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Bradford Dragons beaten in play-off quarter-finals
Bradford Dragons put up a valiant effort but their first season in EBL Division One ended with an 83-72 play-off quarter-final defeat at Derby Trailblazers.
Early triples from Derby gave them an early lead but as the Dragons defence got to grips with the home offence, triples by Michal Ciesla and Bobby Edmunds brought Dragons back into the game to trail 21-15 at the first break.
A triple by Ciesla levelled the score and they moved into a 38-36 lead at half-time.
Rishi Kakad was in unstoppable form for Derby on his way to a game-high 40 points and it was 54-54 going into the final quarter.
As the Dragons players began to tire, Derby held their nerve to hit eight from eight at the charity stripe as they ran out worthy winners on the night.
Dragons coach Chris Mellor said: “I thought we played a good game for three quarters but our defence just wasn’t good enough in the last ten minutes and we struggled to make shots.
“Kakad was outstanding for them and Gayle made a couple of dagger triples at the end.
“My guys have been outstanding this season and, apart from a couple of games, have shown up to play every night, given everything they have and that’s all you can ask.”
For Dragons, Vance Silcott scored his last double double of the season with 18 points and ten rebounds, closely followed by Chris McGrew with 18 points and nine rebounds and Rihard Sulcs with 11 points.
Elsewhere, Dragons women beat Leeds Carnegie 54-37 in the semi-final of the Leeds League Knockout Cup and now play TASC in the final on Sunday.