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Sound and fury.

Byline: Basketball By Peter Clarke

The growing pains of the Teesside Mohawks eased with a big win against the Kings Lynn Fury in their latest outing.

The game saw the debut of 24-year-old, 7ft 6in ex-All American High school and Boston Frenzy star Neil Fingleton.

Fingleton, a local lad from Durham, added the much needed height and strength with Troy Logmo missing.

The contest also matched master against pupil with Mohawks coach Tony Hanson pitting his wits against former Hawks hero Jon Stonebridge, now player-coach with Fury.

The game itself started tentatively as both sides tested each other's defences.

The first quarter was dominated with the Fingleton-Stonebridge battle of the big men and at the end of the session very little separated the two sides.

Coach Hanson soon drew on his bench players for the second quarter - ex-Fury player James Nicholson took control of the court and Uruguayan Diego Tramontozzi's sharpshooting edged the Hawks into the lead.

Both teams fell foul of the officals and the Hawks withdrew new boy Fingleton, while Fury sat influential play-maker Solomon Sheard back on the bench.

The half-time buzzer could not come soon enough for Kings Lynn but defiantly Jon Stonebridge slammed a basket in at close quarters to end the session with the Mohawks 45-34 up.

The highly vocal travelling supporters of the away side chanted 'release the fury' at the start of the second half.

But the only thing that was released was the rampaging white-shirted offensive unit of the Hawks.

The red-shirted opposition were besieged in their own defensive zone as a cavalry charge of five home players ripped through their ranks.

Nicholson, Steve Butler, Eric Milambo and Taner Adu all scored with ease and when Fingleton returned, the damage had already been done.

The quarter ended with Hawks having a big 74-45 advantage.

The final act saw Hanson rest his experienced players for the last quarter and he brought on his new crop of stars.

Lee Norton (aged 23), Carl Colmer (20) and Ahmed Dabri (20) all kept the scorer busy as the opposition capitulated, with the final score being 98-65 to the Teessiders.

After the game Fingleton said: "I have signed for Teesside to get more court time but my ambition is to either return to America to play in the NBA or go on to play for one the top teams in Europe."

The next home game will be on Saturday at Eston Sports Centre against Sheffield Arrows (6.30pm tip off).
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Dec 7, 2005
Words:414
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