Double delight for Plymouth Raiders as the secure back to back wins this weekend in NBL Division 3.
A bumper weekend of basketball kicked off on the road for Raiders on Saturday as they travelled to Exeter to face the Spartans. The 6pm fixture up the A38 was the perfect start for Raiders as they flexed their basketball pedigree and pulled off the first win of the weekend.
Plymouth were dominant from the start and never slowed the paced throughout the game, their intentions were there early leading 31-48 after the first 20 minutes. The second half is where Raiders turned up the heat again and really started going through the motions with the third quarter ending 47-73. A further 21 points were added in the final 10 minutes with the final score finishing 56-94.
Tom Elliot Smith shot the lights out at Exeter College finishing the game with a very impressive 27 points, Tom Woods added to the scoring with 19 points and James Horrell completed the top three with 11 points.
On his sides first win of the weekend Head Coach Gareth Laws said “Irrespective of the result Exeter spartans put up a good fight.”
“The Team were substantially smaller than us, that posed a different set of problems for our taller squad to face. Due to the size difference we played a very quick outside game that proved frustrating in the first half for our tall players.”
“However, the second half proved to be a different game as we easily pulled away and secured a large lead behind outstanding play from our men who could match up with the smaller guys in mobility, but dominated the spartans inside with their physical play.”
“This game gave our younger players time to gain much needed court time and experience at the National League level, and allowed our starters to get significant rest for the doubleheader.
I was exceptionally proud of our young players who came in and did the fantastic job, controlled the tempo and pushed the pace, making their stamp on the game.”
A short turnaround saw Raiders back at home at the Life Centre for a 2pm tip off on Sunday as they faced former Raider, Jay Marriotts side, Gloucester City Kings.
The green machine picked up exactly where they left off the night before and looking to be in for another comfortable day in the office with the scoreline reflecting this, 43-28 at the half. Kings didn’t disappear in the game though and put up a fight, but ultimately it wasn’t enough to stop Raiders free flowing game. The final score finished 77-66 and saw Raiders go two from two over the weekend and 4-1 in the league overall this season.
Top scorers on the night were Tom Woods with 21 points, Marcus Cronin with 18 points and Head Coach Gareth Laws with 14 points.
A delighted Gareth Laws said “Gloucester came to the Raider dome as a much improved team from the previous time we played them and it showed early doors as they built an early lead.”
“However, unlike games before I felt this game was easily the best all round team performance and we managed Gloucester early with poise and control. The whole team came together and put together probably the best team performance of the year.”
“We moved the ball as a unit, penetrated gaps where we could make the extra pass when needed and controlled the game throughout.”
“I’m proud of the guys this weekend securing two wins and keeping us in the race to win the league is vital. I’m especially proud of the team for pulling together when I went out with injury and kept the pressure on and maintained the lead for the remainder of the game.”
“Again, big shout out to our younger players who stepped up massively this weekend, played big minutes and came through with some exceptional moments.”
“This week we face Cardiff Archers who will provide a solid test going into the Christmas break and a game we need to win convincingly.”
Raiders are straight back on the road again this weekend as they travel to Cardiff in their final league game of the year against Cardiff Met Archers II in a 4pm tip off. Plymouth’s next home game is against local rivals Plymouth City Patriots on January 14th.