Lower Men's seeds advance to D1 playoff final
By Dave Ryan
Bristol Academy Flyers 81 (24,41,57,74)
Leeds Carnegie 85 (23,44,59,71)
Leeds Carnegie came out on top in overtime in a thrilling first men's Division One semi-final on Saturday.
Zoltan Supola was the key man for fourth seeded Leeds as he finished with a 24 point, ten rebound double-double, and scored the winning basket to send his side into their second final of the season.
The Yorkshire side looked dead and buried as they trailed by nine late in regulation time, but staged a memorable comeback to seal a fine victory.
American pair Adrian Fenyn and Mike Medved each finished with 17 points, pulling down 12 and 11 boards respectively, with Albert Margai adding 12 points.
Young English guard Tyrone Treasure led the Flyers with 19 points and 11 boards, with Rob Loftman, Enrique Garcia and Doug McLaughlin-Williams each adding 14 points.
Leeds won the tip and took the lead through Sean Clifford and scores from Fenyn and Medved saw Leeds blow into a 6-0 lead after 70 seconds. Streete broke the tear with a pair from the foul line, but Carnegie led 14-7 at the five minute mark.
Zoltan Supola's trey made it a ten point game but Loftman answered with a long two, then a deuce from Treasure kept the West Country side in touch before Davis Bowne made it a three point game with 98 seconds on the clock.
McLaughlin-Williams' put-back made it 21-20 and it was Treasure who completed the comeback as he grabbed an offensive board and scored with 3.2 seconds on the clock to send Flyers into the first break 24-23 ahead.
A McLaughlin-Willams dunk trebled that lead to open the second stanza, and Bristol were now in full control as Loftman hit a trey to put his side 38-26 up with 6:13 on the clock and force a time-out from Leeds' coach Matt Newby.
Clifford made it a single digit game again with a drive to the basket but Loftman put his side nine up with five minutes of the half remaining.
An and-one from Medved made it a six point game and a steal and basket from Clifford saw that lead cut to two forcing a timeout from Flyers' coach Andreas Kapoulas with 2:30 on the clock, but an Albert Margai trey cut Bristol's lead to 41-40 before Medved's lay-up put Leeds back in front.
Garcia missed a jumper to close the half as Leeds went into the locker room leading 44-41.
The third period remained tight, with a single free-throw from Streete tying it at 51 with 2:17 remaining in the quarter, but a Medved drive to the basket saw Carnegie back up by four and Streete's attempted buzzer beater rimmed out to leave Leeds 57-55 ahead going into the final break.
Bristol scored the first four points of the final stanza, before Fenyn tied it at 59 and a great Medved steal saw him level the score again at 61 while putting Loftman on his fourth foul.
But Bristol scored six points in a hurry capped by Garcia's jumper and McLaughlin-Williams extended that lead to nine with a three to force a time-out from Leeds with 4:28 on the clock.
Henry Wilkins hit a triple to make it a four point game going into the final two minutes before Medved halved that. Supola's tip-in after Margai's miss tied it at 72 with 1:12 on the clock.
Loftman was fouled by Supola as he drove in, and the young English player coolly hit both to put his side 74-72 up with 38.1 seconds left, and Carnegie called a timeout.
Supola missed a jumper, but Leeds grabbed the board and set him up for a drive to level things at 74 going into the final 19 seconds.
Streete drove to the hoop, but Leeds got a hand on the shot to send the game into an extra period.
Supola opened the overtime scoring with a pair at the line with 46 seconds gone and Fenyn made it a five point game after converting an and-one off McLaughlin-Williams' foul.
Treasure missed a pair at the line, but saw the rebound tipped to him to make it a one point game only for Fenyn to answer at the other end.
McLaughlin-Williams was clattered as he drove to the basket, but he converted the shot to cut Leeds' lead to one before Bowne fouled Fenyn - only for the American to miss both foul shots.
At the other end Supola sent Streete to the line where he hit the first and missed the second to level things with a minute remaining.
Fenyn was the next to the foul line and he again missed both, only for Margai to come up with the ball with 34 seconds remaining. The Londoner was sent to the line by Treasure and he hit both to put his side 83-81 up with 26.1 seconds left.
Bowne fell heavily as he went to the basket, and on the break it was Supola who sealed the win as McLaughlin-Williams' long range effort rimmed out.
BA London Leopards 69 (12,36,51)
Reading Rockets 80 (17,34,58)
Reading Rockets became the second lower seed of the day to reach the Division One playoff final as a good second half performance saw them record an 80-69 victory against London Leopards,
Led by 22 points from Robbie Parker, 18 from Niko Scott and 16 from Will Hall, the Rockets will now look to repeat their title triumph of 2009.
Ousman Krubally led the Leopards with 21 points and 15 boards, with Leigh Greenan adding 14 and Josh Sharlow 11.
Rockets won the tip, and after both sides had come up short, Jon May gave Reading the lead before Josh Sharlow answered at the other end.
Robbie Parker made it 7-2 to Reading with a trey, but Greenan replied from the foul line before Sharlow was forced to sit down on two fouls after just three minutes.
That lead grew to nine as Lohfink hit a pair at the line and Scott scored on the break forcing a timeout from Leopards' coach Mark Clark with 5:12 on the clock.
Reading's lead grew to 13 as Sharlow collected a third foul at the offensive end before Krubally ended Leopards' drought with a pair at the line.
Sharlow made it a single digit game with a long jumper, and Borja Pintor-Henningsen hit two of four at the line to make it a seven point game going into the last minute of the period.
Krubally also hit a pair as Leopards stretched their run to 8-0 forcing a timeout by Reading coach Samit Nuruzade and his side went into the first break leading 17-12.
Scores from Krubally and Greenan opened the second period scoring before the former gave Leopards their first lead of the game.
Josh Johnson made it a 16-0 run for London and Greenan added to the lead with four points to make it 24-17 with 6:26 on the clock, forcing a Rockets' timeout.
Scott broke the 20-0 run but scores from Johnson and Greenan kept Leopards' noses in front, and Marlan Henry made it 30-22 with a scoop shot and three minutes left in the half.
A massive Scott trey off Guymon's pass cut that lead, and despite Greenan answering, it was Rockets who finished strongly as Josh Johnson's single free-throw sent Leopards into the locker room 36-34 ahead.
Krubally opened the second half with an and-one to make it a five point game, but Scott answered with a long jumper and a 6-0 run put Rockets ahead by one.
Krubally joined compatriot Sharlow on three fouls as he was also called for an offensive charge, and a pair of Scott free-throws put Reading 46-42 up with four minutes of the period remaining .
A lovely Sharlow pass set Johnson up to hit a triple to make it a one point game, but a Guymon trey put Rockets up by six.
Pintor-Henningsen kept Leopards in the game with a big three, but it was Rockets who led 58-51 at the final break.
Parker opened the fourth period with a drive to basket as he was left un-guarded and Krubally picked up his fourth - and second offensive - foul shortly afterwards.
Two Krubally free-throws and a steal and two from Sharlow made it a five point game before Krubally beat the shot clock to hit a trey from the top of the key.
Rockets were up by 64-60 at the five minute mark before Will Hall was sent to the line where he hit both shots to put his team six up and force a Leopards' time-out.
The move made little difference as Parker sparked a 9-0 run to put Rockets 70-60 ahead, before Krubally hit a pair at the line to make it a eight point game with 3:25 on the clock.
A May three as the clock wound down proved to be the dagger in the heart for Leopards as they called a timeout with Reading 73-62 up and 2:48 on the clock.
Krubally fouled out with 2:22 left, and Rockets were left to seal their place in the title game as they ran down the clock.
Follow the Men's Playoff Final Live Stats here.