Bears back on track as Tornados are blown away

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MVP star Aaron Grant is congratulated by coach Derek Hall.

WARWICKSHIRE Bears returned to winning ways with an emphatic 51-27 National League First Division South victory over Sussex team The Tornados at Henley.

From the tip-off, the Bears were motivated to prove that their last performance was not the standard people should expect.

With Ben Haigh and Dan Gill back to their shooting best, and a better organised and more mobile defence, the Bears took a strong lead to end the quarter Bears 14-4 Tornados.

The Tornados regrouped for the second quarter to try and pull back the early lead the Bears had built, but both teams cancelled each other out in the quarter, scoring basket for basket. The Bears went into the half-time break with a healthy ten-point lead.

After the break, the Bears began to pull away from Tornados with Ben Haigh and Jacob Robinson adding to the score and they led 43-23 going into the last quarter.

The 20-point lead gave coach Tom Masterson the opportunity to give court time to his bench in the last quarter and they didn’t disappoint with the Bears’ junior player Aaron Grant scoring in his debut for the first team.

With contributions as well from Dan Smith and Derek Hall, the Bears finished the game as comfortable winners.

Ben Haigh and Ian Beech on defensive duties.

“It was good to get back to winning ways,” said Masterson.

“Although the scores don’t reflect it, the Tornados played hard and gave us a real game.

“It was really pleasing to see Aaron Grant make his debut and score. This weekend has been great for all our juniors who have played senior basketball and have done themselves proud.”

Elsewhere, Bears’ second string comfortable saw off their Tornados counterparts 54-24.

The game was a scrappy affair with no team able to establish any dominance. The second half saw a complete change, with Bears players Paul Colbourne and Neil Bunting taking control of the boards and finding their scoring touch to build up an unassailable lead.

In National League Third Division Central, Bears 3rds beat Derby Wheelblazers 43-38, while Bears 4ths overcame the Gloucester Blazers 36-18 in a development friendly.

The Bears are back in action on Sunday with an away game at Swindon Shock.