WARWICKSHIRE Bears Wheelchair Basketball Club left their best until last to secure a first win of their debut Premier Division season, beating Tees Valley Titans 48-39 on Saturday.
The win ensured they finish the season level on points with the Titans, although the Bears end the Premier Division season bottom of the league on points difference.
Tom Masterson’s side were determined not to go an entire season without a victory, and it showed, as they started the game brightly.
Dan Gill had a real influence over the game, and he, along with Jacob Robinson helped put Bears into a 14-4 lead by the first-quarter end.
Titans made inroads to cutting the deficit, but the Bears remained efficient at the basket and led 27-16 at half-time.
A tense third-quarter prolonged the Bears celebrations, as Titans reduced the deficit to nine going into the final 15 minutes at 40-31.
With the Titans throwing caution to the wind, Bears were forced into a number of mistakes as the deficit closed to three points.
But the introduction of Daz Peasley into the fray helped Bears lead by nine once more and see out the victory.
Masterson was left a delighted coach after the game, and said: “Titans pushed us all the way, but I knew we had a win in us.
“The past few games we have improved, game by game and left the best till last.
“Titans are an awesome team with some really special junior players who are going to be fantastic in years to come.
“They are the team we need to base our future on keep looking for the future stars and bring them through our teams.”
Over in Division 3 Central, Bears’ third team finished off their season with a win over Tees Valley Titans 4’s.
The 50-34 victory was in part to the impact of Harry Draper and Aaron Grant, who made themselves an unwelcome sight to the visitors at their basket, whilst Ellan Fraser displayed her quality throughout.
Bears 3 coach Dan Smith said: “It was another great win for our developing players.
“Titans gave us a run for our money today, but we were just lucky and good enough to see it out for a win.
“We have a great bunch of developing players, such as Ellan Fraser and Harry Draper to name just two, but if we can
keep hold of them then the future looks good for the Bears.”
The Bears second string finished off their Division 2 South season the previous weekend, edging London Sparrows 58-47.
Mohammed Aurangzebe and player-coach Peasley helped find the net on a regular basis, building a 30-28 lead by half-time.
The Sparrows made it a close game, with the Bears unable to shake off their spirited opponents, but in the end it proved a game that they had enough in the tank to see out.