WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL: WARWICKSHIRE Bears Wheelchair Basketball players had a busy weekend, playing two games in as many days.
The Bears first hosted a friendly game against Shropshire Warriors in remembrance of Luke Parker, a former player for both the Bears and Warriors, who sadly lost his brave battle against cancer a year ago.
A day later they travelled to Wiltshire to play Swindon Shock, a team they lost to in last season’s playoff final.
Bears took a strong team with them and from tip-off they signalled their intent following a lengthy lay-off from competitive games.
Despite their determination, the first quarter proved a slow affair for the Bears who – although put good shots at Shock’s basket – couldn’t convert their chances.
Shock took full advantage of Bears’ slow start and used their fast break game to get into an early lead.
The Bears suddenly kicked out of their slow start and turned the game around with Siobhan Fitzpatrick and Jacob Robinson on a scoring spree that took the Bears into a comfortable lead at the end of the first quarter Swindon Shock 11-21 Bears.
Bears’ offence proved crucial once again in the second quarter as they pulled further clear while limiting Shocks’ main threat Macauley Tomlinson to only distant shots.
Bears went into the half time break with a healthy lead at 23-41.
The second half saw Bears use their strong bench.
With all players hungry after a long absence from competitive games, all came on and got on the scoresheet.
The Bears went further in front and won the game with final scores Swindon Shock 45-76 Bears.
Coach Masterson said: “It was good to finally get some game time in for the team today.
“Although Swindon were unfortunate to be missing some of their team, they were still a threat with Macauley Tomlinson playing.
“But I think the team managed him well whilst taking full advantage of their opportunities.”
Elsewhere Bears’ Women’s wheelchair basketball team were invited to showcase their wheelchair basketball skills in the Wasps fan village at the Ricoh Arena.
Prior to Wasps Netball’s game against Severn Stars, the team was announced as an affiliate club to the Wasps organisation.
Bears’ women’s coach Jacob Robinson said: “To be able to get our club and our sport in to the mainstream media is invaluable.”