LSBU Brixton Topcats slumped to a disappointing 69-78 home defeat against Bradford Dragons on Sunday – a loss which saw Brixton slip to a 7-7 league record, and lose ground on the chasing pack in the top half of the table.
Still missing Arturo Noha, Karolis Petkus – and for much of the game Samuel Toluwase – Brixton were missing some of their main offensive weapons, but it didn’t show early on as they racked up 21 first quarter points. Tom Adorian grabbed some early buckets, and Avelino Antonio showed characteristic determination to force his way to the basket – the pair combining for 32 points on the night. At the other end Richard Sulcs and Chris McGrew put the early points on the board as the Dragons went into the first break up 23-21 points.
Brixton’s lack of firepower became more evident in the second quarter. Demba Kasse started to find his shooting touch, and point guard Edwin Saayeng got in on the scoring act as Brixton scrapped to stay in contention. The Topcats back court continually struggled to contain explosive Bradford playmaker Bobby Edmunds, whose drives caused many opportunities for a balanced Dragons offence to capitalise with some good percentage mid-range shots. At half time the visitors lead 41-35.
Topcats supporters are used to seeing their side fight back from such predicaments, but the anticipated third quarter charge never really materialised as Brixton struggled to find any offensive rhythm with too many short offences leading to poor quality, low percentage shots. Antonio, Adorian, and Demba Kasse added a couple of baskets each to their personal tallies, but it just wasn’t enough as Bradford’s steady offence continued to generate higher percentage opportunities which the likes of Vance Silcott and Richard Sulcs continued to take advantage of. After 3 periods
the Bradford lead had stretched out to 61-51.
Brixton were able to reduce the arrears to just 5 points at one stage of the fourth quarter, but were unable to put together the momentum needed to seize control of the game. Needing to force the issue, Brixton’s offence became more speculative and Bradford were able to soak up the pressure and use the clock well at the other end.
Head Coach Andy Powlesland said: “we are really suffering through injury and it shows in our recent results. Whilst we have been competitive we have not have enough scoring power to get the wins. I just need to get a healthy team back for a serious run at the play-offs, and that is still a few weeks off.”
It doesn’t get any easier for the Topcats as they travel away to the league champions Bristol Flyers on Saturday with the next home game coming at Brixton Recreation Centre on February 26th against Medway Park Crusaders at