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Basketball: Vikings repel raucous raid by Lithuanians
10:18am Saturday 29th September 2012 in Sport
York Vikings basketball team got off to an excellent start in their Leeds BBL first division campaign, as they overcame a resurgent Leeds Lithuanians team with a nail-biting overtime victory at York College , writes Alex Finnis.
At the buzzer the teams were tied at 88-88 with both squads in foul trouble, meaning a further ten minutes would be needed to decide the game.
Rew Hymer stepped up to lead the Vikings to a strong finish and silence the numerous and vocal travelling support with seven points in the overtime period, including a clutch three-point play which sealed the result.
The Vikings were missing Dylan Squire and Brett McLeod, two of their stand-out centres, so Richard Rees and Moray Greig stepped into the gaps, with James Aveyard, who top-scored with 25 points, taking the power forward role.
After six minutes York notched 13 points without reply. Leeds came back into the game as the quarter drew on but the Vikings still went into the second period with a commanding 25-14 lead.
The Lithuanians rallied after their poor first-quarter display, with a tightly-fought contest ensuing over the remainder of regulation time.
Rees hit early foul trouble, forcing the Vikings to play Aveyard out of position with Greig and Tim Morris covering the big man role for much of the game.
New signings Matthew Dodd and Jason Milner both hit three three-pointers, and a strong Vikings team contributed to contain the counter-attack which gradually chipped away at the early lead until overtime was forced and Hymer confirmed himself the hero.
York Vikings’ next fixture is at Easingwold tomorrow before the return on Tuesday (7.45pm).