Basketball: Titans tame Lyons to retain league title
TMF TITANS secured their second consecutive JBBA Division I title at Langford last night with a third-straight playoff win against Lyons Estates.
Looking to extend their playoff series lead to an unassailable 3-1 after beating the regular-season winners twice in the last week, Titans exploded out of the blocks before fending off a fourth-quarter resurgence to win 64-55.
Lyons' Jordan Neill was the game's top-scorer with 16 points, but strength-in-depth in Titans' ranks proved the difference.
Luke Hazelwood-Hamon, starting his first playoff encounter, grabbed the first eight points for the reigning champions before they went on a 9-2 run to end the first-quarter 23-8 ahead.
The gap continued to grow at the start of the second as strong defence led to easy fast-break offense. James Reed capitalised on the easy baskets; adding five points to Titans' tally, but with Guillaume Hoareau being rested Lyons kept in touch – 35-22 at half-time.
Game 1: Lyons Estates 57-61 TMF Titans
Game 2: TMF Titans 73-59 Lyons Estates
Game 3: Lyons Estates 55-64 TMF Titans
Titans win series 3-1 (Lyons given one game head-start after winning regular season)
With Lyons' defensive specialist Sean Pallot fouled out of the game early in the third quarter, both teams traded baskets in the opening phases and Jordan Neill's strong inside presence forced easy baskets for Lyons. Titans extended their lead further, though, and with just ten minutes to go they led by 17.
As you would expect, Lyons would not lie down without a fight. Again, with Hoareau on the sidelines, they went on a 10-2 run to cut the lead to just nine. Chris Radzminski led the push, making strong drives to cut open the opposition defence.
But Hoareau helped to stem the opposition scoring on his return, and following a Cameron Stables three-pointer Titans were back to 12 in front. Radzminksi replied once again, but Lyons could not close the gap any further and Titans were triumphant.
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