Hunters Win Karl Taylor Plate
Woking Blackhawk Hunters 71 - 53 Woodley Harriers
The season may have been a tough grind for the Hunters, but at least they now have some silverware to show for it.
The Hunters tore through the Woodley Harriers to take home a comfortable win in the Wessex Karl Taylor Plate final on Sunday morning. Woking were led by a tremendous effort on both ends of the floor from Nick Sammut, who scored 24 points and dominated the boards on both sides.
"We really wanted this one," said the Hunters coach. "The guys came out and played a strong game - correcting our mistakes and capitalising on theirs."
Woking were short on personnel, with just 6 players available to play. A shaky first quarter saw both teams exchanging the lead a few times. Every Blackhawk player got on the scoreboard with a balanced attack, but silly mistakes and "over helping" gave Woodley enough chances that the game was level after one quarter.
Then the Hunters' superiority began to show. a 17-2 run blew the doors off this game in the second quarter. Vince "Vinsanity" Elwick led the charge on the fastbreak and with a solid baseline jumper. Rick Lansdell got involved with some great post up footwork and Alex Braine-Porter capped off the run with 6 straight of his own. Meanwhile, the Harriers failed to score for the first 5 minutes of the quarter, adding to the gap that was forming between the squads.
Woodley came out firing in the 3rd quarter.
"We knew they'd make their run in the 2nd half," said Woking's coach. "They played well on both ends, limiting our scoring and getting good looks on their end. Trouble is, they only made one of them."
Woking did struggle to maintain the barrage, but a quick timeout and adjustment saw the Hunters have their best defensive quarter in the game. Woodley managed only 4 points in the quarter while Woking went off on another 10-0 run.
The Harriers refused to quit, despite being down by 26 going into the last quarter. Their defensive intensity ramped up and they outscored the Hunters by 8 points. But it wasn't enough. This one was over.
"Sputnik" Nick Sammut was crowned MVP of the game for his stellar efforts through all 40 minutes. His presence under the basket was a clear difference maker in this game. Vince Elwick led the fastbreak offence and gave the Hunters the boost they needed to win. Great shooting from Alex Braine-Porter and Dave Nuttall. Rick Lansdell showed off his post up arsenal and James Wildsmith was a threat from all over the court.
Nick Sammut: 24
Vince Elwick: 13
Alex BP: 11
James Wildsmith: 10
Rick Lansdell: 8
Dave Nuttall: 5