Bradford Dragons Search for a first win of the season continues, following a 75-84 home defeat against Derby trailblazers at the weekend.
Both teams were without a league victory on the opening two weekends of the new NBL Division One season, with Bradford succumbing to an opening day defeat at team Newcastle University followed by a narrow loss at home to Worthing Thunder, whilst Derby failed in their attempts to overcome two of the preseason favourites, Thames Valley Cavaliers and Team Solent Kestrels.
Dragons took first blood when Dave Walsh laid up for two in the opening minute of the game. Derby responded with two baskets of their own only for Zach Gachette to level the game for Bradford. The two sides went basket for basket throughout the opening quarter and Despite the visitors opening five point advantage with two minutes of the period remaining, a Dave Walsh three-pointer followed by a first basket for Olufemi Bright meant that there was nothing to separate them at the first scheduled break [20- 20].
Straight from the restart, another Bradford youngster, Jabari Edwards, put the Dragons ahead once again. The two sides battled each other nose to nose for the majority of the second quarter; however, when Derby again opened a five point lead towards the end of the period, this time the home side failed to pull it back. After a tight and hard fought first half to the game, the teams left the court at the interval with the visitors holding a five point advantage [35- 40].
Twice in that final period, Derby’s lead was once again extended to seventeen points. However, the Dragons matched their opposition shot for shot and gradually reduced the deficit back to single figures. Had it not been for the opening five minutes of the second half, the result could have been so much different; however, the home side had given themselves too steep a hill to climb and lost the game by nine points [75-84].
The official Calderdale College Player of the Game Award went to Zach Gachette, who topped the Dragons scorers with 23 points, closely followed bye Dave Walsh who contributed 22 points, 15 of which were from beyond the three point arc, to the home team’s total.
The games high scorer was Derby’s Malcolm Smith, who bucketed a huge 29 points for the visitors, assisted by a further 17 points from Sol Rolls-Tysen and 15 for Jonas Dieterich.
With both Rihards Šulcs and Jabari Edwards leaving the court through injury, Bradford’s head coach, Chris Mellor, will be helping that both players recover in time to make the long trip down to face the Thames Valley Cavaliers, this coming Saturday. The Dragons are then back in the Den on Sunday afternoon, when they entertain either Manchester Magic or Liverpool Basketball Club in the third round of the National Cup. Tip time on Sunday is 4:15pm and tickets will be available on the door.
Photographs © Alex Daniel Photography