Long Road Sixth Form College vs Gateway College

Long Road Sixth Form College got their first win of the season to get off the mark in the ABL Central Conference with a tight 56-53 victory over Gateway College.

The game could have gone either way as it was a thrilling finish where the Long Road Lions were able to hold on to get the victory. The hosts got off to a strong start with a 7-0 run to begin the game and pushed out to an early 17-12 lead after the first quarter. The second quarter saw both teams exchanging baskets as the lead remained at five points, Long Road going into the half-time interval up 29-24.

The second half started well for the home side as they were able to push the lead back out to nine points, 33-24, but a 3-11 run from Gateway to finish the quarter saw the visiting side come back fighting; within a single point going into the fourth period, 36-35. The final quarter was a nail biter as the momentum swung back-and-forth. Lions’ guard Ben Rayner hit two clutch free throws to see out the game, as the hosts took the 56-53 victory.

“This was a much needed win,” said Long Road Coach Pete Charlwood after the game. “The squad have been working hard in training and showing some improvements in both the technical and tactical understanding of the game, so it was nice to get rewarded for this.”

Charlwood continued, “Credit to Gateway for their effort today, they showed resilience to stay in the game and in the end they were unlucky not to pinch the win. From our point of view, I am disappointed that we didn’t put this game to bed earlier and allowed Gateway the opportunity to get back into it.  We still have a lot to learn and we need to be more ruthless and efficient on offence, but I was pleased with our defence today.”

Micah Gillings finished as the top scorer for Long Road, producing a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds, whilst Ben Rayner continued his solid season with 13 points and 15 Rebounds. Gateway were led by Ernest Mawomo who had 19 points and 12 rebounds, Luigi Dicaprio added 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Next week sees Long Road travel to Moulton College, while Gateway are also on the road with a short trip to Loughborough College.