Heat Hammer Lions
30 January 2012
The Guildford Heat came home for the first time in four weeks to host the Milton Keynes Lions and in front of 800 fans, put in probably their best defensive performance of the season. The Heat held a potent Lions attack to just 66 points as they coasted to an 83-66 win.
However, it didn't look as if that would be the case early going. The start had been delayed to allow all the fans into the arena as large queues formed outside. This was just as well as Lions coach, Mike New, was delayed and only just made it in time for the new tip-off. Despite the delay, the Lions looked sharp right from the opening tip as Demarius Bolds scored with five seconds on the clock. The Lions scored the first six points and were 15-6 up inside six minutes, Bolds in particular looking unstoppable.
The Heat, meanwhile, looked as if they were still in Plymouth, but slowly they worked their way back into the game. In particular, they clamped down on defence and Bolds, having scored six of the Lions first 10 points, was scoreless for the rest of the quarter. A 13-2 run gave the Heat their first lead, 19-17, with 1.30 left in the quarter. The Lions came back to draw level and then led, 23-21, going into the second quarter, but it was only a temporary setback for the Heat.
It was 27-25 to the Lions two and a half minutes into the second quarter when the Heat went on a 14-2 run to take a lead that they would never relinquish. That made it 39-29 to the Heat with three minutes to go and they lead 43-34 going into the second half. The Heat started the third quarter almost as slowly as the first. After Mike Martin opened the scoring, the Heat allowed the Lions to go on a 13-4 run to cut the lead to two, 49-47 with just under five minutes played. However, the Heat rallied and two points was as close as the Lions got, the Heat reeling off a 15-2 run in the last four minutes of the quarter to make it 66-51 going into final quarter.
Thereafter it was all Heat and even a 9-2 Lions run to open the quarter didn't really change things. With the lead at eight, 72-64, the Heat hit back with a 7-0 run which made the game safe. With two minutes to go, Adrien Sturt hit a long jumper to break the Lions drought and make it 79-66, but the game was effectively over. On the next play, the Lions' frustration boiled over as Demarius Bolds was disqualified for a silly foul on Tayo Ogedengbe. Tayo span past the Lions' leading scorer and laid the ball in the basket as Bolds slapped him on the back. Bolds got his marching orders, Tayo hit the bonus shot and then one of two of the extra shots for the disqualifying foul to finish off the scoring for an 83-66 victory.
Mike Martin led the Heat with 16 points and 10 rebounds, but the Heat had five players score 12 points or more. Demarius Bolds led all scorers with 24 points, but needed 24 shots as the Heat hounded him all game.
The Heat now travel to Glasgow next Sunday to take on the Rocks before returning to the Surrey Sports Park in two weeks time to host the Mersey Tigers.