MORPETH’S senior basketball outfit the Mavericks ended 2011 on a real high with a blow-out win over Whickham Warriors.
The 93-43 victory extended the Mavs’ winning run in the TyneMet League Division Two to five games and means they go into the turn of the year with just one defeat to their name, with every other team having lost at least two games.
The Mavs went into this game minus three key players in Greg Mavin, Sam Thistlethwaite and Pete Stapley and drafted in John Freeman and Lawrie Thompson from the Magic to help out, with the pair of them playing their part.
And while everyone played well on the day, this was a game in which the Mavs well and truly got their outside game going, their shooters nailing no fewer than eight three-pointers.
Yildirim Bayazit came off the bench to lead all scorers with 22 points, 12 of them coming from behind the arc, while Matt Davison turned in his best game of the season, scoring 20 which included two threes.
Andy Gibbison and Lawrie Thompson also scored from behind the arc.
It should be said that unselfish play from the big men inside – Kevin Smiles, Paul Clewes and John Freeman – helped to free up the outside shooters who thrived on the service provided to them.
Clewes, in particular, had a storming game, his six points only telling part of the story as he proved a powerhouse on the boards.
A flurry of three three-pointers from Yildirim in the space of two minutes saw the Mavs put daylight between themselves and the visitors towards the end of the first quarter and, with Morpeth 28-11 up going into the second, it was going to take a miracle for Whickham to get back into the game.
The second quarter followed a similar pattern with the Mavs’ confidence growing by the minute, enabling them to play some of their best basketball of the season.
Spurred on by captain Andy Sanderson the Mavs showed no mercy to their opponents, with a 14-1 run at the start of the third-quarter putting them 32 points up and course for a victory which fired out a warning to their rivals at the top of the table and a result which augurs well for the second-half of the season.
Scorers: Bayazit (22), Davison (20), Smiles (14), Sanderson (10), Gibbison (nine), Clewes (six), Freeman (six), Thompson (five).