In-form Giants rev up for semi-finals

MANSFIELD Giants’ senior men enjoyed a great weekend winning both of their games to rev them up for this weekend’s league and cup double header against London United.

Head coach, Dan Richards said: “This weekend is expected to be very tough.

“They have got some excellent scorers in Harper and Poskus supported by Szatkowsk and Theodorou. To have so many weapons they are always going to be hard to beat.”

The league clash will be played at home at Oak Tree Leisure Centre (6pm) this Saturday before the sides clash again in the Patrons Cup semi-final away on Sunday.

The men started last weekend with an 82-75 away win against Westminster Warriors on Saturday and followed it up with an impressive 98-84 home success at Team Northumbria on Sunday.

The Westminster game was wide open with both teams scoring freely in the first quarter, Giants leading 27-23.

Watts and Richards scored frequently for Mansfield.

In the second quarter the Giants opened up a lead of seven points, making it 46-39.

Westminster got back to a point behind, but Dan Watts made an impressive dunk to seal the game.

Giants’ scorers were: Richards (27), Watts (19), Morant-Hudson (12), Coy (8), Knight (7), Jegede (5), Eboigbe (2), and Akpoveta (2).

An impressive weekend continued at home to Team Northumbria on Sunday.

The Giants stormed into a 30-12 lead in the first quarter.

Team Northumbria began to find their game and by the second quarter they were 15 points behind at 50-35.

Leading scorer Dan Watts picked up another ankle injury, but the Giants battled on to score six consecutive points to lead 74-54 in the third quarter.

Northumbria continued to press Mansfield at every occasion, but the Giants held on for the win.

However, the women’s team did not enjoy the same success and were narrowly beaten in a close-fought battle, losing 56-51 at Bury Blue Devils, who shared third place in the table with them.

The Giants dominated the first quarter, with inside baskets from centre Charlotte Levitt and a fast break layup from Jess Shillito.

However, Bury stayed in the game with some sharpshooting from Zoe Newcombe as they led the first quarter 15-14.

Newcombe, Hayes and Hill scored some important three pointers for Bury which kept them in the game, to go into the second half with a 32-24 lead.

The Giants held Bury to nine points in the third quarter to lead 41-39.

Bury came out stronger in the fourth and scored more three pointers and began to pressure the Giants more in the fourth quarter.

Readman scored a three pointer with seconds remaining in the game to take the loss to five points as Bury won 56-51.

The women now lie in fourth place as they take on fifth place team Stockport Lapwings away this coming weekend.

Giants’ top scorers were: J. Readman 14, C. Levitt 13, and A. Bridge 13.

l Giants have signed 6ft 3ins guard/forward Emmerson Westerby from neighbours Nottingham Hood.

His 16-year career started with the Nottingham Knights.

Emmerson then played for a number of teams which include Doncaster Panthers and King’s Lynn Fury to name a few as well as a stint as player/coach for the Lincolnshire Wildcats.

Emmerson is also a level two coach and has taught basketball to children in primary schools, as well as U16 and U18 national league teams in Lincoln.

l Chad readers can gain reduced price admission for Saturday’s men’s game - adults £3 and U16s £1.50 - by cutting out and taking a copy of the report in this week’s issue of the Chad to the game.