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BBL round-up

Tuesday, 17-Apr-2012

As the BBL Championship entered its penultimate weekend of the regular season, the nine games produced some of the biggest upsets of the campaign.
Mersey Tigers spoilt Newcastle Eagles' title celebrations with a shock 82-74 win while a Durham Wildcats team missing leading scorer Mario Flaherty shocked Guildford Heat with a 96-85 home win.
A packed Sport Central saw Eagles collect their third piece of silverware this season, but it was Tigers' young English players who stole the show as Myles Hesson led all scorers with 24 points, adding nine rebounds and five steals in the victory, while Sam Cricelli recorded an impressive double-double of 18 points and 16 rebounds.
It was part of a rollercoaster of a weekend for the Tigers as 20 Cricelli points helped Tony Garbelotto's team to a 94-86 home win against Prestige Homes MK Lions, but half an hour later they found out that their playoff hopes were over after Cheshire Jets sealed a place in post-season with an 80-68 victory against Glasgow Rocks.
Colin O'Reilly did a lot of the damage for John Lavery's team with 29 points, and it completed a good weekend for the Jets as Friday night had seen them win 95-78 at Lions. Adam Brown led the Jets with 25 points, and Lions' playoff dreams will now have to wait for next year.
While Rocks went down at the Northgate Arena on Sunday, there was some success for Sterling Davis and his team as Friday night's 83-76 win at One Health Sharks Sheffield sealed fifth spot for the Glasgow side. A 22-14 first period did most of the damage for a Rocks side who were led by 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists from Mychal Green.
Wildcats' playoff hopes ended several weeks ago but they made light of the loss of Flaherty to shock the Heat in the north east. After moving into the lead in the second quarter, the Wildcats kept Guildford at bay with some excellent shooting. Mike Capocci led their scoring with 28 points, while Tayo Ogedengbe scored 26 for Heat. It wasn't all bad news for Guildford, though, as Sunday's results sealed their playoff place without bouncing a ball.
The battle for second place continues to have plenty of twists and turns. Saturday evening saw Worcester Wolves record a convincing 93-71 win over one of their nearest rivals Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders.
Wolves controlled the match throughout, but an excellent third quarter, which saw them outscore their visitors by 28-10 proved decisive. Richie Gordon led all scorers with 24 points, assisted by 17 from Tommy Freeman.
However, the following day saw them go down 94-80 at fellow high-flyers UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders. The home side bounced back from a midweek mauling in Leicester to get back to winning ways as seven three-pointers from Mike Ojo helped him to a 31 point night, and James Jones handed out an impressive 14 assists.
That was Wolves' final game of the regular season, and they remain in second place but will be waiting on other results to see if they can take the runners-up spot. Raiders can seal second with a pair of wins as they travel to Lions on Wednesday and Sharks on Friday, while if they slip up, the Riders need to win their home games against Eagles on Wednesday and Guildford on Saturday to finish as runners-up.
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