Bradford Dragons secured a comfortable 81-67 win against Team Newcastle University on their long-awaited return to NBL Division One action.
Coach Mellor’s team travelled to the North East to face newly promoted Team Newcastle, who started their season with a commendable 2-1 record. Saturday afternoon’s clash marked the second game between the team’s already this season, with Dragons claiming an 84-59 victory in their opening game of L Lynch Trophy group play on October 10th.
Without games on consecutive weekends since the middle of October, Dragons looked like a team still fighting to get back into rhythm, in the first quarter of their league opener.
Dragons were taking care of the ball and generating good looks; however, shots simply weren’t falling in the opening period.
Dave Walsh led the Dragons with five first quarter points, but the play of the first quarter came right at the end of the quarter when Ricky Fetske followed an Albert Margai miss with a ferocious put-back dunk to beat the buzzer.
Tied at 17 after the first period, Dragons began to kick into gear in the second quarter and never looked back.
Showing all their experience, Margai and Fetske took the game by the scruff of the neck and catapulted the Dragons into the ascendency.
Fetske poured in 12 points with Margai adding 8 points of his own in the second period. Dragons closed the half in style, going on an 8-2 run to finish the quarter.
Tyme Regent-Bascombe (sponsored by Five Wealth, Independent Wealth Management) started the run with a layup off a Margai feed. Regent-Bascombe then turned provider, finding the red-hot New Jersey native Ricky Fetske, who fired home a second three of the quarter to extend the visitors lead to 42-35.