Leeds’ Tricky Season Continues

THE University of Leeds’ men’s basketball 1st team were unfortunate to lose their most recent match against the University of Huddersfield’s 1st team, in a match that saw their early-season difficulties continue. The Gryphons were up against a well-drilled and energetic Huddersfield side and despite their best efforts, Leeds were unable to avoid defeat, with the final score sitting at 41 – 49.

Leeds started well and although the first points went to Huddersfield, Leeds were quick to respond, with the first Leeds basket going to Tom Simpson following an impressive run from Eike Homma, who looked threatening for most of the match, dribbling his way through a tight Huddersfield defence on numerous occasions. The first quarter ended with the two sides level at 7 – 7 and Leeds appeared to be in the ascendency, having retained possession for the majority of the period, and having looked alert around the basket and the three-point arc.

It was in the second quarter however, that the visitors seemed to take control of the match, increasing their lead to 7 – 14 in just four minutes. Leeds were able to catch up slightly, with Balie Bayai in particular displaying some serious skill with a counter-attack followed by a lay-up in the 17th minute of the match. However, the Gryphons seemed unable to answer the questions posed by Huddersfield’s ability to score three-pointers. Consequently Leeds were trailing 13-21 at the end of the first half.

This was when Leeds really needed to respond, and thankfully the beginning of the 3rd quarter saw the home side deliver quite the riposte. With immense pressure being put on the Huddersfield side inside their own three-point arc, Leeds were able to win penalties and deservedly convert them into points – baskets were scored in quick succession by Jason Sykes and Absulaziz Adekola. The score was very soon 23 – 23 and it looked as if the Gryphons might just take the game. However, the visitors went on to punish Leeds, scoring another of their damaging three-pointers and making the score 26-33 when the third quarter drew to a close.

Huddersfield began the final period with intent and, seemingly before Leeds could catch their breath, ratcheted the score up to 28 – 40. Just three minutes in and Leeds had to call an emergency time-out in order to re-group and figure out just how to respond to the attacking onslaught that Huddersfield presented. Leeds were able to respond well to the pressure put upon them and the final score certainly reflects this. However it was indeed too little too late, as the Gryphons frequently crossed the mid-point line, but were unable to return with any points to show for it. It was not a bad performance by Leeds by any stretch of the imagination. It was however, a bad day at the office.

James Candler 

Featured image: Carlotta Grimaldi 

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