BRADFORD Dragons faced a difficult double header against sides fighting for the National Basketball League Division One title.

They were on the wrong end of an 82-72 scoreline at Derby Trailblazers but then returned home to beat a young Kent Crusaders side 83-70.

Leaders Derby, who beat Bradford by the same score in November, were 15-10 ahead after a low-scoring first quarter and led 40-37 at half-time.

The Dragons then looked the hungrier side and were 57-50 ahead going into the final period. But any thoughts of victory were short-lived as they hit foul trouble and lost the quarter 32-15.

Miguel Lorenzo hit 18 points for the Dragons, followed by John Bantock (17) and Jeremee Davis (14).

Head coach Chris Mellor said: "We played well for 35 minutes but a nightmare last five minutes cost us the game."

Kent have been the surprise package this season, despite a squad consisting mainly of teenagers. But the Dragons took an early lead which they held for the duration.

The score at the end of the first two quarters was 20-14 and 45-33, with the Dragons extended their advantage to 66-45 before the final period. This gave Mellor the opportunity to give more court time to some of the peripheral bench players.

Top scorer for Bradford was Rihards Sulcs, who netted an impressive 23 points, supported by Jermayne Laing (17) and Davis (13).

Mellor said: "We played well at both ends of the floor and it was good to get everyone some court time. Kent were playing without a couple of key players, which made life easier, but it was a good team performance."

Bottom club Newham Neptunes are the visitors for the Dragons' final home fixture of the season on Saturday (6.15).

Bradford's under-18s lost 70-57 at Leeds Tigers, while the under-16s won 88-68 at home to Toxteth before losing 97-75 against Cheshire Wire. The under-14s lost 73-61 at Sheffield Saints but beat St Aidan's 91-38 at home.