Basketball thriller opens tournament
Image: Maria Kalinowska
York’s new sports centre became the arena for Roses’ most anticipated event, and it certainly did not disappoint as York’s men’s basketball 1s took on their Lancaster counterparts in what proved to be the closest match to take place across the weekend. With live streaming from the university TV channels, students watched the match from Greg’s Place, Courtyard and the comfort of their own homes.
The event was certainly the most popular of the weekend, despite students having to pay to be at the live event. With an eager audience in place, the atmosphere was ecstatic resulting in an energetic start to the match.
York snatched an early lead scoring early to make the scoreline 5-3 within the first few minutes. However, despite the initial momentum that the crowd provided for York it was Lancaster who posted an early lead at the first timeout with scores standing at 5-10 to the red rose. Lancaster continued to place pressure on the York side with attacks happening again and again.
A three-pointer towards the end of the first quarter placed serious pressure on the York team and insult was added to injury when York missed again and again. The first quarter, therefore, belonged to Lancaster and scores were set at 9-15 to the red rose. Despite strong plays from Wei and Chan and the crowd getting well behind the home team Lancaster were still able to hold off their offences. Lancaster were then able to capitalise on the tiring York team and posted a 13 point gap at half time with scores standing at 17-30 at that point. The half time show certainly added to the atmosphere of the match. Both Dance Soc and the York Hornets entertained the crowds while the basketball players refuelled.
Furthermore with free clubbing tickets being provided, members of the crowd being brought out to attempt three-pointers and both YSTV and LA!:TV interviewing the audience the Roses atmosphere really began to come to life. Despite picking up the game with a 13 point gap, with Lancaster really starting to put the pressure on, York still refused to give up though and were able to keep the beginning of the second half quiet. York then bagged three points to sway the momentum. Despite Lancaster leading 32-44 going into the last quarter they certainly looked the more tired of the two teams. The last quarter looked like it would be a repeat of the previous ten minutes of play and Lancaster were able to maintain their lead with just seven minutes left of play.
With such little time on the board it began to look like desperate for York. However, things seemed to suddenly come back into York’s grasp with an incredible three- pointer from Chan followed by four quick points with shots from the line. The crowd was suddenly right back behind the York team and chants of “York-shire” echoed through the sports hall. With two minutes to go York had done what seemed to look mathematically impossible and the score line now read 45-47. With a huge push from York the scores were suddenly level and after Lancaster missed two baskets from the line, things were looking well and truly in York’s favour. Finally, the match-winning blow came with just 30 seconds left to play and with the Sports Hall descending into anarchy, York had got off to a perfect start. York had scored 20 points to Lancaster’s mere five in the last ten minutes of the match to produce the biggest comeback of the Roses weekend and set up a spectacular weekend of sport.