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Griffins' glory charge halted by College aces; BASKETBALL.

Byline: MIKE MADDOX

JUST when they looked to be on the way to their second Championship in four years, Arden Griffins slipped up at Coventry College, going down 72-70.

The Solihull-based visitors have really impressed with their outside shooting this season, and they did not disappoint at any time throughout a tough but entertaining game which saw 11 three-pointers sail through the College hoop - eight of them from the hands of the league's leading shooter Paul Roberts.

When it mattered though, it was the home side that excelled, and they put up a terrific fight to come from five down as Roberts lost his accuracy, and Coventry snatched the vital basket at the death to bring a smile to the face of coach Looch Bailey. Roberts hit 30 points in the match, but was upstaged by Vaidas Cerkunovas, the College skipper who made 31 and led his side to a memorable victory.

After their heroics before Christmas, Aylesford Hawks came unstuck as they hosted a strong Tile Hill Trojans 1 at Moreton Morrell.

Trojans have already won there this season, and they made no mistake this time too as they coasted home 76-56 with the Dickson brothers sharing 33 points. Trojans were in complete control in the first period and led 25-12 before a trio of three-pointers from Wayne Jones - ironically now a Trojans 2 player guesting for Hawks - brought about a rapid re-grouping from coach Trevor Robinson as Tile Hill went behind 32-25.

Normality resumed from that point onwards as they eased away in the third period to open up an unassailable lead, which was as much as 26 before Hawks' Ricky Fennell grabbed 11 of his match total of 15 in a final flourish.

It was a good week for Trojans as their second and third teams both won too, Trojans 2 putting the dampers on Coventry Tornadoes with a sterling showing from Jones and Egis Balninas who scored 13 apiece.

Tornadoes were hammered in the first half and trailed 39-21 at the break, but Michael Stokes suddenly found his form to nail 15 of Tornadoes' first seventeen points as they threatened, but they were too far adrift and their challenge was blown out in a controlled fashion by the confident home side.

The top spot in Division Two though belongs to Warwick Grizzles who crushed Ernesford Eagles 65-35 with an emphatic showing at The Bridge. They shot into an 11-2 lead which they then increased to 39-16 as Eagles floundered. The Coventry side tried to make an impression but it was to no avail and Grizzles stayed cool to go top.

There was a shock in Division Three as revitalised Trojans 3 took the points from fancied Rugby Rage at Hereward.

The East Warwickshire side had won comfortably when they met a few weeks ago, and they looked to be on their way again as they led 27-16, but with Matt Jenner and Mike Buckley combining well, Trojans recovered to take the lead in the final quarter and go on to a famous 53-49 victory, Jenner leading on 23.

Westwood Rhinos and Tamworth Tigers both won well, Tigers dealt with Nuneaton and Rhinos edged past Team Rebels to go second.

WARWICKSHIRE BASKETBALL LEAGUE DIVISION ONE Aylesford Hawks 56 Tile Hill Trojans 1 76 Coventry College 72 Arden Grffins 70 P W L F A Pts Arden Griffins 6 4 2 473 404 14 Tile Hill Troj' I 6 4 2 488 391 14 Aylesford Hawk 8 3 5 551 639 14 Coventry Coll 7 3 4 510 564 13 Warwick Uni 5 2 3 345 369 9 DIVISION TWO Warwick Grizzlies 65 Ernesford Eagles 35 Tile Hill Trojans 2 73 Coventry Tornadoes 52 P W L F A Pts Warw Grizzlies 9 7 2 611 459 23 Cracovia Strat 9 7 2 613 523 23 Warw China Rd 8 5 3 483 452 18 Tile Hill Troj' II 10 4 6 628 589 18 Tornadoes 9 3 6 529 601 15 Ernes' Eagles 9 1 8 393 633 11 DIVISION THREE Tile Hill Trojans 3 53 Rugby Rage 49 Nuneaton Predators 31 Tamworth Tigers 89 Westwood Rhinos 58 Team Rebels 54 P W L F A Pts Tamw. Tigers 10 10 0 830 373 30 Westw Rhinos 11 6 5 567 576 23 Rebels 10 6 447238822 Rugby Rage 10 6 4 658 476 22 Tile Hill Troj' III 10 3 7 410 670 16 Nun' Predators 11 0 11 382 836 11

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College skipper Vaidas Cerkunovas made 31 in his side's upset win
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 17, 2018
Words:759
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