday night in Blacon all the hard work finally paid off for Brewers Basketball as they clocked up their first victory of the season against one of their oldest adversaries.
Despite the recent scorelines there has been a feeling around the club that a win was not too far away and so it proved as they put together the right combination of talent, grit and effort to edge out their visitors.
It was the Bulldogs who got off to a stronger start – nosing in front in the early exchanges. But the Brewers – fielding a tall starting 5 – crashed the boards well and made the Bulldogs work hard fr every point – something which would pay off down the stretch.
Skipper Dave Thomas, new signing Jose ‘Carlos’ Gonzalez and guards Wissam Elkak and Jay Redbond epitomised that toughness, putting their bodies on the line time and again to hassle and harry their opponents and get out on offense.
But the Bulldogs, as they always do, put up a tough opposition and by half time the scores were tied at 24-all as Brewers Head Coach Adam Lloyd was forced to light a fire under his squad as their fight began to fade.
As we’ve discussed many times before, the Brewers traditionally have poor third quarters, however Lloyd’s words triggered a response from his men as they went out and built an eight point lead behind some classy finishing from game MVP Niel Gillard and Luke Sharland-Wong and fantastic shifts from Alex Jones, Tim Dann, Ben Scott, Terry McGuire and Joe Hughes.
Lloyd shuffled his pack constantly in the fourth quarter as the Bulldogs – facing defeat – battled back into it. By the final minute the scores were so close the visitors were forced to try and stretch the game out with fouls to buy more time, but Thomas’ calm head saw the Brewers over the line for the win.
“I’m so proud of the lads,” said Lloyd. “This is a new team, playing a totally different style than you would associate with the traditional Brewers style and the hard work is starting to pay off.
“There’s still a lot to work on, areas to improve, but the lads are keen and hungry. There’s a great atmosphere around the place. Even those lads not involved in the squad last night were still there supporting and backing the guys to the hilt. Everyone is pushing each other to be better every session.
“You could feel the pride from all the lads when that final buzzer went. Bulldogs are a tough team and we knew they would take us all the way. We showed the character I know this team has and fought for each other the whole game.
“We have a fantastic bunch of lads and a great atmosphere. I’m looking forward to seeing how far this group can go.”
Brewers Basketball are proudly supported by LMC Lighting & Eletrical Services, Pivotal Sound & Lighting, Quarry & Castle Business Improvement Consultancy and Official Kit Partner Triple Double Hoopwear.