THE NEW National First Division South season started on a positive note for Warwickshire Bears who made a winning start at home to Swindon Shock.
It was always going to be a difficult opening for the Bears as they came up against the side who beat them in the final of the Second Division title last season but it was the hosts who came out on top thanks to a 63-46 scoreline.
The Bears started the game in slow and disjointed fashion as their new-look team, which included new signings Siobham Fitzpatrick and Jacob Robinson, struggled to gel.
Swindon took full advantage and with their power forward Macauley Tomlinson have a fantastic shooting game, they held a narrow 14-15 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The short break came at the right time for the Bears who returned with more purpose but they struggled against a determined Swindon defence who matched their opponents basket for basket to still hold a one point lead at the half-way point.
Another break helped the Bears get organised and the third period proved to be the turning point in the match.
The home defence began limiting Tomlinson’s opportunities while adding to the score at the Shocks basket and they held a 50-37 lead heading into the final period.
Everything finally clicked for the Bears in the fourth quarter and they managed to pull further away to record a comfortable victory.
“I always knew it would be a hard game, especially with three new signings starting their Bears debut,” said head coach Tom Masterson.
“We looked disjointed in first half and the players took time to click but eventually we got there.
“A special mention must go to Adrian Taber and Jacob Robinson for getting on the scoresheet but the performance of the day goes to Siobham Fitzpatrick who was named MVP scoring 18 points on her debut.”
The Bears’ second team also kicked off their season in style with a 45-29 win over Thames Valley Kings in the Third Division South & West.
Also playing at home, the Bears matched the first team by making a slow start but they eventually managed to shake off the cobwebs to build a lead against a plucky Thams Valley Kings side.
The Bears were aided by the return of veteran Paul Jackson who scored eight points on his return to injury as the hosts ran out comfortable winners.
Coach Masterson added: “It was great to see Paul Jackson back and showing that no matter your age you can still play and enjoy our sport.”
The Bears are still looking for a sponsor for the team and also always looking to recruit new members especially female and junior players. If anyone is interested than you can contact Bears at [email protected] or call 07946518354.