Barking Abbey squads opened the New Year this weekend, with all four teams in action but only one victory as the Division Four Men pulled through.
BA London Lions were unable to break their losing streak in 2018 with a 45-70 loss at the hands of Manchester Mystics at the Copper Box on Sunday.
Mystics set the tone on defence in the opening period, holding BA to just seven points and they were able to open up a commanding 20-point advantage at half-time, leaving BA chasing the rest of the way.
Fourteen points and 20 rebounds from Urysla Cotton would not be enough for BA, as Charlotte Ellmore was the only other player in double figures with 10.
All five starters hit double figures for the visitors as they improve to a 6-3 league record.
Sam Roscoe had 14 of her game-high 18 points at the half with Georgia Jones producing an impressive all-round display with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists in the win.
“Really disappointing performance, disappointing result and disappointing all round the way we are just not competing,” Head Coach Mark Clark commented.
“We have to find a way to become more positive, more confident, more engaged with what we’re trying to do because at the moment we’re doubting ourselves. When you’re in a rut you need to make some changes, we’re fortunate we’re going to add Melita Emmanuel-Carr to the roster, that’s really going to help, I hope it will help both in quality and in terms of her experience and energy she always brings as a former Barking student.
“It was great to see Urysla putting in a consistent performance over 40 minutes, that’s two games running now she’s really become a factor for us. It was difficult today against a very consistent, well coached, quality line up as Manchester and when you have georgia at the point, it’s going to make life difficult for you and that’s what they did.
“Charlotte Ellmore was again trying to lead the team from the point guard spot, which she’s done very well all year, but she needs some help and I think we need to go back on the practice floor and knuckle down to find a way to turn it round.
“Doesn’t get any easier, we go to Riders next week, it’s why we put the academy players in this situation. It’s not good enough at the moment and I’m sure we’ll continue to improve. One win could lead to a number of wins so let’s hope that’s what happens.”
Partner club Kent Crusaders were not able to get 2018 off to a winning start after a 84-73 loss to Worthing Thunder on Saturday at Barking Abbey Leisure Centre.
Former BBL MVP Zaire Taylor had 30 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists before fouling out for the visitors, who held a 70-54 lead heading into the final period before Kent mounted their comeback after Thunder got in foul trouble.
Caleb Fuller had 29 points to lead Crusaders, with Pierce Maslen knocking down five three-pointers on his way to 15 points, but it would not be enough.
“I feel really frustrated after the game today,” Head Coach Lloyd Gardner said after the contest.
“I don’t think the score was reflective through large stretches of the game of how close we feel we were through large stretches of the game.
“Defensively we did a pretty good job, then finally in the fourth quarter they got in foul trouble and we were able to make a little push to make it an interesting game.
“But we just didn’t play with enough poise down the stretch to get the win. I can’t knock our guys effort, I’m proud of them today, but we know this is a tough league, teams like Worthing have got really good players, so we have to come ready to play and we’ve got to just keep fighting.”
It was Worthing’s seventh win in a row as they climbed to second in the D1 Men’s league table, whilst Crusaders dropped to 3-8 in 12th place and will now take on Manchester Magic on Saturday 13th at 4pm at BA Leisure Centre.
The Division 1 Women suffered a 62-73 loss at the hands of Oxford Brookes University on Sunday at BA.
BA remained in striking distance throughout but were unable to get over the hump, as they fell to their second consecutive loss.
Dami Adeyinka had 24 points, Sade Orija joined her in double figures with 10, and Cadogan had 9.
“For the first game back after the break with no Macy Spinks and losing Nikita in the first half due to an injury I was fairly pleased with the overall game,” Head Coach Karen Burton said.
“We kept it close all the way through with the lead going backwards and forwards. It was just a couple of defensive lapses in the last four minutes that gave them the edge. It was great steps forward with a tough game next week ahead will see if we can keep momentum going and convert some of these good performances.
“There are five teams at the bottom of the league that are within two points of each other so if we can overturn some of the single digit losses who knows come end of the season.”
BA are now 2-6 in tenth place in the league table, and will look to bounce back next Sunday when they take on Southwark Pride at 2pm at BA Leisure Centre.
BA Division 4 Men started 2018 on the right foot with a 75-51 win over Anglia Ruskin to improve to 9-2 in second place in the South East conference.
A scrappy start from both sides saw BA hold a double digit lead for most of the first half until a surge before the break saw the gap reduced to five.
A strong third quarter from BA, led from the defensive end, saw BA go on a 15-0 run and hold Anglia Ruskin to just four points in the period as they would cruise the rest of the way.
Stand-in Head Coach Rikki Broadmore took the reigns after James Vear was banned for a game following his ejection against Richmond before Christmas.
“It was not a good performance today,” Broadmore said. “We showed a glimpse of what we can do in the 3rd quarter but the rest of the game we did not hold ourselves to a high enough standard.
“A lot of credit must go to Matt Harber he is a doing a great job and has his team really organised. I expect them to pick up a lot of wins in second half of the year.”
Robin Bedford led BA with 18 points whilst Ade Adebayo had 13. BA will remain on the road next week when they take on Cambridge Cats at 6:30pm.