Lee Goldsbrough hit the first points of the game for Magic, but Bradford’s Ricky Fetske was as reliable as ever and quickly levelled the score. However, neither team managed to take a hold of the game during the opening quarter as they matched each other point for point. At the end of the period Bradford just had the edge, albeit by only a single point, with the scores at 18-19.
The second quarter followed a similar pattern, with both teams holding their own. But, with just over half of the quarter played, Fetske collided with Manchester’s Simon Anumba, causing the referees to call an officials timeout to allow Bradford’s big man to receive medical attention. The American left the court, suffering with concussion, and played no further part in the game.
It was in the third period that Bradford lost the game, managing a mere thirteen points in the quarter, allowing Magic to extend their lead to eighteen points, going into the final phase of the game at 62-44.
With five minutes remaining on the clock, the white rose side picked up a defensive rebound and quickly got the ball to Rihards Sulcs. The long serving Latvian made no mistake with his layup to pull the deficit back to just twelve points, giving their travelling fans some hope of a grand recovery. Alas, it wasn’t to be as the home side regained control and put the game to bed (80-64).
Sulcs head the Bradford scorers with 13 points and, despite his early exit from the game, Fetske followed him on 11 points. Fellow American, Marcus Gooding hit 10 points, as did Dwayne Camille.
Camilles namesake, Duane Morgan, hit the game high, scoring 23 points for Magic.
In a frank reflection on the game, Bradford coach, Chris Mellor said, “We played okay in the first half, but the game got away from us in the third and we never recovered really. Their defence stepped up and they created some transition scores, but I was disappointed with our second half display.”
Bradford now face a double header weekend in the Dragons Den, with games against Leicester Warriors on Saturday, 6:30pm, followed by a Sunday fixture against Hemel Storm. Tickets for both fixtures are available via the Dragons website.
In the juniors’ only fixture of the weekend, Dragons’ under 18s travelled to Durham Wildcats, where they recorded the win, 43-71.
Meanwhile the under 16s have been confirmed as the winners of the North East division of the Junior National Basketball League for their age group, following a fantastic season, beating Sheffield Eagles to the title on points difference.
Photography Credit to NGS - MirrorBoxStudios & Alex Daniel Photography