West Brom Basketball Club couldn’t make it two wins on the bounce, as they fell to defeat at home to Smith’s Wood Sabres in a cagey affair.
Tim Rudge’s side were looking to continue their winning form, having beaten Broadway Casino Aces just a week before this encounter. However, offensive struggles halted their progress as they continued their mixed start to the season.
West Brom opened the game trading baskets with the visiting Sabres – who boasted a number of former Black Country players on their roster.
In a mixed period, neither side gained much momentum, but West Brom’s Kwame Bataille did signal his early intentions – scoring 12 of his team-high 16 before the first buzzer.
The second quarter showed a defensive improvement from the hosts, as they held Smith’s Wood to just 13 points.
But they failed to capitalise on their opponent’s struggles, scoring just 15 of their own to finish the half down 31-32.
Ultimately, it was a sluggish third quarter which cast West Brom to defeat, but the second half started well for the Black Country side, opening up a five point lead mid-way through the period.
Offense deserted them soon after, with Rudge’s side going scoreless for five straight minutes, allowing the Sabre’s a chance to build a commanding ten-point lead going into the fourth quarter.
Despite a spirited attempt to fight back, foul trouble also worked against the hosts, as they eventually conceded to a 78-65 loss at home leaving them with a 2-3 record to open their campaign.
Bataille was disappointed with the result – but admitted that the team can improve if they work together.
“Personally, I think we should have won every game this season.” he said.
“We have a habit of managing to defeat ourselves in our losses a little bit.
“There’s no team in this league that has the same talent or teamwork that we do – and with Tim we have the best coach in the league too.
“I think from the next game on we could go on undefeated, but that’s only going to happen if everyone is on the same page.”
West Brom take on undefeated league leaders Shropshire Warriors next, where they’ll be hoping to upset the odds to secure their first win on the road this season.
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