Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Basketball: MOHAWKS DIG IN; Physical Clash Sees Pool Game Victory MOHAWKS BASKETBALL

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Basketball: MOHAWKS DIG IN; Physical Clash Sees Pool Game Victory MOHAWKS BASKETBALL

Article excerpt

Byline: By PETER CLARKE

TEES Valley Mohawks beat Black Country University of Wolverhampton 79-63 in their second pool game of the Patrons Cup in a bitterly fought game against a physically aggressive side.

Last season's Division Three Champions Black Country brought a team full of experience with several of their players playing at BBL level.

In a particularly incident-packed first quarter the Mohawks took a commanding early lead, but found themselves without the influential Ibrahim N'Doye who was sent back to warm the bench by head coach Raftopoulos after clashing with Black Country's Eric Potts.

A technical foul was called by the officals.

Both coaches swapped personnel with regularity, which disjointed the game and the session erupted again when the yellow-shirted Robin Hall wrestled Mohawks' American Pierre Sully to the floor.

The Teessiders increased the pressure, but once again the Walsall players broke the pattern of the game when Gittens tripped Steve Butler in full flow as he attacked the basket.

Mohawks led 20-9 at the break.

The second quarter was played at a frantic pace and the Tees Valley lead looked fragile as both teams' control and handling was well below par.

Sully struggled to shake off his marking as he was roughed up several times.

The American, who was snatched from underneath the noses of Cape Cod Frenzy of the American Basketball Association, ran into several blind alleys and his creative play was stifled.

The Black Country's offensive unit with Scotsman Eric Potts and Ryan Lewis chipped away at the lead and went back to the locker room in the ascendency as the buzzer sounded having reduced the deficit to 36-33.

More importantly Mohawks captain and defensive linchpin Ike Attah had joined N'Doye on the bench with three fouls against his name.

The half time break favoured the visitors as the Tees Valley side sprayed the ball all over the court and nerves affected both sides as unforced errors broke the game up. …

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