Brewers Basketball’s final action of the 2019/20 season came in the Pat Sanders Cup against league-leading Cheshire Raptors.
The home side knew that, on this occasion, Blacon High School was unlikely to offer sanctuary from defeat, butr after a season of development and progress the Brewers were keen to show how far they have come in going toe-to-toe with the North Wales Basketball Association’s number one team.
The Raptors had prepared for this and adapted to the Brewers playbook, but the home team made a few changes that in the early stages saw them find their feet.
The double-threat inside of Joel Homfray – who took the LMC Lighting & Electrical MVP honours with 8 points – and Dan Partington – who also dropped eight – was dominant on the boards and unlucky with how their shots fell.
The Brewers found space to run some sets but the pace and court vision of the Raptors, over time, sawe them stretch their lead.
A strong performance from Danny Pearce in particular underpinned their performance, the former Brewer showing the talent and youthful energy that once graced the team he now faced.
For the hosts Terry McGuire broke his recent run by making the paint his own and sinking a useful six points while Josiah Mainwaring, Matty Pyke and the returning Aaron deGuzman also made their presence known on the scoreboard.
Head coach Alec Doyle said that despite the loss his team had a lot to be proud of.
“We have achieved a lot this year,” he said. “On paper it doesn’t look great, but if you look at our situation you realise exactly what this group of guys has done.
“A month before this season started we had six confirmed players. Since then wee have drafted in a number of guys, some who have played at a decent level but lapsed, some that have only ever played street ball, others who have never played before.
“We’ve worked together to build up a teram spirit and a playing philosophy to give these guys a framework to improve and build for future seasons. We were proud to get a single win this season but that was a bonus, it was not in the plan if I’m honest.
“From the start I wanted to build a group of guys that, first and foremost, could gel together. Then give them the tools to develop a playing style that is their own and that works with their strengths. With the help of my assistant coaches – Lee Evans, Matty Parkes and Mal Stocker-Jones – I think we achieved that. Now we need to carry that forward into next season – whenever that will be. This group has great potential and incredible team spirit and I believe they are capable of great success.”