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Trophy exit mars league victory for Bradford Dragons
It was a hit and miss weekend for Bradford Dragons as they won their latest league match but then bowed out of the National Trophy.
The Dragons edged past Bristol Academy Flyers 86-85 in vcars.co.uk Division One but two matches in successive days proved a bridge too far and they lost 80-69 to Hemel Storm in the Trophy quarter-finals.
The league encounter went down to the final shot of the game after Bradford had seen a 15-0 lead midway through the first quarter whittled away.
Bristol hit back to within eight points by the first interval but the Dragons picked up the pace again in the second quarter and took a healthy 15-point lead into the half-time break.
The third quarter was a much tighter affair as the Flyers started to force Bradford into taking more difficult shots and this meant they were only able to extend their lead to 16 points going into the final period.
Bristol then dominated the fourth quarter, with Doug McLaughlin-Williams firing in four three-pointers before missing another attempt on the buzzer that would have won the contest.
Bobby Edmunds led the Dragons scoring with 18 points, while Mostapha Alfaki posted a game-high 21 for Bristol.
Bradford again started strongly in the Trophy less than 20 hours later as they established a ten-point lead to take into the second period.
Hemel, who had won an earlier league encounter between the sides, returned to court more focused and Louis Sayers started to score freely on his way to a game-high 26 points. Bradford saw their lead reduced to seven points by half-time and the Storm then dominated the third period to build a four-point gap going into the final ten minutes.
They were able to extend this to 11 points by the close to secure a semi-final clash with Essex Leopards, Rihards Sulcs top-scoring for the Dragons with 16 points.
Bradford’s second team also split their weekend and lost 74-71 to Hull Wasps before beating Stockport Falcons seconds 80-64 the next day.
The under-18s went down 69-51 to York Eagles, while the under-16s lost 90-45 to Bury Blue Devils and the under-14s were beaten 105-54 by Sheffield Saints.