Match Details

Horwich Locos
Stockport Atlas

Match Report

D.Williams D
St Josephs RC High School, Chorley New Road, Horwich, BL6 6HW
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By Nikos Silikas

Travelling to North Manchester on a Tuesday afternoon can always be tricky. As a result, it took some of us more time to find the place, but that seemed to be the more challenging part of the night.
Stockport did not have an ideal warm-up and that was evident in the first quarter where the fighting spirit of Horwich took us by surprise. After exchanging baskets for most of the quarter (where Max Gouguel and Kyriakos Neanides scored 14 of the first 16 points), Horwich had a 10-0 run and finished the quarter leading by 24-19.
Things changed drastically in the second quarter. After going behind by as many as 9 points, Stockport responded with a 14-1 run to gain the lead. Thus Stockport won the quarter by 30-17 and had a good lead at half-time by 47-42.
Second half sounded promising but this turned out to be true only for the visitors. Stockport had an explosive third quarter that culminated in 22-2 run. Stockport played some superb defense throughout the quarter keeping Horwich to 9 points only. Our combo guard, Mr Brooks, was instrumental in that defense neutralizing completely and utterly the main threat from Horwich (apparently he still has nightmares about ‘that No 5’)! On the other end of the court, they scored 33 so at the end of the quarter they had a game-ending lead of 80-50.
Naturally, the fourth quarter proved to be a bit of anti-climax. Stockport, quite wisely, gave a lot of court time to bench players and as a result was not as menacing as in the 3rd quarter. The last quarter finished 17-14 for Horwich and Stockport had a convincing win on the road by 67-96 (despite a disappointing 11/23 from free throws).
Max Gouguel was absolutely on fire and dominating the scoring with 30 points including 6 3-pointers. Mr Brooks and Mr Neanides both contributed with 12 points and strong overall presence. Marcus Cureton was influential from the bench with 10 points. Special shout to Mr Beever that was fouled out, clearly the only one doing his defensive duties in full!
The pints after the game were much appreciated followed by the customary in-depth analysis of the game and life in general!
• 10 players scored
• Responded well when we were behind in the score
• Ability to play great defense and offense in the same quarter
• Free throw % was too low (again)!
• Slow start can be a problem.
• Should score more points in the paint