LEAGUE leaders Weymouth Raiders earned an epic Exeter & District Cup victory over Exeter University Seconds.

The Raiders edged a classic encounter in overtime to progress to the next round of the competition.

The contest started well for the hosts with Weymouth coach Craig Sorrell stressing the importance of enjoying the game despite playing against an experienced Division One side who have performed well this season.

This advice was taken to heart with the Raiders making good offensive plays and running the break.

And with defensive steals from Dan Park, the Raiders soon found themselves playing an excellent standard of basketball, resulting in a first quarter lead of 14-12.

However, the second period was where the Raiders really showed how well they have improved this season with Ben Stokey dominating the boards.

He scored six successive points and Piotr Lason landed a three-pointer from downtown to help the Raiders to a 38-22 advantage at half-time.

After the break, the Uni side brought out a stronger defence.

It took Lason, who scored all the Raiders’ points in the previous quarter, to keep his side in the game as Exeter closed the gap to just one point.

The tension was high as both teams battled for the lead in the fourth quarter.

Sam Brown and Jeff Robertshaw made strong cuts to the basket for the home team but, in the end, it wasn’t enough and with the score tied at 63-63 the game went into overtime.

Instead of crumbling under the pressure, the Raiders dominated this extra period and used the experience of their last match – a double overtime victory – to take it to the hoop and win 73-67.

Sorrell said: “I am very pleased with the way the lads played, although if they had kept up the momentum from the first half, we would have won comfortably and that is something we must work on.”

Raiders advance to the next stage of the cup and they will now face Exmouth Jesters.

Raiders: Piotr Lason 27, Jeff Robertshaw 20, Sam Brown 8, Ben Stokey 6, Max Gilmartin 6, Dan Park 4, Alan Ridout 2, Tom Storey.

Weymouth MVP: Piotr Lason