Solent League Division Three
WEYMOUTH COWBOYS 65 WINCHESTER WIZARDS 71
ROCK-BOTTOM Cowboys gave table-topping Winchester an almighty scare.
With 10 wins from 11 outings, the Wizards were expected to demolish their opponents, but the Weymouth outfit produced their best display of the season and were unlucky to lose out in the end.
The hosts made a bright start and took a four-point lead courtesy of Andy Steele.
But the visitors responded by scoring 11 points without reply before Matt Board entered the fray and helped stem the flow.
In turn the Cowboys’ offence began to match the Wizards and baskets by Steve Howlett and Dan Campbell saw the deficit shrink to a single point, 17-16, at the end of the first quarter.
The Wizards changed tact and went on another impressive run to put daylight between the two sides and eventually hold a 37-25 lead at the interval.
During half-time, Weymouth coach Alex Fuhrmann gave clear instructions on how to prevent the fast break being employed by the Wizards.
However, the advice went unheeded as Winchester bagged eight points to force the frustrated coach to call another time-out.
This proved to be the turning point for Cowboys, and with a combination of forced errors and intense offence, the hosts embarked on a scoring spree of their own thanks to Fil Romano and Jack Speary.
The Cowboys won the quarter but were still trailing, 63-46.
However, they continued the final period in the same vein and narrowed the gap to 10 courtesy of George Scott.
Weymouth remained in the ascendancy but time was always against them as Winchester held on for a seven-point victory.
Fuhrmann said: “We played the top team in our league, containing a number of players who have played at a very high level, and we matched them.
“We have played good basketball at times this season but we maintained that level for the entire game on this occasion. The intensity, desire and commitment were there from the initial tip-off through to the final whistle.”
Cowboys: Dan Campbell 16, Andy Steele 14, Sam Dodge 11, Fil Romano 9, Matt Board 5, George Scott 4, Jack Speary 4, Steve Howlett 2, Eric Olson, Mark Talmage.