AFTER a superb run in BUSA this year for the York Mens Basketball team, the season is finally over after they were beaten 73-62 at home to a very impressive Leeds team in the semi-final of the shield competition. It was the first time that the team has been beaten in BUSA this season and it came as a big disappointment with the final looking like a real possibility.
“Obviously we were all disappointed to have lost that match, particularly when we didn’t really play our best,” said club president Simon Thomas after the match, “but I think everyone on the team should be very pleased to have got this far against some great opposition.” York made it to the semi-final having beaten Aberdeen 68-61 in the last 16, and then Wolverhampton 77- 70 in the quarter-finals, in two very close-fought affairs.
But they were stopped at the final hurdle by a Leeds team that looked the part. “We knew that Leeds were a high scoring team, and that we needed a good defence but we were unsure where their points were going to come from,” added Thomas. York quickly found out that Leeds had two superb players that were good enough to score nearly all of Leeds’ points in the first quarter. The Leeds number 13 in particular was very difficult to contain for York as his strength and pace, mixed with some excellent shooting, was instrumental in propelling Leeds into a seemingly unassailable 35-17 lead at half-time.
However, York went on to show just why they have been so successful this season as they dug deep to pull out a superb second half performance. Captain Stefan Kuhner got them on their way with a great 3-pointer at the beginning of the third quarter and they started to decrease the deficit very slowly. Leeds were a difficult side to catch though as they consistently managed to convert 3-pointers on the attack to maintain the lead. “It was very frustrating in the second half even though we were scoring heavily,” described Thomas.
After a frantic last five minutes York could only claw it back to 73-62 and crashed out of the competition after a thrilling display. Despite missing out on the chance to face London Metropolitan in the final there were still plenty of positives for the players. “We’re promoted to the top division next season which was our aim at the beginning of the year and we did it in style, “ said Thomas.
The BUSA season might be over, but York still have plenty to look forward to over the coming weeks. There are remaining fixtures of the local Leeds league to play with York chasing the Bradford Dragons for the title, as well as the cup final in this competition which they are expected to win. And who can forget Roses which promises to be an extremely close match between with the Lancaster side already competing in the top division of BUSA. Thomas appeared confident though, stating that “we have the slight edge.” With the rugby fixture cancelled this could become one of the showcase matches on offer.