WARWICKSHIRE Bears secured third place in National League First Division South with a 67-32 victory over London Thunder.
In doing so, they have now set up a thrilling finale for this Sunday’s game against London Titans, to decide who finishes in second spot and qualifies for this season’s national play-offs.
“Once again I can’t really express how proud I am of this bunch,” said Bears’ coach, Tom Masterson.
“To gain successive promotion for two years and to finish at least third in the first division in our very first time in this division is a major achievement to the players at the club.
“This result has set up a fantastic game next Sunday, and although Titans are the favorites to win, we will give it everything, like we always do.”
From the start of Sunday’s game, the Bears took control, playing a strong determined defence which limited Thunder to only ten points, whilst Ben Haigh and Jacob Robinson, soon found their shooting range and helped Bears to an early 19-10 lead at the end of the quarter.
Thunder came out fighting in the second quarter tightening their defence on Robinson and Haigh, but Ian Beach and Dan Gill took over the scoring duties and were able to help the Bears go even further in front. Bears led Thunder 35-20 at half-time.
The third quarter was all about the Bears’ offence, as Thunder played a tough strong defence, whilst running the floor quickly and scoring heavily into the Thunder basket to establish a strong 55-26 lead.
With the game virtually won, the Bears used the final quarter as an opportunity to give valuable court time to their bench.
Meanwhile, the Bears’ second string ended their season with a 100 per cent record with a 46-32 victory over a determined Aces team. Neil Bunting, Scott Webster and Dan Gill all got into double figures on the scoresheet.
“That finishes off a fantastic season for the Bears 2 and now they have the national play-offs to look forward to.
“To finish top and go unbeaten for the season is fantastic achievement, especially against the level of opposition they have had to face this season.”