Paul Anstiss reports on EUBC’s latest action: the BUCS Cup Western Conference Semi-Final.
EUBC men’s 1st’s stormed into the BUCS Western Conference Cup Final, after an impressive 88-71 win over local rivals Plymouth.
The two regular season meetings between the clubs had been split, with both teams winning at home, and so the game was always going to be a hotly contested affair.
The first quarter opened with a flurry of baskets for both teams, as both knew how critical an early lead could be.
Plymouth ran the court extremely hard, forcing Exeter into a defensive switch in order to prevent further easy baskets, but luckily some superb outside shooting by Grant Evje, Ben Hall and captain Tom Longbottom, kept Exeter in the game.
The second quarter saw much of the same but thanks to the defensive shift instigated in the first quarter Exeter were able to build on the lead, mainly thanks to solid ball movement and unselfish play.
Despite this Plymouth refused to go away, constantly staying within an arm’s reach and preventing Exeter from landing the proverbial knockout blow.
The magnitude and importance of the game was apparent, as both teams became hot-headed and the emotion seemed to threaten boiling over, but nevertheless Exeter kept their heads and went into half-time with a comfortable but not insurmountable lead.
For the second half of the BUCS season the third quarter had been Exeter’s best, and the opening plays seemed to suggest this would occur again, with both Tyler Mann and Tadas Krivickas scoring on easy lay-ups around the rim.
But this was not to be the case, as Plymouth staged their largest run of the game, cutting the Exeter lead down to only three points at one point.
However a crucial time-out called by Coach Grant Burridge, allowed Exeter to refocus and some good outside shooting by Tyler Mann and Grant Evje, made sure Exeter kept the lead going into the fourth quarter.
With the crowd roaring and cheering, Exeter carried on in the fourth quarter hitting big shot after big shot, and thanks to another superb tactical defensive shift Exeter were able to contain Plymouths best player, along with strong individual defence by Ben Hall and Grant Evje.
Exeter continued to impose their will on offense, with fresh legs from David Burt and Max Hagenbach providing the last spurt of energy at the end to ensure the victory.
A massive thanks goes out to all those who came and supported, as anyone who was there would agree that the atmosphere was simply incredible.
Exeter now go on to face UWIC in the final at Glamorgan sports centre on the 21st March.