Preston’s College Men’s basketball team continued their impressive start in their maiden campaign in National League Division Four with an impressive 80-69 win away at Lancashire Spinners II at Blackburn College.
Captain Daniel Miller was yet again the inspiration behind the win as he joint top-scored with Melkisidek Moreaux on 22 points. Kyle Carey followed closely with 12.
In a tight first quarter the team traded baskets with the home side as they began to feel their way into the game. Some sloppy play ultimately cost them from building a bigger lead and ended the quarter only up by 5 at 14-9. Yet the team found some renewed optimism as they went on a 10-0 tear to start the second quarter and kept up the pace to finish the half with a commanding 41-24 lead. The theme continued for much of the second half and even though the home side threatened a comeback late in the fourth quarter Preston had enough answers of their own on the defensive end to close out comfortable winners.
“I thought we played exceptionally well,” asserted Preston Head Coach Malcolm Leak. “Our guys played unselfish and fed off one another. It was certainly pleasing on the eye. Our defence was exemplary and we contained them when they made their runs, we weren’t rattled.”
The win moves them level with Gateshead Phoenix in fourth place with a 6-3 record heading into the Christmas break.
Daniel Miller who has been the heart and soul of the team in the first half of the season was delighted with the win. “It was a brilliant team performance as we played unselfish for the full forty minutes” he enthused. “It was a great feeling after the game for every player involved and it’s starting to show that our hard work is finally paying off”, said the captain who is leading the team in scoring with an average of 18.8 points per game.
Kyle Carey underlined his recent selection for the England U18 squad with 12 points of his own. “I think the game went well,” he stated. “A real positive to take out of the game was that our bench production was very good and everyone contributed to the win. As a team we need to be able to finish teams off when we have a commanding lead and not allow them to get back in the game.”
The team now take a hard earned break before resuming in the New Year with a long trip up north to face a Newcastle team that has yet to lose this season. Coach Malcolm believes that there is a lot to learn from their recent thirty-seven point drubbing they suffered at the hands of Newcastle back in November. “We will break the game tape down, have a look at them more closely. We know what they are about, what their guards can do. If we correct some of the mistakes that we made in our home game against them then we can catch them out.”
Article and photos by Mansoor Ahmed