Lakers 83 Erks "2" 87
Chris Olufeso top scored with 26 points.
Martin Overare scored all his points in the fourth quarter.
All Photos Copyright 2001, 2002 Peter Horrell
Following the Erks' decision to enter two teams into the EMBL this year, Friday's game at the Lakers represented the opening game for Erks 2. Unfortunately this means that the previous week's victory against last season's champions Hainault will not now count since the team that earned the victory comprised both Erks 1 and 2 players.
Games against Lakers are always close and this year's confrontation was to be no exception much to the anguish of Coach McCusker. Veteran Lee Atkinson hit the first 2 of his 12 point total as he opened the scoring. Laker's Edmundson replied with a trey and this set the tempo for the quarter. Fortunately for the Erks, Chris Olufeso and Nelson Miranda also found their scoring touch and at the end of quarter had earned the Erks a 4 point lead.
The second quarter saw the Erks outscore the Lakers by four again as they ended the half 41 - 33 up. Coach McCusker and Richard "Chims" Williams also saw action in the second period with the Coach contributing 4 points and Chims replacing centre Paul Haydan who was in early foul trouble.
The third quarter was a different story though as the Erks man to man defense three times consecutively left a Laker free. This was sorted out after an uncompromising timeout by the Erks coach however the momentum was back with the Lakers who shot their way back into the game ending the quarter down by 3. It was not all bad for the Erks in the third though as Nelson Miranda continued to show his offensive talent with eight points while Erks webmaster Pete Horrell registered his first points of the season with a couple of "J"s.
At the start of the fourth the Erks found their rhythm again but still could not completely take control. Chris Olufeso continued his offensive crusade with 11 points and the cool Martin "not Mike" Overare added 8.
It seemed to be all over for the Lakers as the clock ran down and as long as the Erks kept possession of the ball then the Erks would be home dry. However sometimes the simple way to end a game is not always the way it goes and a combination of rushed offenses and poor shot selection by the Erks allowed the Lakers to pull back to within 5. Then with 3 seconds left Nelson Miranda allowed his discipline to slip as he got into a discussion with referee Courtney Carter. Two technical fouls later, Nelson was ejected from the court and the Lakers were sent to the charity stripe. Fortunately time was on the Erks side who ran out winners 87 - 83.
Unsurprisingly Coach McCusker was not impressed with the events in the last minute and characteristically did not hold back with his team after the game.
Overall though the Erks deserved the victory however there is still some work to be done. Chris Olufeso top scored with 26 points with Nelson Miranda hitting an excellent 17.
The next Erks 2 game is at Sydney Russell on Thursday 31st October against Cardinals.
Declan McCusker 8, Chris Olufeso 26, Pete Horrell 4, Lee Atkinson 12, Martin Overare 8, A "Nelson" Miranda 17, Paul Haydan 12, Richard "Chims" Williams
P Campbell 3, P. Cann 2, C. Marks 20, P. Bayliss 12, E. Laroque 5, C Fortes 23, C. Brandon 4, I. Edmundson 9,
Report posted: 23/10/02