It was double disappointment for Mansfield Giants’ senior men last weekend as they lost their EBL Division Two opener 64-47 at London Westside on Saturday, and then were beaten 89-73 by Loughborough Riders in a home Patrons Cup game on Sunday
On Saturday Giants welcomed back Dan Richards into the line-up, who had picked up a knee injury last week, but started off the game struggling to hit any kind of shot.
Westside crept into an early lead and took the first period 22-10.
Giants started to play some excellent defence, but again failed to convert on the offensive end as the Londoners went into the half-time break with a 12-point lead.
A couple of quick baskets from Westside extended their lead, but then the visitors started to play better offensively and closed the gap, the Londoners going into the last quarter 44-36 up.
Giants started the final quarter with great intensity and closed the gap to five points with just over four minutes left.
However, just as it looked as if Mansfield were going to claw their way back into the game, London hit a massive three-point shot.
Giants then stepped up their pressure, but the home side took advantage with some easy scores to take the game out of reach.
Giants’ top scorers: C. Gamble 17, M. Woodhouse 15, D. Richards 6.
On Sunday against Loughborough Riders, Mansfield again failed to execute offensively and Loughborough jumped out to an early lead.
Giants then stepped up defensively and held Loughborough to just eight points closing the gap, but Loughborough went into the half-time break with a 31-24 lead.
Great pressure from Loughborough caused problems for a home side still trying to adjust with life without injured point guard Scottie Summersgill, Loughborough scoring 34 points in the quarter to take the game out of reach.
The Giants didn’t go down without a fight and won the final period 30-24, but the gap was just too big to close.
Giants’ top scorers: M. Woodhouse 19, C. Gamble 11, P. Xavier 10.
Giants have this week announced the signing of 6ft 6ins power forward Barry Plummer.
Plummer is a student at the University of Derby and is expected to bring much needed strength and size under the basket.
Another good performance from the Giants women saw them beat Leicester Warriors 66-48 with a significantly depleted squad.
As half term hit, three of the younger squad members were unavailable, while Heather Clarke was out through injury.
This came on top of a long term back injury for Jo Richards which has seen her out for the season so far, and left a team of seven to take on the Warriors, including newcomers Marta Ruiz and Hollie Shaw.
However, despite the low numbers, Giants dominated the game from the start, outscoring the Warriors in every quarter.
The team played to their strengths and worked the ball inside to take advantage of their height, forcing Warriors to put up outside shots.
The Giants’ dominance inside gave them the advantage on the boards, allowing them to break fast and score some quick points on the smaller Warriors side.
The women are next in action at home this Saturday where they will take on Sunderland City Predators at 4pm at Oak Tree Leisure Centre.
This is part of a full day which sees both the Founders Cup Men’s team (2pm v Eastwood Antz) and the EBL Division Two men’s team playing at home (6pm v London United).
Giants will also be running a Bake Sale to raise money for the Ciaran Sweeney Memorial Fund.