BRADFORD Dragons succumbed to a disappointing 80-62 away defeat against the Nottingham Hoods in National Basketball League Division One action at the weekend.

The Dragons never really got going, with only a rally in the third quarter preventing a heavier defeat.

The hosts came into the game at 1-3 on the season. With the Dragons unbeaten at 2-0, they were looking to maintain their perfect start to the campaign.

Leading by example, captain Ricky Fetske scored Bradford’s first seven points of the game, as they opened up an early 7-2 lead.

Then the Hoods fired off 11 straight points in barely a minute of action, and just like that, the Dragons’ only lead of the game was gone.

After a tight opening period, which ended with the hosts leading 19-16, Bradford produced a calamitous second quarter that culminated in a season-low six points.

The Hoods extended their lead to 18 with just under two minutes left to play in the first half, before Rihards Šulcs and Fetske ensured the deficit was cut slightly, with the score at 37-22 heading into the break.

But Chris Mellor’s side put together a 12-3 run to start the penultimate quarter, with two big threes from Fetske and Andreas Lycoudis making it 40-34.

Fetske later knocked down three straight jumpers, leaving his side just six points behind (57-51) heading into the final 10 minutes of action.

Four straights points from Lycoudis cut the Hoods’ lead to 57-55, but with turnovers killing the Dragons, as they had all afternoon, Nottingham eventually pulled away in a diabolical final few minutes for Bradford.

An almost three-minute scoreless run sealed the Dragons’ fate, as the monumental comeback they had been threatening fell away badly.

Down 65-60 after a Šulcs free-throw, Bradford fought to regain the lead, but it was to no avail, as Nottingham took advantage of the visitors’ woes.

Six straight Hoods points stretched the lead to 11, and that was it for the Dragons.

Uche Umekwe did cut the deficit to 71-62 with one-and-a-half minutes left, but that turned out to be Bradford’s last score of the afternoon, as Nottingham closed out the game with nine straight points.

It was a disappointing defeat for the Dragons, as their shooting struggles continue to frustrate. It means they fall to 2-1 in NBL Division One, after being comfortably second best in the East Midlands.

Fetske top-scored for the Dragons with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Coach Mellor said: “It was a disappointing performance from us. We turned the ball over too much, which led to scores, and we didn’t shoot the ball well.

“Nottingham played well, especially on the defensive end.”

Next up for the Dragons is an immediate chance to bounce back from that disappointment, as they make the trip back to the East Midlands to face the Leicester Warriors this Saturday, with tip-off taking place at 3pm.