NWBA: Wyddgrug Magic 38 Brewers 35

15th September, 2022 | Brewers Basketball, Match Reports, NWBA Regular Season | 1 comment

Brewers Basketball began their new era under Head Coach Adam Lloyd with an agonising three-point loss at Wyddgrug Magic in the North Wales Basketball League.

But while the players were disappointed not to kick their season off with a win on the road, the new coach was proud of their effort.

The game ended with 10 seconds on the clock and one Brewers play to take it to overtime. But the visitors couldn’t get the shot they needed. 

“It was always going to be a close game, but I thought defensively we were absolutely brilliant,” said Lloyd. “We worked hard, and fought for everything. We created a lot of decent opportunities on offence. The execution was just off a little, but nothing that worries me.”

Brewers locked down their defence in the first quarter, preventing their hosts from scoring in the opening five minutes. Their efforts made it a low-scoring half of basketball, with fantastic efforts from Ben Scott, Joe Hughes and Lloyd himself working hard to lock down the Magic offence.

At the other end those big men crashed the boards strongly to support as game MVP Dave Thomas, Wissam Elkak and Jon Demmer spearheaded the attack. New signing Sam Tie and last year’s Rookie of the Year Cam Blundell stepped up, helping the team drive on and establish a 15-11 half-time lead. 

After the break the Brewers suffered what, over the last decade, has become a traditional third quarter slump. Wyddgrug came out of the blocks strongly and swung the scoreline in their favour. 

But the Brewers fought back, Thomas leading the fightback with a towering display, battling for every possession and facilitating plays alongside Elkak and Tie. With Hughes, Scott, Blundell, Lloyd and defensive forward Alec Doyle stabilising the game towards the end of the quarter and through the fourth reeling the Magic back in. Three pointers from Elkak and Demmer helped the Brewers set up a do-or-die finish, but dealing in such fine margins the result could go either way – on this occasion, it went the way of the home side.

“Obviously the curse of the Q3 is still ongoing, but that’s nothing to worry about right now,” said Lloyd. “Every single one of the nine guys who played left everything out there. I really could not have asked for any more in terms of effort, desire and heart. 

“Dave Thomas was everywhere on both sides of the ball and was the platform that set our pace to go and attack. A fantastic 14 points from Wissam Elkak, including a couple of threes at important times really kept us in the game. Our captain Ben Scott sacrificed himself to create space for others, a true leader’s performance.

“The slow third quarter did swing the game as they went on a tear and took the lead. But credit to the lads they settled in, got their composure and started to turn the quarter round. There is always room for improvement, this is a new team with new lads who haven’t played together before but once they click, I think the consistency will be there, which will help us eliminate those slumps.”

Next up for the Brewers are Wirral Raptors.

“They are a very good side at both ends of the court,” said Lloyd. “It will be a difficult game but if we give the same effort against Raptors we did against Magic, I’m confident we’ll give a good account of ourselves.”