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BASKETBALL: Hough End 32 Bury Blue Devils 63
THE Blue Devils remained on course for the Manchester Area Basketball League Division One title with another fine win.
The local men started the game in style, hitting three shots from long range with Chris Stainton and Charlie Cuthbert hitting the target.
With a two-point lead, Bury kept up the pressure, scoring nine points without reply through inside play by youngster Conor Wilkinson and veteran Stu Jackson to hold an 11-point lead after a quarter.
The second quarter would be Bury’s lowest scoring, Cuthbert hitting a pair of threes, Jay Knowles contributing and Ajaz Wadood muscling inside. However, their defence tightened up, allowing only eight points to their own 11, extending the lead to 32-18 by the halfway stage.
Bury continued their strategy in the third quarter and, although the match was scrappy at times, they conceded only five points.
Stainton, Jackson and coach Mike Nichols shared 14 points between them to extend the lead to 46-23 with a quarter remaining.
The Blue Devils philosophy that defence wins not only games, but championships, again stifled the Hough End attack while at the other end, they continued to score excellent baskets thanks to their fine passing and teamwork. This was demonstrated by a two-on-one break with Stainton passing to an open Ant Morris who could have easily scored.
But he selflessly passed it right back to Stainton who completed the move to score.
Out of the four periods Bury held Hough End to single digit scoring in three of them, and 10 points in the other. Jason Knowles took the team plaudits for keeping a steady ship alongside Jackson who stepped up against his former team.