Basketball: Young Snaprats suffer semi-final heartache
THERE was heartbreak for Grimsby Snaprats basketball team after they fell just short of achieving a shock upset in the Hodges Cup.
The Grimsby team made the semi-finals of the competition in their first season, but hopes of glory were shattered in a 57-50 defeat to Hull Citizens.
Club coach Robin Russell was proud of the performance his young team put in against an experienced Hull outfit.
He said: "We were the big underdogs and nearly caused a sensational result that would have turned the formbook upside down.
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"Hull Citizens finished five places higher than us in the league (Humber Development Basketball League) and beat us by a 30-point margin last time we played them.
"But being the cup, anything can happen – and it nearly did.
"We battled so hard and created incredible difficulties for the opposition – we just wouldn't roll over.
"We had chances to turn them over, but we were so close, yet so far."
The Snaprats led by two points at half-time, but experienced Polish players in Hull's ranks helped their team forge a five-point by the end of the third quarter.
A shift in personnel and a change of tactics instigated a turnaround – and by the fourth quarter, the Grimsby side had reduced the deficit to three points.
But fatigue set in as Hull finished stronger to book a spot in the final.
Jean-Louis Plaajties, the Snaprats' top scorer this season, totalled 32 points for his team.
Russell added: "To finish joint-third in this competition is more than was expected from such a young team playing in a men's league, so it bodes well for the future of basketball in Grimsby."