Bradford Dragons make play-offs despite defeat

Dragons' Dan Foley was his side's top scorer against Hemel Storm

Dragons' Dan Foley was his side's top scorer against Hemel Storm

First published in Sport by

Bradford Dragons have clinched a top-four play-off place in English Basketball League Division One, despite the end of their six-game winning streak.

They suffered an 85-76 loss at home to Hemel Storm in a battle for third place but, with 17 wins and just eight losses, this season represents their most successful one.

Dragons are likely to play either Manchester Magic or Leeds Carnegie at home in the first round of the play-offs on Saturday, April 12.

In their penultimate regular-season fixture against Hemel, Bradford enjoyed a 23-18 first-quarter lead.

A dominant opening half, led by American duo Chris McGrew and Dan Foley, looked to be ending 41-32 in favour of the hosts. However, Hemel trimmed the lead with an instinctive three-point field goal at the buzzer.

In the second half, Hemel began to show why they too are competitive near the top of the table.

Led by points and assists from point guard Bode Adeluola, Hemel edged 63-60 in front by the end of the third quarter.

Dragons, uncharacteristically, did not have an inspiring final quarter, whereas Hemel remained impressive, scoring three-point field goals with apparent ease to win by nine points.

Foley top-scored for the Dragons with 20 points and McGrew weighed in with 16, while Adeluola was the most prolific with 28 points for Hemel.

With identical records, both teams are targeting third spot ahead of Saturday’s final regular fixture, which sees Dragons visit Worthing Thunder and Hemel host Leeds Carnegie.

Meanwhile, Dragons’ second team lost 66-48 at home to Rawthorpe Eag-les in the Leeds & Dis-trict Premier League and the third team suffered a 56-49 defeat at home to Spen Valley seconds in Leeds & District Division Two.

Dragons under-16s’ first ever play-off game went well as they won 72-66 against a talented Sefton Stars team.

They now play the mighty Manchester Magic under-16s away on Sunday in the last 16.

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