West Brom Basketball Club bounced back from their defeat to Balts with a hard fought 70-65 victory over fellow promoted team Lordswood.
The George Salter Academy side took on their former Division One rivals, who bested them in the league standing and play-off final last season, with a shorthanded squad.
Tyrone Lewis was forced to sit out, as he serves the first of his five-game ban due to an altercation against Churchbridge, whilst Adam Dawson and Michal Banczer were also both unavailable for the clash.
However, despite a slow start, that didn’t stop Liam Sheridan’s side securing the win in what proved a close contest throughout.
The game couldn’t have started much worse for West Brom, who were quickly put on the back foot by the visitors opening up a double digit lead within the first quarter.
But the hosts found their resolve and tightened up defensively late in the quarter and through the second period to ensure that Lordswood didn’t get too far ahead on the scoreboard.
By the third period West Brom found themselves battling for the lead, and behind some consistent free throw shooting and gritty determination soon took hold of the game.
With the game on a knife edge, West Brom once against stood firm as Lordswood looked to regain control in the final quarter.
But Sheridan’s side weren’t to be beat, and the home crowd went home happy as they secured a well-earned 70-65 win.
Coach Sheridan was delighted to see his charges secure the victory, especially given their lesser numbers.
“It was a very up and down game , they’d go up, we’d go up, but i’m just really pleased to get the win.
” I feel like it was a really solid team effort, guys contributed whether it was rebounding, playing defense, running the floor hard, bringing energy – everyone contributed despite it being a very scrappy game.
“We were missing a few key guys but I feel like the guys who stepped in did a hell of a job and we all chipped in.
“It was really scrappy to win by five, if we’d scored our lay-ups, cut down on our turnovers and made more of our free throws it definitely wouldn’t have been such a close game.
West Brom were forced to call on a number of youngsters for the encounter, with Sheridan offering a senior debut to guard Shaun Poole.
He joins the likes of Alex Coley in being selected for the senior side this season after some promising performances at youth level.
Despite him not seeing too many minutes, Sheridan believes that the youngster will benefit from the experience and will be one to keep an eye out for in the coming seasons at a senior level.
“We’ve got a development pathway here at the club, Shaun’s a part of the U17 team and he’s shown a lot of progress.
“Being shorthanded I saw this game as an opportunity to get him some burn so it can help his development and also give us an extra body.
“Obviously his court-time wasn’t fantastic in terms of the time he spent out there, but it’s great for his development to play with our men’s team – as it is for all of our youngsters.”
West Brom now face a short break before taking on league leaders Birmingham Mets on February 9th.