Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Bobby Edmunds' three-pointer helps Bradford Dragons top group
Bradford Dragons finished off their National Trophy group stage in style with a brace of away wins over the weekend.
Dragons travelled to Reading on Saturday to face a strong Rockets side who were clinging onto their own chances of qualification for the quarter-finals.
Rockets started the game the stronger and managed to pile on 27 points in the first quarter while Dragons only managed 17 points.
Bradford's offence picked up in the second quarter but they were still unable to stop Reading's impressive offence, allowing the Rockets to take a nine-point lead into the locker room at half-time.
Bradford came out in the second half refocused and instantly managed to stifle Reading's offence while maintaining their own scoring rhythm.
By the end of the third quarter, Dragons had drawn level to set up an enthralling final period, when both teams stepped up their defensive intensity as they sought the win.
As both teams traded baskets in the closing minutes, Reading managed to gain themselves a two- point lead with just 1.8 seconds to go.
Dragons then ran a play to get their point guard Bobby Edmunds open to score what would be a game winning three, and he scored the buzzer-beating perimeter shot to give Dragons an 80-79 victory.
Edmunds led Dragons' scoring with 26 points, while the Rockets were led by forward Ryan Lohfink with 25 points.
Dragons had only led the game for a total of 21 seconds out of the 40 minutes but they came away with the win which secured their quarter-final place and knocked Reading Rockets out of the competition.
Dragons' head coach Chris Mellor was relieved with the result, saying: "I wasn't happy at the half as Reading had shot the ball well but we gave up 50 points and we weren't guarding anybody.
"After the break we played much harder, and thankfully Bobby nailed the game-winner on the buzzer."
Dragons once again travelled south yesterday, this time to Derby to face the Trailblazers.
Last season, the Trailblazers were one of only two Division One teams that Dragons were unable to beat, so Bradford entered the game detemined to correct this at their first opportunity.
Dragons started well, with their defence frustrating Derby while they were able to score freely at the other end, and by the end of the first quarter they had taken a seven-point lead.
Derby countered this in the second period as their offence started to breakdown Dragons' defence with ease, and by the end of the first half they had claimed a one-point lead.
The third quarter was a close affair as both teams worked hard to gain control, Derby maintaining their one-point lead to take into the final ten minutes.
However, Bradford dominated the final period as they outscored the Trailblazers by nine points to win 73-65.
Once again, Edmunds led the Dragons scoring with 20 points, while Derby were led by Tom Sherlock, also with 20 points.
Mellor was pleased with his team's performance, saying: "We started okay but Derby played better in the second quarter, with (Nick) Rose hurting us from the perimeter.
"We kept our discipline after the interval and managed to edge out to a double-figure lead just at the right time. It was a good effort to hold them to 65, especially after a tough game in Reading the night before."
These two wins secured Dragons top spot in their group and a home tie in the quarter-finals against Medway Park Crusaders on Sunday, january 13.
Elsewhere for Dragons, the under-16 boys won their first game of the season against a tough Durham Wildcats team 82-67, while the Dragons II's game against Liverpool was postponed.
Bradford's next game is on Saturday against Brixton Topcats (6.15pm) at Bradford College Sports Hall, Trinity Road, BD5 0JE.
It is Dragons' first league game of the season and is set to be an exciting match against one of the iconic names in British basketball.