Solent Stars 2004/05 Season - 2nd Team Match Reports

League Fixtures - Division Three (East)

Date Home Team Score Away Team Win / Loss Record
26/09/2004 Brixton Topcats 56 v 95 Solent Stars II W 1-0
02/10/2004 Solent Stars II 76 v 56 TH London Eagles W 2-0
09/10/2004 Westside 76 v 71 Solent Stars II L 2-1
16/10/2004 Solent Stars II 96 v 87 East Kent Crusaders W 3-1 Report
24/10/2004 Swindon Sonics 75 v 98 Solent Stars II W 4-1
20/11/2004 Solent Stars II 74 v 67 South Notts College Wildcats W 5-1 Report
28/11/2004 Reading Rockets II 61 v 72 Solent Stars II W 6-1 Report
04/12/2004 Solent Stars II 85 v 75 Loughborough Cardinals W 7-1 Report
19/12/2004 Solent Stars II 95 v 76 Bognor Pirates W 8-1 Report
08/01/2005 South Notts College Wildcats 77 v 65 Solent Stars II L 8-2 Report
15/01/2005 Solent Stars II 76 v 57 Brixton Topcats W 9-2 Report
23/01/2005 TH London Eagles 75 v 76 Solent Stars II W 10-2 Report
29/01/2005 Solent Stars II 95 v 69 Westside W 11-2 Report
05/02/2005 East Kent Crusaders 81 v 87 Solent Stars II W 12-2 Report
19/02/2005 Solent Stars II 85 v 66 Swindon Sonics W 13-2 Report
26/02/2005 Bognor Pirates 63 v 79 Solent Stars II W 14-2
12/03/2005 Solent Stars II 85 v 53 Reading Rockets II W 15-2
19/03/2005 Loughborough Cardinals 73 v 92 Solent Stars II W 16-2 Report

National Shield Cup Competiton (Round 2)
Date Home Team Score Away Team Win / Loss Record
11/12/2004 Solent Stars II 71 v 78 Taunton Tigers L 0-1 Report

League Playoffs - Division Three
Date Home Team Score Away Team Win / Loss Record
02/04/2005 Solent Stars II 94 v 71 East Kent Crusaders W 1-0 Report
09/04/2005 Solent Stars II 90 v 72 Aston Athletics W 2-0 Report
23/04/2006 Solent Stars II 68 v 70 Derby Trailblazers L 2-1 Report

16 October 2004

SOLENT STARS II 96 (27, 44, 70)
EAST KENT CRUSADERS 87 (22, 49, 66)

Solent Stars men's second team continued their winning ways in this exciting Division Three encounter.

Solent opened brightly to take a 12 - 3 lead by the third minute. In the first quarter Andy Aung, Ryan Payne and Clayton Milner were the main scorers, but East Kent hit back at the end of the quarter when they scored seven quick points. The visitors then took heart and despite a three pointer from Trevor Donaldson were able to take an eight point lead (31 - 39) by the fifth minute. A series of successful Solent free throws, courtesy of East Kent's team fouls, helped Solent reduce the deficit to just five points at half time.

Having given all but one of his twelve man squad court time, coach Mick Byrne went with just his senior players in the second half. They responded by eventually overhauling East Kent when in a three minute period they scored fourteen unanswered points to take a 70 - 65 lead in the last minute of the third period.

The experienced Solent players were able to see out the rest of the match to take their league record to three wins from four games.

Top Scorers

Andy Aung 26 Clayton Milner 23 Ryan Payne 18 Trevor Donaldson 9 Chris Glover 5

20 November 2004

SOLENT STARS II 74 (16, 34, 51)
SOUTH NOTTS COLLEGE 67 (15, 29, 49)

Solent Stars men's second team knew that they had taken part in a tough match against their Division Three (East) opponents at Hamble Community Sports College. The young visiting team played a physical game which resulted in a string of fouls in the first half. Solent's successful free throw shooting (14 out of 15 attempts) was a factor in helping them to a five point lead (34 - 29) by the half.

Andy Aung was the only player to be in foul trouble for Solent as he fought under the basket for the home team. Liam Wyatt, returning from injury, was instrumental in several assists and when Aung was substituted Jon Rumsey took on the rebounding role that helped Solent restrict the South Notts second chances.

When Aung returned to the fray, he only lasted ten seconds before picking up a fifth foul, thus restricting Rumsey's 'breather'. Clayton Milner and Dave McKay then began to score with regularity and force the visitors into several mistakes with their hustling. Ryan Payne orchestrated the Solent play to good effect, whilst adding points of his own. As they came into the game, Trevor Donaldson, Chris Glover and Craig Dawson all made sure that Solent were able to keep the advantage. Trailing by two points with four minutes remaining (63 - 65) Solent were able to limit the visitors to just two more points whilst adding nine of their own to give them a fifth league win out of six starts.

SCORERS Clayton Milner 20 Dave McKay 15 Ryan Payne 15 Jon Rumsey 11 Andy Aung 6 Trevor Donaldson 4 Liam Wyatt 3


28 November 2004


The Solent development team carried on their winning streak at Reading on Sunday at the Rivermead Centre.

Missing Chris Glover and Lawrence Rowe and the very influential Clayton Milner (away in Brussels playing for the Combined Services) Solent struggled inside against the very keen and hungry Reading side. However, everyone scored for Solent on the day.

Reading are very young and not having won a game this season were keen to make amends. They chased everything and ran up and down the court as if their lives depended on it.

They matched Solent all through the first half despite a very good start from Jon Rumsey and Andy Aung and led Solent at the half scoring 7 points in a row to lead 39-36.

Solent followed the example of their senior team and produced a 19-9 quarter, which limited Reading to just 4 points in 7 minutes. This was due to the excellent defence played by Craig Dawson, Ryan Payne, Dave McKay, Rumsey and Aung.

Then Reading changed to a 1-3-1 zone, which confused Solent, but an excellent last quarter from McKay and Payne and in the last couple of minutes from Mike Peel sealed the game.


Peel 5, Payne 12, McKay 18, Mead 1, Wyatt 4, Dawson 2, Donaldson 4, Aung 12, Rumsey 14.

4 December 2004


With Clayton Milner, Trevor Donaldson and Lawrence Rowe all missing for Solent it was always going to be good match against the Cardinals, and so it proved.

Ryan Payne stepped up the pace right from the start 6 quick points but the student-based side were off to a flyer as well and they led 10-6 after just 3 minutes. Then the experience of Jon Rumsey began to show and he steadied the side and with Liam Wyatt, Andy Aung, Dave McKay and Payne soon started to match the very lively Cardinals.

The students came out all fired up for the second half and almost brought back the 10-point half time deficit. This was a very bitty quarter with Solent losing it by 4 points. But then the experience of the Solent team took charge and although the Loughborough team scored basket for basket, Payne and his team kept their nerve and restored the 10-point lead to the end.

Although much bigger than Solent, Loughborough found it hard to get any rebounds on the offensive end of the court. McKay graduated from Loughborough last summer and Aung the year before and both had points to prove. McKay as British Universities' player of the year last season and Aung because he never made the first team. Both did the business with Aung scoring 19 points and McKay 14.

There were several cameo performances from Solent players - Craig Dawson had another steady quarter and Dave Mead came into the game and showed his potential.
Mike Peel, although arriving late, had short spells to show he has made progress this season.

James Chubb made his debut late in the game to give Aung a short breather and regain his concentration.

Payne scored 29, 19 in the first half, Aung 19, McKay 14, Rumsey12, Wyatt 6, Dawson 3, and Peel 2.


11 December 2004


In this second round of the Shield Competition, Solent were outworked by a very smart outfit from 3rd Division West with an identical record in that Division to Solent in Division 3 East - 7 wins and 1 loss.

Right from the start Solent looked lacklustre and failed to finish their moves.

13-6 down they clawed themselves back into the lead 20-15 with a very spirited rally from Andy Aung, Dave McKay, Jon Rumsey and Ryan Payne. Then Matt Nolan and Graham Jones for the visitors scored three 3-pointers and a basket to take a 26-20 lead before Solent had woken up.

This was the last Solent saw of the lead. They equalised several times, but never got in front as the West Country outfit held firm. Aung, who played the whole game, scored 25 points but could have scored several more.

Craig Dawson came off the bench and played his best game so far for Solent.

Jon Rumsey once again kept the defence together. Dave McKay's and Ryan Payne's points kept the game flowing the best as was possible in a very tough and uncompromising game.

The game came down to the last minute, as in Solent's previous losing game this season. Solent were one point behind and tried to force the game and Taunton scored the last six points to advance to the next round.

SCORERS Aung 25, McKay 19, Payne 13, Rumsey 9, Dawson 3, Wyatt 2

19 December 2004


At the Mountbatten Centre, Portsmouth, Solent's men's second string overcame a determined Bognor Pirates team in their League Division Three game.

Although lying seven places below Solent in the league, Bognor had set the early pace as Solent found it difficult to score against the Bognor zone defence, only managing eight successful shots out of 31 taken in the first half, to trail 40 - 45 by half time.

That difference was eroded in the third quarter, and it was an exhilarating final period - with Solent playing a 1-3-1 defence and tying up the Bognor points scoring - that saw Solent through to a comfortable 95 - 76 point win.

The main court time went to Clayton Milner, Ryan Payne, Dave McKay and Jon Rumsey whilst Trevor Donaldson had contributed some important three pointers to keep Solent in the game early on.

SCORERS Ryan Payne 22 Clayton Milner 19 Jon Rumsey 15 Dave McKay 14 Trevor Donaldson 13 Lawrence Rowe 6 Mike Peel 2 Craig Dawson 2 Andy Aung 2


8 January 2005


The Stars lost top spot in their division with this result, but Coach Mick Byrne saw many good things to take away from the game.

The game was closely fought throughout and Solent, with 4 players missing, produced a performance that saw his youngsters gain confidence as the game progressed. They took the game to the Wildcats from the tip and with Clayton Milner well motivated for the game led 22-11 after just 8 minutes.

Trevor Donaldson, with 2 big 3-pointers, set up the standard for the younger players who were experiencing first five appearances for the first time.

The Wildcats pressed home their huge height advantage in the second quarter and despite huge efforts from Milner and Jon Rumsey, Solent were unable to compete on the boards. Lawrence Rowe came off the bench to score a quick 4 points but Solent were down by 42-36 at half time.

Ryan Payne ran into foul trouble with 3 quick fouls in the second quarter but showed his class throughout the game but particularly in the third quarter where he encouraged Craig Dawson and Rowe to produce their best games of the season.

Mike Peel and Ben Wathey, making his debut, came into the game and Wathey took his opportunity to link up with Payne and score 5 points. James Chubb was elated to score his first points in the NBL.

In the final quarter Wildcats came in for the kill but Solent met the challenge and fought back led by Milner and Payne.


Milner 21, Payne 14, Rumsey 9, Donaldson 7, Rowe 7, Wathey 5 and Chubb 2.

15 January 2005


This was a game that Solent needed to win to stay in contention for the Division Three (East) title and a play-off place.

Solent had two players making their debut from Jimmie Guymon's very successful Solent U18 team - 6'10" Joel Freeland and Liam Openshaw. Also returning were Liam Wyatt and Dave McKay.

Solent started with a flurry and 21-7 after just 8 minutes with Clayton Milner and Jon Rumsey scoring good baskets and the whole team playing tough defence.

Brixton - with coach Jimmy Rodgers suspended for this game - took a while to get going but came back strong in the second quarter. They only allowed Solent to score 2 points in the first 5 minutes and won the second quarter 16-19.

Mick Byrne introduced Freeland into the game and he responded with 2 huge baskets and played some useful defence. Ryan Payne was off colour in the quarter and Mike Peel came in to replace him and played well in both offence and defence.

Dave McKay, on his return to the team, was always hustling in defence and Liam Wyatt also contributed to the defensive effort.

In the third quarter Trevor Donaldson was on fire and then Liam Openshaw came into the game and produced some electrifying basketball - huge steals and searing through passes to Ryan Payne to score - and baskets of his own.

The Brixton effort faded and Coach Mick Byrne was able to play some of his younger players who really enjoyed themselves - Dawson, Rowe and Chubb all scored in the last few minutes to produce a very good win.

Scorers: Milner 18, Payne 13, McKay 9, Rumsey 9, Donaldson 8, Freeland 8, Rowe 4, Dawson 2, Openshaw 2, Chubb 2

23 January 2005


There is an expression within the game that "a minute is a long time in basketball". The last minute of this game was bizarre to say the least.

Solent went into the last minute leading by seven points. Eagles scored to bring the score to 68-73, then 70-73, and with 30 seconds to go Spaniard Perez tried a shot from 3 point range and he was fouled. Three foul shots were awarded from the line.

However on the way down from the shot Perez elbowed Liam Wyatt, which meant 3 shots for the Eagles and then two shots and possession for Solent. Perez stepped to the line and hit his first foul shot - which was then disallowed by referee Nick Bedwell. The next two shots he inexplicably threw away. Ryan Payne went down the other end and scored the two free shots, 70-75.

Solent then threw away possession from the half line ball and in the process Girgis scored a lay up and was fouled by Ryan Payne, who left the court on 5 fouls. Girgis hit the bonus shot, 73-75.

So with 13.8 seconds on the clock, Dave McKay was fouled and hit one of his two free shots. 73-76. Then Eagles came down and hit a difficult jump shot, 75-76.

On the put in, Solent threw the ball the ball out of bounds at the far end of the court, with 3.2 seconds to go. Sladjevic took the ball to the half way line put up the shot and the ball rimmed and bounced away.

Solent had started the game in a very determined way and thanks to some good shooting from Andy Aung and Ryan Payne, they led by 23-16 after the first quarter. Solent played some very effective defence as a team, particularly Clayton Milner on the giant Onwubalili who was very strong around the Solent backboard.

In the second quarter Craig Dawson came off the bench to play a controlled game and hit some useful points. Wyatt found his range with a 3 pointer that increased to Solent lead to 43-34 at the half.

Trevor Donaldson dominated the Solent scoring in the third quarter with 3 big 3-pointers and Solent looked good despite Payne coming out of the game with 4 fouls. Despite that setback the difference was kept at 59-50.

In the last quarter Payne came back with just over 5 minutes to go and restored balance to the side. He had been defended by Girgis in a very vigorous way throughout the game and no more so that the last 3 minutes. Eagles closed gap to 63-61 but when Milner stole the ball and ran the length of the court to convert and then scored with a put back, Solent looked home and dry. Then came that long and breathtaking final minute.

Next Saturday Solent play Westside in a bid to regain their place at the top of the table at Fleming Park 6 pm.


Aung 18, Milner 14, Payne 13, Donaldson 9, Dawson 7, Wyatt 6, McKay 6, Rumsey 3

29 January 2005


Solent were still smarting from their 76-71 loss against Westside early in the season. Practice was very focussed and all aspects of the Westside team were analysed. The teams were locked in first place with 10 wins. Howver, Westside had a game in hand.

Solent once again included Joel Freeland and Liam Openshaw from the Stars Junior side and both made very useful contributions.

The game started evenly until the Stars, especially Clayton Milner, stepped up a gear. Milner scored 15 points in this first period with nobody else scoring more than one basket. This was a really brilliant spell by the whole team as Westside have led the Division most of the season and are a very good all round team.

Solent then had probably the best period in their short history extending the first quarter score of 23-14 to 50-26. Ryan Payne kept the team moving forward. Everyone got into the scoring habit and time and time again Solent drove the ball forward after excellent team defence broke down the Westside effort.

Dave McKay, Trevor Donaldson, Liam Wyatt, Freeland, Payne and Rumsey with a big 3-pointer all scored in this quarter. But it was Openshaw coming on to replace Payne in the last minute who scored another 3-pointer himself. This brought deafening applause from the generous crowd.

Westside are a team with a lot of pride were shell-shocked after that onslaught. They looked dejected after scoring only 12 points in the quarter. They came out all guns firing in the third and it took a really concentrated effort from Solent as Westside chipped away at the score and soon the difference came down to just 15 points, 61-46. Then an injury to the Westside guard Workj disrupted his team's effort.

After a long interval to deal with the injury Solent were able to settle down and score 6 points without reply from McKay and Rumsey. After a crunching foul on Rumsey which meant he had to leave the court, Openshaw replaced him and scored the two foul shots.

Then Westside's Odigan committed the first of 2 unsportsmanlike fouls. The second resulted in his expulsion in the second minute of the last quarter. With the injured Workj and Odigan missing, Westside were up against it - and a switch into zone defence confused them further.

Solent stuck to their task and were able to extend their lead, as all the players were able to get a taste of a very sweet victory. Westside had 2 players fouled out and the one expelled which made the last few minutes a bit of an anti-climax.

Solent now sit proudly at the top of NBL Division 3 East.


Milner 28, Payne 17, McKay 14, Freeland 13, Rumsey 10, Openshaw 6, Donaldson 5, Aung 2.

5 February 2005


This was a must win for both teams - Solent needed to stay top to get the important home game in the playoffs and East Kent in order to stay in playoff contention. The game proved to be great advertisement for Division 3 Basketball.

Solent started quite slowly and it took Solent a while to find their normal game. Despite this, they led 23-16 and kept a tight rein on the free scoring ability of Robbie Parker and Paul Jessop.

In the second quarter Liam Wyatt was badly injured in an accidental collision, which meant he took no further part in the game. This disrupted the Solent defensive effort and suddenly Parker and Jessop both found their range. Solent finished the half 43-41 down as the home team finished with a flurry, Jessop hitting 3 pointers from long distance.

In the third quarter the experienced five of Jon Rumsey, Clayton Milner, Andy Aung, Dave McKay and Ryan Payne put in a strong effort, which saw Solent outscore the Crusaders 28-16.

A ten-point lead was very vulnerable against such a very talented team as Crusaders - well motivated and coached by Jesse Sazant. Milner fouled out in the second minute of the fourth after scoring 25 points and having played very good defence against danger man Jessop. Solent junior Liam Openshaw then stepped and played like a veteran, controlling the ball. Payne then stepped up his defence and stole the ball on four separate occasions. With little over 2 minutes Craig Dawson scored to put Solent up 85-72.

Jessop then stepped up and scored 7 consecutive points for East Kent (85-79). Payne fed Aung on the break for a dunk (87-79). But Aung hung on the ring and was given a technical foul. Jessop scored the two shots but East Kent were unable to make any further impression and Solent stay top of the Division.

Westside in second place won against South Nottingham to keep the pressure on the leaders.


Milner 25, McKay 21, Payne 20, Aung 9, Rumsey 6, Dawson 5, Wyatt 1

19 February 2005


Table-topping Solent Stars were always too good for the Sonics languishing in the bottom three.

The Sonics, having travelled with only 6 players, started in zone defence with their new big man Sean Kent prominent in the centre. Solent's prolific scorer Clayton Milner had real difficulty getting any room inside andhe failed to score in the first half. This meant that every one else had to step up their effort. Trevor Donaldson came off the bench and set the game alight with a devastating spell of shooting 6 straight 3-pointers over the first half, taking Solent into a 40-22 lead.

Swindon then had to come out of their zone and with Solent's youngsters of Craig Dawson, Liam Openshaw, Joel Freeland on the court Swindon were able to close the gap to just to 41-37 at the half.

Solent then came out with a ten point burst which effectively sealed the game - with baskets from Milner, Aung and back court general Ryan Payne. Some solid defence from Milner, Jon Rumsey, Liam Wyatt and Dave McKay made sure that the dangerous Kent was not able to find the space he needed inside. Payne scored 11 of his 17 points in this spell.

Solent went into the last quarter with a healthy 17-point lead and the Solent rookies came off the bench to perform creditably. Lawrence Rowe showed promise, Paul Loosemore scored a 3-pointer with his first touch and big dunk from Joel Freeland sealed a very comfortable 85-64 win with the whole team contributing.

Scorers and Team:

Milner 9 points, 12 rebounds
Loosemore 5 points, 1 assist
Payne 19 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists
Openshaw 2 rebounds
McKay 6 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
Freeland 3 points, 3 rebounds, 2 blocked shots
Wyatt 9 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist
Rowe 1 rebound, 1 assist
Dawson 3 points, 1 rebound
Donaldson 20 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists
Aung 6 points, 4 rebounds
Rumsey 5 points, 8 rebounds

19 March 2005


This was not as easy a game as the score looks as Loughborough were within 5 points at the start of the last quarter due to a 13 point run without reply.

The game had many ups and downs but Solent never let the lead slip from the 2nd quarter onwards. Dave McKay, who played for the Cardinals last season, was "on fire" as he scored the first 8 points for Solent and 16 in the quarter, including a buzzer beater of a 3-pointer.

In the process Solent had to substitute both the inside players, Clayton Milner and Andy Aung, as the score table signalled they had 3 personal fouls. This meant a huge step up for Ian Manley, in only his second game. Also, the team captain, Jon Rumsey came off the bench and produced his normal excellent defence, which steadied the game.

At the first interval the Solent coach, Mick Byrne, queried the fouls count on Milner and eventually this was reduced to 2, so Milner started the second quarter. He pulled down a big rebound scored a basket and then fouled inside the first minute and Manley came back on and performed superbly. The second quarter was all about what the bench players could do for Solent. When the Cardinals went with a small lineup Paul Loosemore was set loose and he responded with 7 points and some robust defence.

Solent proved more than a match for the Cardinals as they extended their lead to 10 points (53-43) at the half, despite a technical foul on Coach Mick Byrne.

All this time Ryan Payne had been setting up the plays and scoring steadily and he carried on with some brilliant shots inside the big zone defence, and some forceful defence on the Cardinals danger man Bryn-Hussey. McKay and Payne carried out this task between them.

McKay then committed his fourth foul and this meant Craig Dawson went into the game and scored with almost his first touch. The Loughborough coach introduced himself into the line up on several occasions but was unable to raise his team's performance. Liam Wyatt combined well with Payne and used his body strength to pull down several big rebounds.

Solent led by 18 at the end of the third quarter and looked to have the game sewn up but then came the burst from the Cardinals. However, McKay, Wyatt and Rumsey stepped back into the game and Solent ran away for a well earned win.

This was a huge win for Solent II in their first season as they finished the regular season as the top seed for the Playoffs. Also at stake was the right to play all their playoff games at home.


Payne 26, McKay 24, Milner 17, Wyatt 8, Loosemore 7, Rumsey 3, Aung 3, Manley 2, Dawson 2

2 April 2005

SOLENT STARS II 94 (16, 40, 66)
EAST KENT CRUSADERS 71 (16, 31, 49)

East Kent Crusaders set the early pace in this quarter final of the Division Three Play-Offs when they opened their account with a three point shot followed by two more points in the first minute. The Solent players looked nervous in the opening exchanges with Clayton Milner unable to find any shooting form. It took two free throws from Ryan Payne and then a further score by him to open the Solent account in the second minute.
More nerves showed through as Solent squandered four free throws by Dave McKay and Milner, but the same two players were responsible for Solent taking the lead in the seventh minute. In an exciting climax to the first quarter both teams scored further points with Craig Dawson levelling the scores for Solent just before the end..

It was nip and tuck for the first seven minutes of the second quarter with Andy Aung and Milner providing all of Solent's points. Starting five player, Liam Wyatt, then picked up his fourth foul, forcing coach Mick Byrne to shuffle his squad. East Kent briefly took the lead by one point (26 - 27) before Solent made what proved the decisive moments of the match. Jon Rumsey regained the lead for Solent and then Trevor Donaldson scored two three pointers with another basket sandwiched inbetween. Four more free throws from McKay saw the home team extend their lead to thirteen points (40 - 27). A lapse of concentration allowed East Kent four late points before the half time interval.

McKay (7), Rumsey (2) and Aung (2) helped Solent outscore East Kent at the start of the third quarter and forced the visiting coach to call and early time-out. A couple of Donaldson steals allowed Solent put more points on the board as they began to play with greater confidence demonstrated when a move started by Payne, then involved McKay and Milner before Rumsey was left with the simplest of chances to add yet more points. Good Solent defence restricted the visitors to just one three point score for three minutes whilst Solent added a further eleven points of their own.

The final quarter saw the visiting team attempt a series of three point shots to try and reduce the deficit. Robbie Parker scored their first three point success before he reached his fifth foul with over eight minutes remaining. Paul Jessop added points with successive three point shots to bring East Kent to within fourteen (75 - 61) of the Solent total. However, the home team quickly re-established their scoring rhythm and pulled away. Fittingly, for a whole team performance, it was an unselfish pass from newcomer James Chubb to Paul Loosemore that completed Solent's scoring on the final buzzer.

Solent men next have a home semi final tie (Fleming Park, April 9th, 6pm) when they join a double bill with the Solent first team women who will be playing their first Championship play-off game (8pm).

Scorers: Dave McKay 25, Clayton Milner 18, Ryan Payne 14, Jon Rumsey 13, Andy Aung 8, Trevor Donaldson 8, Liam Wyatt 4, Craig Dawson 2, Paul Loosemore 2

9 April 2005

SOLENT STARS II 90 (22, 47, 69)
ASTON ATHLETICS 72 (10, 34, 54)

Solent Stars second men's team gave a spirited display to win this semi final of the Division Three Championship Play-Offs when they overcame Aston Athletics at Fleming Park Leisure Centre.

Solent were able to take advantage of some outstanding defence that restricted the visitors to just two field goals in the opening quarter. The team's defensive rebounding success - with Liam Wyatt prominent - ensured that Aston had few second chance opportunities. The start of the game had been a nervous affair for both teams and it was nearly two minutes before Ryan Payne and Dave McKay registered Solent's opening baskets. Once Clayton Milner and Andy Aung joined the scoring, the home team were able to open a 12 point gap. Wyatt picked up his second foul and was replaced by Trevor Donaldson, making his final appearance at Fleming Park before emigrating to Australia.

Joel Freeland and Liam Openshaw from Solent's successful Under 18 squad both figured in the second quarter, but Freeland's inexperience led to him picking up three quick fouls and needing to be replaced. Aston constantly sought to narrow the points difference but on each occasion Solent were able to respond, especially when Donaldson (2) and McKay hit successful three pointers. The visitors became frustrated by what they considered some harsh referees calls, but the foul count at the half time interval showed that they had just one more foul recorded than Solent.

The game became more physical in the second half and frustration led to a technical foul being called on Solent coach, Mick Byrne, when he felt that an elbow had been thrown at one of his players. Soon after a technical foul was called against the visitor's bench for something said after a foul called on an Aston player. Both sides began to make mistakes, but Solent managed to keep cool with experienced Jon Rumsey getting rebounds and making sure the ball was not given away. Aston doggedly kept at their task but could make no inroads into Solent double digit points lead.

Freeland added more points to the Solent total in the final quarter , despite picking up his fourth foul. McKay (with six free throw points) , Payne, Milner and Aung kept the scoring rate up as Aston lost Alan Bean on five fouls. Experienced ex-Basketball League players John Tresvant and Mike Landell tried to lead an Aston revival by scoring several points between them, but the younger Solent team was able to withstand any late rally and even increased their lead with some enterprising moves.

"That was a great team performance", said coach Mick Byrne, "we played the basics well and kept our heads in the final quarter when the game could have got out of hand."

Solent now meet Derby Trailblazers, who won their semi final against NEWI Nets 77 - 60, in the Championship Play-Off final at Rivermede Leisure Centre, Reading on Saturday, April 23rd at 2pm.

Scorers: Dave McKay 23 Ryan Payne 19 Clayton Milner 17 Andy Aung 11 Trevor Donaldson 10 Joel Freeland 6 Jon Rumsey 4

23 April 2005

SOLENT STARS II 68 (16, 38, 50)
DERBY TRAILBLAZERS 70 (27, 37, 56)

With just 25 seconds left in this Division Three Championship Play-Off Final at Reading's Rivermede Leisure Centre, Solent Stars called a time-out to plan their last attack with the scores standing level at 68 all. However, they then conceded possession when Ryan Payne's pass was intercepted and Derby's Simon Spencer drove downcourt and the referee made a harsh call to penalise Andy Aung for a foul with just one second remaining. Spencer sank his two free throws to give Derby the victory.

Derby had started the stronger team once they had overcome the opening two Solent scores by Liam Wyatt and Payne. A series of successful three point shots - mainly from experienced Tim Lascelles - saw the Division Three North champions open a 27 - 16 lead outscoring Solent 14 - 1 at one stage. After coach Mick Byrne called a time-out Trevor Donaldson came into the game with a trademark three pointer to steady the Solent nerves.

The second quarter showed a complete turnaround as Solent took the game to Derby with some telling defence and 18 year old Joel Freeland began to win some rebounds (14 in the game) and also score some points. In the last two minutes of the quarter, Payne stole the ball twice to set up scores for Solent. Dave McKay then added two more points before Jon Rumsey took Solent to within one point of the Derby score. In an exciting climax to the half, Payne drove through to take Solent into a halftime lead of one point (38 - 37).

Clayton Milner took 13 rebounds in the match for Solent but was not on song with his shooting. To add to his woes, he picked up a fourth foul before the mid point of the quarter. Prior to his departure Solent had an unbalanced player mix on court and had fallen behind to early Derby pressure. McKay was unable to find the target regularly - only five of his 22 shots were successful - and it was left to Freeland pick up most of the points going, although Solent only mustered twelve in the quarter to find themselves six points down entering the final phase.

With three players on four fouls, Solent were restricted in their defensive play but nonetheless were the more enterprising team for the first part of the final quarter. More Freeland points finally took Solent to a 67 - 63 lead with just three and half minutes remaining. Had they been able to add to their score at that stage, the game may have been out of Derby's reach. Two comparatively easy chances were missed by Solent before Payne made an error and Derby scored to come within three points with over two minutes still to play. Solent were unable to add to their total, despite two time-outs taken and Derby levelled the game with those twenty five important seconds remaining and Solent in possession of the ball.

Coach Byrne said, "We blew it. We should have won the game. But let's not take it away from the team. This has been a marvellous first season, having won the league and with it promotion to Division Two."

Team and Scorers: Joel Freeland 18 Dave McKay 13 Ryan Payne 9 Andy Aung 8 Trevor Donaldson 7 Clayton Milner 7 Liam Wyatt 4 Jon Rumsey 2 Paul Loosemore, Liam Openshaw, James Chubb, Ian Manley, (Craig Dawson - injured)

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