|Hackney White Heat||Home||16/11/2002||82||v||74||W||2-1||Report|
|Manchester Magic||Away||22/02/2003||69||v||112||L||6-11||Report |
|Hackney White Heat||Away||15/03/2003||85||v||92||L||6-14||Report|
|Ware Rebels||Away||22/03/2003||76||v||87||L||7-15|| Report |
2 November 2002
SOLENT STARS 100 (27, 51, 72)
MANCHESTER MAGIC 93 (23, 51, 72)
Both teams were unable to hit the target for the opening two minutes of this first Conference League match of the season, played at Fleming Park, Eastleigh. Solent, in particular, suffered at an early stage when despite a height disadvantage they gained several rebounds in the first scramble under the Manchester basket, but could not put any points on the board. Once Manchester had opened the scoring, Solent responded through David Butterworth and Mark Jackson ( a three pointer) to take the lead which they held throughout the rest of the first quarter without being able to gain more than a six point advantage at any stage. Manchester suffered a blow when Alan Metcalfe turned an ankle and played no further part in the game.
Having established a grip on the game and built up a ten point lead (42 - 32) with fluent play, Solent - through coach Mark Scott - made a triple substitution and lost some of their fluency. Manchester quickly grabbed a couple of baskets but the Solent ship was steadied when Mark Jackson added two points to be followed by a Dominque Jones three pointer. Trailing 51 - 45 at the beginning of the last minute, Manchester applied full court pressure on the Solent team who were singularly unable to handle it and conceded six points late in the quarter to go in 51 all.
Manchester opened up a six point advantage at the start of the second half before David Butterworth's three pointer gave Solent their first points. He and Mark Jackson then scored points to put Solent ahead in the fourth minute. The visitors again opened up a five point lead before Jones, Adam Willis and Mark Jackson gave Solent the narrowest of leads. At this point, the pressure mounted and Manchester coach, Jeff Jones was called for a technical foul. The rest of the quarter was nip and tuck as both teams fought for the lead.
The final quarter proved a fascinating encounter as Solent took the early lead when Alan McDonald and Butterworth scored. It was a lead never surrendered although at no stage in the final ten minutes could Solent have felt safe. A seven point advantage by the fifth minute (83 - 76) was reduced to just one point (83 - 82) just one minute later. Mark Jackson made some impressive penetrations into the heart of the Manchester defence to keep Solent in the driving seat. Frequent visits to the free throw line by both teams kept the scoreboard moving, but when dangerman Steven Gayle missed his two shots in the last minute when trailing by four points it contrasted with David Butterworth (2) Mark Jackson (40 and Dominique Jones (2) who all hit the mark to give Solent a first win of the league season.
SOLENT David Butterworth 36 Mark Jackson 30 Dominque Jones 15 Alan McDonald 7 John Neale 4 Anthony Rutter 3 Trevor Donaldson 3 Adam Willis 2
MANCHESTER Steven Gayle 33 Samit Nureyev 12 Haris Charalambous12 Andrew Thompson 10 Anthony Haase 8 Alex Hodgson 7 Callum Jones 4 Alan Metcalfe 4 John Shaw 3
9 November 2002
SOLENT STARS 89 (28, 51, 65)
OXFORD DEVILS 111 (26, 48, 85)
A clearly disappointed Solent Stars coach, Mark Scott, kept his team in the changing room for some time after this home defeat at the hands of Oxford Devils. Whilst the loss of influential guard Mark Jackson for most of the third quarter had much to do with the Solent downfall, the coach was obviously upset that no other player in the team had been able to take command on court as Oxford tore the Solent defence to shreds.
The game had started well enough for the home team with early three pointers from David Butterworth and Mark Jackson giving Solent an instant edge. By the seventh minute, Solent led by 7 points (23 - 16) and looked to be in control, before a late rally by Oxford brought them back to just two points (28 - 26) at the first interval. Solent's lead could have been bigger but for two missed layups on the buzzer and their only concern was two fouls charges against David Butterworth who had scored nine of Solent's points.
Dominique Jones figured in Solent's early scoring in the second quarter with five early points. With Alan McDonald, Butterworth, Jackson and John Neale all weighing in, Solent established a 51 - 40 point lead by the sixth minute. However they were unable to add to that point tally in the last four minutes as Oxford, once more, clawed their way back into the game to trail by just three points at the half time interval (51 - 48).
The turning point for Solent came in the second minute of the third quarter when Jackson twisted his ankle and was forced to leave the game with Solent just two points in the lead after a scrappy opening when neither side had been able to score in the first minute. Although Solent managed to keep pace with the Oxford rate of scoring for five minutes, two quick Oxford three pointers opened up a nine point lead for the visitors (63 - 72). Solent called a time out to try to stem the flow but a series of three pointers from Oxford's Phil Alexander (four in the quarter) sank Solent without trace as they managed only two points from the free throw line in the same period. Whereas Solent had been guilty of just five turnovers with Jackson on court, nine turnovers were conceded in the third quarter alone.
Having been outscored 14 - 37 in the third quarter, Solent then had only pride to play for. Jackson returned for the final quarter with a heavily strapped ankle, but Solent could make no headway against the 20 point deficit and frustration mounted as Trevor Donaldson gave away a technical foul and Solent failed to find any fluency in their play, despite the extra training session that they had arranged during the last week after their victory over Manchester. Solent's only consolation was that they had managed to score more than the England cricket team on the same evening.
SOLENT: David Butterworth 22; Dominque Jones 16; Alan McDonald 14; Mark Jackson 12; Adam Willis 9; Anthony Rutter 5; Trevor Donaldson 5; Chris Glover 4; John Neale 2.
OXFORD: Phil Alexander 32; OJ Choutka 22; Art Robinson 21; Joe Milnes 13; Neil Baker 11; Keith Kelly 9; Sam Grichelli 3.
SOLENT STARS 82 (33, 50, 65)
HACKNEY WHITE HEAT 74 (13, 37, 54)
Hackney arrived late for the game and paid a dear price when Solent opened up a 25 - 4 point lead by the sixth minute. The game began 30 minutes after the scheduled start and the Solent players were out to demonstrate that they had not suffered because of the delay. To add to Hackney's woes their main scoring threat, Damion Modeste, was called for an unsportsmanlike technical foul - for something said in the referee's hearing - which gifted Alan McDonald with two more points from the free throw line. Solent continued to pile on the agony with three pointers from Dominique Jones (2) and Mark Jackson, who had passed a late fitness test. Six of the Solent players contributed to the first quarter scoring of an unusually high 33 points, more remarkable for Solent since they were without leading scorer David Butterworth (injury) and Trevor Donaldson.
After a slow start to the second quarter, the home supporters were once again put to the test when Solent, after establishing a 27 point lead (47 - 20) in the fifth minute were only able to add three more points in the remaining five minutes. Hackney, encouraged by Solent's inablility to score and not be able to handle the pressure defence, raised their game and in the same period added 17 points. Coach Mark Scott did not call a time-out in the second quarter (or indeed in the match) but relied rather on switching players in and out of the game, but to no avail.
In a scrappy and unproductive first two minutes of the second half, only Mark Jackson was able to score. Once the scoring did begin, it was Hackney who were more successful and after six minutes of the quarter, Solent's lead was reduced to just nine points (56 - 47). It was a timely three pointer by Mark Jackson that provided the impetus for Solent to start scoring again and end the quarter with an eleven point lead (65 - 54).
Hackney were first off the mark in the final quarter and came to within seven points (67 - 60) before Adam Willis settled the Solent nerves with a basket followed shortly by two free throws. Hackney were again showing and more urgency and athleticism than the home team, who looked in vain to American Dominique Jones to add more than just four points from the 15th minute of the game.
It was left to the scoring of guards Alan McDonald and Mark Jackson to see Solent home. A late three pointer by Modeste had brought Hackney to within four points (78 - 74) with just one minute remaining. One successful free throw from Mark Jackson, followed by one from Alan McDonald with ten seconds remaining made the game safe. By then the Hackney team had been called to the side of the court by their coach and the referee ordered that the game clock be restarted so that the last ten seconds were wound down with Solent celebrating on-court their second league win from three games.
SOLENT Mark Jackson 20 Dominique Jones 18 Alan McDonald 13 Adam Willis 11 Chris Glover 9 John Neale 7 Anthony Rutter 2 Ollie Marsh 2
HACKNEY Damion Modeste 19 Wale Akerele 14 Perry Lawson 14 Adonis Marina 6 Grant Ebanja 6 Andrew Nyeko 6 Richard Marsden 5 Keiron Paris 4
23 November 2002
SOLENT STARS 107 (19, 46, 71)
TEESSIDE MOHAWKS 123 (32, 63, 93)
Solent Stars surprised the unbeaten Teesside team when they opened brightly to take an early 6 -2 lead by the third minute, despite having missed three successive free throws in the process. However, Teesside took control between the fifth and ninth minute when they restricted Solent to just one basket by John Neale whilst they themselves added seventeen points. Most of these were scored by players who were able to penetrate an almost non-existent Solent defence. Coach Mark Scott had called a time-out in the middle of this Teesside onslaught, but it was not until the last minute when Dominique Jones scored five points that Solent made any progress.
Only four points separated the scoring of the two teams in the second quarter as Solent made more headway against the Teesside defence. Solent had wobbled in the middle of the quarter as they let Teesside forge a 26 point lead (31 - 57) but a determined spell at the end of the first half that included three three pointers from Mark Jackson brought Solent back to respectability despite missing leading scorer David Butterworth.
With Adam Willis, Chris Glover and Dominique Jones all fighting hard under the defensive boards, Solent were able to inch back into the game through yet two more three pointers from Mark Jackson to bring the ascore to 69 - 85 by the seventh minute of the third quarter. The home team once again responded, helped by new signing ex-international Carl Miller, to open up a 22 point lead (71 - 93) with just one quarter remaining.
It says much for the Solent team that despite being outplayed for most of the game by their unbeaten league rivals, at no time did the heads go down. Aided by a solid team effort, in which youngsters Anthony Rutter and Ollie March played a full part, Solent shaded the final quarter by 36 - 30 to record their highest quarter score of the season. Mark Jackson with eight three pointers was instrumental in Solent's final effort despite being on four fouls throughout the quarter. Ollie Marsh ended the game with a spectacular basket scored from close to the centre line. Coach Mark Scott was pleased with the team performance against their more experienced opponents, "It was a credit to them all that they battled right to the end and refused to be overawed by the points difference that Teesside had to their advantage at one stage."
SOLENT STARS 99 (23, 54, 78)
SUTTON PUMAS 89 (20, 51, 74)
This proved to be a thrilling game in which the final points difference was an unfair reflection of the closeness of the scores throughout the match. Sutton had held the narrowest of leads until the last minute of the first quarter but once Solent got their noses in front, they were not to be overtaken throughout the rest of the game.
Anthony Rutter was in Solent's starting five for the first time, replacing the injured Alan McDonald. Mark Jackson opened the scoring with a three pointer but two like quick responses came from Paul Mundy-Castle and Peter Knechtel to give Sutton an early lead. Thereafter the lead changed hands nine times in the quarter as each side strove to gain the upper hand. David Butterworth, back in the Solent team after missing two games, announced his return with a three pointer to level the scores at 15 all in the seventh minute and his next three point effort put Solent ahead in the final minute of the quarter and this lead was extended by Adam Willis right at the end of the first period.
First blood of the second quarter went to Solent who, despite several missed free throws, took an nine point lead (35 - 24) when Trevor Donaldson weighed in with a three pointer. Then followed a period where the teams traded baskets as both teams used zone defences which allowed several unopposed three point attempts from which Butterworth (2), Jackson and Jones profited for Solent. Six quick points from Paul Mundy-Castle started a mini revival for Sutton and when Peter Knechtel scored with consecutive three point shots, Solent's lead was reduced to just one point (52 - 51) before Dominique Jones scored to give Solent the narrowest of half time leads.
Having shared the points in the second quarter, only one point separated the teams in the third quarter with Solent managing to extend their lead to four points (78 - 74). The biggest points difference between the teams was just six points with the teams matching each other in every department.
Sutton switched to man-to-man defence at the start of the last quarter and for a time threatened to take control of the game as Solent gave the ball away on a number of occasions. Solent were also losing the battle of the boards at this stage and by the fifth minute found their lead cut to one point (83 - 82). By employing a more aggressive type of defence, Sutton paid the price of reaching team fouls in the fifth minute and Solent immediately gained from this as Anthony Rutter and David Butterworth were able to sink four free throws to give Solent a breathing space. Once again Sutton responded and the game entered the last minute with Solent leading by three points (92 - 89). Solent were also left to play the last 80 seconds without influential Mark Jackson who had fouled out. With Sutton forced to concede fouls to try to gain possession of the ball, Adam Willis (2), Dominique Jones (2) and Rutter (3) all coolly added free throw points and in the same period Willis took several important defensive rebounds to deny Sutton extra shots.
SOLENT: David Butterworth 34; Dominique Jones 18; Mark Jackson 14; Anthony Rutter 13; Trevor Donaldson 10; Adam Willis 8; John Neale 2
SUTTON: Paul Mundy-Castle 29; Dwayne Martin 17; Peter Knechtel 16; Mark Quashie 10; Brian Moore 6; James Cook 6; Dwayne Stallings 5
7 December 2002
SOLENT STARS 82 (19, 32, 55)
KINGSTON WILDCATS 86 (31, 48, 69)
A woeful first half display by a disappointing Solent Stars team led to a defeat by Kinsgston Wildcats at the Tolworth Recreation Centre. Gone was the cohesion and drive from last week's win over Sutton Pumas and it was replaced by a lacklustre first half performance where Mark Jackson was unable to organise his squad and American Dominique Jones only scored once. Just at the time Solent needed someone to respond and raise their game there was no one who could do it.
Kingston suffered an early blow when influential coach and scorer Solomon Ayinla went off for ten minutes with a twisted ankle. Solent were losing the battle of the boards, were being outscored and outplayed but amazingly coach Mark Scott did not call a time-out. Trevor Donaldson joined the game and provided a spark when he stole the ball, but Solent were unable to get inside the Kingston defence and 12 of their 19 first quarter points came from three pointers.
The first two minutes of the second quarter provided no points at all as both teams saw moves breakdown. Thereafter the teams traded baskets to give Kingston a sixteen point advantage at half time (32 - 48).
This lead grew to 19 points by the fifth minute of the third quarter (38 - 57) when a Mark Jackson three pointer sparked life into the Solent scoring. Solent were still trailing by 14 points as they went into the final quarter due in part to three consecutive turnovers.
Solent saved their best to last as finally they began to show the spirit, determination and ability that has marked some of their recent performances. A run of eight consecutive points in the sixth minute (McDonald 6, Jones 2) brought them to within reach of Kingston when tragedy struck as David Butterworth had to leave the game with a twisted ankle sustained at a jump ball. Without their season's top-scorer Solent redoubled their efforts and came to within one point (81 - 82) in the ninth minute. Misses by McDonald and Adam Willis denied the chance of Solent taking the lead at this vital time and the price was paid when Ayinla landed a very late three pointer plus a bonus penalty shot. In the remaining thirty seconds Anthony Rutter was able to score only one of his two free throws and Mark Jackson missed both of his with just one second remaining.
Solent: Alan McDonald 18; David Butterworth 17; Dominique Jones 13; Mark Jackson 12; Adam Willis 11; John Neale 8; Trevor Donaldson 2; Anthony Rutter 1
14 December 2002
SOLENT STARS 72 (15, 25, 52)
READING ROCKETS 105 (28, 47, 83)
A darting early run by Alan McDonald brought him to 200 points for the season, but it proved a false dawn for Solent. Coach Mark Scott was forced to take an early time-out as poor defensive play by the home team allowed Reading players to both drive through the wafer thin resistance or pass to unguarded players under the basket who then had the easiest of scoring opportunities. To Scott's dismay, guard Mark Jackson then turned over the ball twice in 30 seconds to gift Reading a further five points. Solent were able to show little attacking enterprise thanks to the well-drilled Reading defence which stifled their every effort.
It was at the end of third minute of the second quarter before Anthony Rutter was able to score Solent's first points in the period. By then Reading were nearly out-of-sight having racked up an eighteen point lead (15 - 33) . At the half time interval this had increased to 22 points as Solent could only muster ten points in the quarter. In the first half Reading had defended so well that Solent only gained one rebound off their board. 15 turnovers were recorded by Solent in the half as they tried to find their way through the Reading defence.
Solent were trailing by 30 points in the third quarter (39 - 68) when three consecutive three pointers by Trevor Donaldson brought a brief glimmer of hope. Reading coach, Matt Johnson, quickly called a time-out and Donaldson became a marked man with little opportunity to shoot. Mark Jackson ended his most miserable of nights by being fouled out at the end of the quarter.
Reading were able to give court time to all their players (all of whom finished on the scoresheet) as they played out the final quarter without any threat from Solent.
Solent's assistant coach, Steve Fitzsimons, said that "Reading had done their homework, shutting down Mark Jackson and pressuring our attacking plays by closing down our passing lanes. They played as a team on the night, which our side did not."
SOLENT Dominique Jones 15 Adam Willis 12 Trevor Donaldson 12 Mark Jackson 10 Alan McDonald 8 Chris Glover 7 Jon Neale 4 Anthony Rutter 4
READING Jermaine Williams 21 Damon Cooper 18 Ted Smith 17 John Hodds 16 Lloyd Gardener 13 Ian Durrant 11 Adam Kelly 4 Paul Hearne 3 Ian Rich 1 Pem Bristol 1
21 December 2002
SOLENT STARS 92 (26, 42, 72)
WORTHING THUNDER 87 (30, 50, 72)
The names of the players may change but, once again, this fixture at Fleming Park provided an exciting match full of pace and incident.
Worthing were firmly in the driving seat at the outset establishing a twelve point lead (11 - 23) by the seventh minute. They generally outpaced and looked sharper than a pedestrian Solent performance in that time. The introduction on court of Solent new signing, Howard Jackson, brought immediate reward as he went to the free throw line four times in the his first two minutes as he was fouled in penetrating the Worthing defence. The other new player for Solent , Mark Vingoe, then woke both his team and the crowd up with a spectacular dunk. Solent rallied and a last second score by Howard Jackson brought them to within four points (26 - 30) at the first interval.
However, Solent could not pick up their rhythm at the start of the second quarter and only managed one shot in the first two minutes. It was a Howard Jackson free throw in the fifth minute that was Solent's first score of the second period by which time Worthing had added eight points to lead 26 - 38. Solent then missed five of their ten free throws but were fortunate that in this passage of play Worthing did not show more enterprise. Mark Vingoe then jammed in two rebounds to lift the Solent team again, but also picked up his fourth foul Solent had only won one attacking rebound prior to Vingoe's scores but were able to trail by only eight points at the half (42 - 50).
Solent's defence was noticeably more effective after the break and when Mark Jackson scored his first open play basket in the third minute and followed it with a three pointer, Solent hopes rose. Two Alan McDonald scores brought them to within two points (53 - 55) but in an enthralling quarter Worthing did not let go their lead. With 23 seconds of the quarter remaining, Howard Jackson stole the ball and dribbled down court to score and level the match at 72 all.
Trevor Donaldson opened the scoring in the final quarter with a three pointer, but Worthing fought back to lead by four points (81 - 85) with just two minutes remaining. Amid scenes of growing excitement baskets from Chris Glover and Howard Jackson gave Solent a slight edge before Vingoe again popped up with two more points. Worthing responded with their final basket, but Howard Jackson had the last word, scoring himself and then stealing the ball to set up Alan McDonald for a final two points on the buzzer.
SOLENT: Howard Jackson 28; Dominique Jones 19; Mark Vingoe 14; Mark Jackson 11; Alan McDonald 10; Chris Glover 4; Trevor Donaldson 3; Adam Willis 2; Anthony Rutter 1
WORTHING Gaylon Moore 26 Marvin Addy 18 Lavoris Jerry 18 Nick OHarabe 12 Damien Harris 6 Daniel Hildreth 3 James Brame 2 Rani Malik 2
4 January 2003
SOLENT STARS 74 (24, 42, 54)
SUTTON PUMAS 96 (19, 41, 63)
Solent's miserable record in away matches continued as they sank to their eighth successive away defeat, this time at the hands of Sutton Pumas at Westcroft Leisure Centre. Solent have now added three league away defeats to their five National Trophy games. This was in a match that they led for most of the first half, but in a poor third quarter performance - now becoming a regular feature - they saw the game slip away.
Sutton established a four point lead at the start of the game, before Mark Jackson sank a three pointer to settle the visitors. Howard Jackson scored the first of his ten opening quarter points to help Solent to a nine point lead (21 - 12) in the seventh minute. He even audaciously managed one hook shot score over 7' defender James Cook. Sutton rallied and came back to two points without Solent adding to their tally before a last second three pointer from Jackson gave Solent a breathing space.
Dominique Jones and Howard Jackson helped Solent to their biggest lead in the game (35 - 24) by the fifth minute. The introduction of Roger Lloyd - complete with trademark histrionics - added passion to Sutton's play and they whittled away Solent's lead to just one point whilst Solent had been unable to score in the same period. The half ended with the teams trading baskets and Solent holding a precarious one point lead (42 - 41). Sutton's recovery had also been aided by frequent visits to the free thow line in a half where the foul count was 14 - 5 against Solent.
The second half opened ominously with several Solent turnovers in the first minute. Nine early points from Sutton's Peter Knechtel helped Sutton to a 44 - 50 lead by the fourth minute. Confidence had visibly drained away from the Solent squad who could only manage 12 points in the quarter. A move between Chris Glover and Anthony Rutter, which led to the latter player scoring, tied the scores at 52 all - but that proved to be Solent's last throw of the dice.
Trailing by nine points at the start of the final quarter, Solent fell further behind (62 - 78) until a late rally inspired by some accurate shooting from Mark Jackson brought them to within eight points with three minutes remaining (72 - 80). Within seconds Solent lost Howard Jackson to his fifth foul and with no Trevor Donaldson, David Butterworth or Jon Neale to replace him the impetus was lost. Sutton scored at will during the final phase to give them a third league victory.
Coach Scott said, "Whilst individually the players did well, we did not perform as a team. There was no one on court who could lift the players."
SOLENT STARS 103 (23, 46, 77)
COVENTRY CRUSADERS 73 ( 8, 28, 53)
Solent Stars won their first away league match of the season in a convincing fashion in a game that they controlled throughout having never trailed in the scoring at any stage.
The foundation for the win was laid in the first quarter when Solent's defence restricted Coventry to just one score from open play with six of their eight points coming from the free throw line. However, the opening minute of the game saw some wayward shooting from the Stars with Dominique Jones off target with a couple of early three point attempts. He was shown the way by Mark Jackson who landed a three pointer after a couple of opening baskets by Howard Jackson. The three pointer came after Coventry's only basket in the quarter and was followed by a three pointer from Jones to give Solent a 10 - 2 lead in the third minute. This lead was increased when David Butterworth announced his return to fitness as he joined the game in the seventh minute and scored with his first touch. Butterworth, Jones and H. Jackson continued to pile on the points to give Solent a 23 - 8 lead at the end of the quarter.
Coventry came more into the game in the second quarter but not until Solent had gone into a 30 - 10 lead by the second minute. Solent's defence became a bit lax and they were guilty of several turnovers which gifted Coventry welcome points. Coventry's revival was halted however when Mark Vingoe, Anthony Rutter, Howard Jackson and Jones all added points without a reply from the home team.
An injury to Dominique Jones marred the third quarter for Solent as he had to leave the game for five minutes to receive treatment for blurred vision after a knock whilst rebounding under the basket. Solent were playing fluent basketball with coach Mark Scott constantly encouraging his squad and making frequent substitutions to keep up the team's pace. Five three pointers in the quarter from Butterworth (2) Mark Jackson (2) and Jones ensured a steady supply of Solent points.
Solent also edged the final quarter to demonstrate their superiority in the game. Dominique Jones returned to the fray to add six more points to his impressive shooting display but coach Scott was quick to acknowledge that it was the team performance that had been the main feature. The scoring feature of the match for Solent was the twelve successful outside three point shots of which Jones landed five.
Solent: Dominique Jones 28 Howard Jackson 23 David Butterworth 19 Mark Jackson 17 Adam Willis 8 Anthony Rutter 4 Mark Vingoe 2 Chris Sheldrick 2
The previous evening, Solent had successfully overcome the challenge of USAF Lakenheath Eagles 91 - 71 in front of a sizeable crowd at Fleming Park. Howard Jackson led the scoring with 26 points which included several spectacular dunks. He was ably supported in the scoring by namesake, Mark Jackson (20) and Solent were pleased to see the return of David Butterworth who in a restricted court time added eight points.
18 January 2003
SOLENT STARS 100 (24, 46, 68)
PLYMOUTH RAIDERS 109 (16, 42, 87)
A phenomenal 45 point tally in the third quarter by Plymouth Raiders on their home court saw them to victory over a plucky performance from the Solent Stars team in this NBL Conference fixture.
The largest Plymouth attendance of the season (1,030) was silent at the start of the game as Solent with early points from Mark and Howard Jackson and Anthony Rutter built an early lead and denied any points to the home team for three minutes. Plymouth then came back and in the next three minutes had established a 9 - 14 point lead. Solent then took over the scoring to add 15 without reply, Mark Jackson with nine of the points gaining the scoring honours. At the end of the first quarter Solent looked comfortably placed with a 24 - 16 lead.
Coach Mark Scott felt forced to call an early time out in the second quarter and soon Solent enjoyed their biggest lead of the game (33 - 18) in the third minute. Even at the start of the last minute of the half Solent were still eight points in the clear despite a determined Plymouth rally that had brought them to within four points earlier (35 - 31) with coach Scott unable to intervene with a further time-out. A Mark Vingoe foul gifted Plymouth two points with two seconds remaining of the half and Howard Jackson made a horrible mess of putting the ball in and Plymouth accepted two more points to narrow the gap to four points at the interval.
Plymouth opened the third quarter strongly to level the scores (46 - 46) in the first minute. Solent rallied when David Butterworth - playing with strapped fingers, having dislocated two of them at training on Friday - added a three pointer to his tally. However, once Howard Jackson had put Solent ahead 51 - 50 in the third minute, Plymouth took over the game. In the next five minutes they went to a 61 - 76 lead with only Howard Jackson able to respond for Solent in that period. Plymouth's scoring continued unabated despite a time-out from coach Scott in the fifth minute. Although Solent scored a normally respectable 22 points in the quarter it was not enough as Plymouth, deafeningly inspired by the large crowd, piled on the points.
Despite the battering, Solent came back strongly in the last quarter. Butterworth fouled out in the second minute and he was followed by a disappointing Dominique Jones five minutes later. Solent made inroads on the Plymouth lead and a three pointer from Anthony Rutter - enjoying his best game of the season - brought them to within 12 points (92 - 104) with two minutes remaining. Coach Scott was asking for more three point success but with Jones and Butterworth having fouled out the options were limited. A determined final press brought Solent to 100 points and no disgrace in defeat to the current league leaders.
SOLENT STARS 87 (29, 49, 66)
OXFORD DEVILS 88 (25, 41, 60)
Solent Stars were twice only one point behind in the scoring in their away game, but - unfortunately for them - the second occasion was the final five seconds. After leading throughout almost the entire match a combination of too many turnovers and too many fouls proved their undoing.
Oxford were forced to take an early time-out, in the third minute, after Solent had built up a 9 - 2 lead. Solent had moved the ball around well and looked slick in their up-court movement which often resulted in scores for Howard Jackson. Two turnovers allowed Oxford to grab some points back but Mark Jackson then sank the first of his four three pointers in the game to help Solent forge ahead. Once again, sloppy defensive work allowed Oxford to close the gap to just four points at the first interval (29 - 25).
Early in the second quarter, a delightful four man move by Solent ended with David Butterworth scoring three points which was followed immediately after by Adam Willis hitting two after Mark Jackson had stolen the ball from the Oxford put-in. Solent then led 36 - 27, but in the next four minutes they only added two points as Oxford staged a strong rally to take the lead briefly 38 - 39. Five points each from David Butterworth and Howard Jackson restored the initiative to Solent by half time (49 - 41) Solent's lead might have been larger but for a bizarre few seconds when Howard Jackson missed a dunk, Mark Jackson gained the rebound and missed an easy lay-up, then Howard Jackson won the next rebound but clattered into the referee and was called for travelling.
Good defensive boards by Mark Vingoe, Dominique Jones and David Butterworth allowed Solent to maintain their lead through the third quarter as did two three pointers each from Jones and Mark Jackson. The only clouds on the horizon were Howard Jackson's fourth foul in the second minute and the increasing number of turnovers.
A tense final quarter opening saw neither side score in the first two and a half minutes before Mark Jackson's free throws and following basket put Solent nine points clear (69 - 60) by the third minute. As tension mounted the Oxford coach was called for a technical foul to gift Solent two more points, courtesy of Howard Jackson. At the start of the last minute Mark Jackson was fouled and his two free throws gave Solent a five point advantage (87 - 82). Oxford pressed hard and Solent turned the ball over again. Chris Sheldrick fouled the successful shooting attempt of Oxford's Neil Baker with 41 seconds remaining. Baker missed his free throw to leave Solent 87 - 84 ahead. Sheldrick was again called for a foul with 22 seconds left and Joe Milnes scored both to bring Oxford to within one point. Solent again could not hold on to the ball and run down the clock and Dominique Jones was adjudged to have fouled Neil Baker with just five seconds remaining. This time he hit both his free throws to leave Solent contemplating what might have been.
SOLENT STARS 100 (21, 49, 79)
WARE REBELS 89 (29, 42, 62)
Solent Stars fashioned a victory over basement dwellers Ware Rebels with a less than convincing performance, that was enough on the night but demonstrated that Solent still have a lot to do if they wish to climb up the league.
Ware opened with a series of accurate shots that gave them a 2 - 13 lead by the third minute. At that stage Solent had not been able to get out of first gear.
They look ponderous and it may have been that they were more affected by the delayed start because of the non-arrival of one appointed official. Local referee Grace Jacca was called in for a game that started 20 minutes late. Coach Mark Scott took an early time-out and by the seventh minute Solent had levelled the scores at 17 all, thanks to points from David Butterworth, Mark Jackson and Howard Jackson.
With Mark Jackson having problems establishing his command on court, it was left to Howard Jackson to show the verve and effort needed to keep Solent in the game. After a Ware time-out they were more effective and deservedly held an eight point advantage at the first break. (21 - 29)
Solent restricted Ware to just four points in the opening five minutes of the second quarter whilst rattling in 19 of their own. Having taken the lead in the fourth minute Solent never let it slip. Their only concern was that only four players, Howard Jackson, Mark Jackson, David Butterworth and Mark Vingoe appeared on the scoresheet.
Solent dominated the third quarter without ever threatening to run away with the game. Alan McDonald scored some brave baskets as he penetrated the Ware defence on several occasions. Solent were winning more of the rebounds off the boards and turning that to their advantage. An eleven point spurt by Solent between the sixth and ninth minute effectively sealed the game. American Dominique Jones finally hit the target for Solent 22 seconds from the end of the third quarter to end a personal shooting nightmare.
A stop-go final quarter did not make interesting watching for the 248 spectators at the game although the majority of them were happy to see Solent not fall at the finish, never letting Ware get closer than ten points.
SOLENT Howard Jackson 34 Mark Jackson 22 David Butterworth 20 Alan McDonald 10 Dominique Jones 7 Mark Vingoe 3 Chris Sheldrick 2 Adam Willis 2
WARE Mick Richardson 22 Ross Carlton 14 Dave Churches 13 Robert Brockenbury 12 Danny Scott 10 Barry Gooch 7 Dominic Davis 6 Matt Clarkson 5
2 February 2003
SOLENT STARS 105 (29, 50, 73)
TEESSIDE MOHAWKS 117 (22, 58, 85)
An exhilarating opening by Solent forced Teesside to take a time-out when they fell nine points behind (29 - 20) at the start of the last minute of the first quarter. Three pointers had come from Mark Jackson (3) and Alan McDonald whilst Howard Jackson had worked tirelessly inside to bag 13 points of his own. With Solent defending well and gaining rebounds, Teesside had been denied possession at both ends of the court.
The opening minutes of the second half continued in the same vein and Solent had built up a 42 - 29 point lead by the fourth minute. Coach Mark Scott decided to take his one allowed time-out in this period. He must have regretted that decision when Teesside began to demonstrate why they are unbeaten in league and cup this season. Without Solent adding to their total it took Teesside just three minutes to reduce the gap to one point. They were helped in this task by a number of desperation type fouls by Solent that sent Teesside to the free throw line six times in that period. Eventually, with coach Scott powerless to call a halt, Solent's 13 point advantage turned into an eight point deficit at half time (50 - 58).
It looked briefly as if Solent could get back into the game when so-far pointless David Butterworth began to hit his three point shots. However, whenever Solent threatened to narrow the gap, Teesside's Ralph Bucci and EJ Harrison broke through the Solent defence to add more points for their team. Having got back to 64 - 70, Solent suffered a further blow when Howard Jackson reached his fourth foul and was taken out of the game for a period. Teesside used this situation to open up their biggest gap so far of 15 points (66 - 81).
The gap widened further (75 - 94) by the second minute of the final quarter. This was helped by the referee calling a technical foul against the Solent coaches who protested that Bucci was being given too much protection by the referees. Just when all seemed lost for Solent they staged a late rally, including two Butterworth three pointers, that forced the Teesside coach to call a time-out in the ninth minute with Solent just eight points adrift (101 - 109). This proved enough to stop the rally and Solent once again scored over 100 points against the unbeaten Teesside team only to lose the game.
SOLENT: Howard Jackson 29 David Butterworth 26 Mark Jackson 21 Dominique Jones 16 Alan McDonald 10 Trevor Donaldson 3
TEESSIDE: Ralph Bucci 31 EJ Harrison 27 Steve Butler 18 Steve Pilkington 15 James Nicholson 15 Etuana Zambo 6 Neil Campbell 2 Jon Stonebridge 2 Kimatu Milambo 1
SOLENT STARS 85 (18, 39, 55)
WORTHING THUNDER 101 (29, 47, 70)
Solent Stars were hit by injuries both before and during the match at Worthing Leisure Centre. Trevor Donaldson picked up an injury at training on Friday night and was unavailable for selection, whilst Chris Glover announced that work commitments would preclude him playing for Solent in the future.
Howard Jackson, who had been complaining of a sore shin, fell awkwardly in the fourth minute of the game and had to leave the court with an ankle injury. Solent were trailing 4 - 13 at that stage to a Worthing team that showed more purpose and looked much sharper than the visitors. Worthing defended well and Solent found it difficult to get themselves free for any unguarded shots. Solent's misses were often punished by a Worthing rebound and fast break to score at the other end of the court. Howard Jackson returned for the last two minutes of the quarter but was limited in his movement.
With the opening two baskets in the second quarter, Worthing established a 15 point lead (18 - 33). However, in the next six minutes Worthing were only able to add six more points as Solent took control of the game to bring themselves to within two points of the Worthing score (37 - 39). A familiar Solent series of turnovers then ensued which allowed Worthing off the hook to take an eight point lead at the interval. With Howard Jackson still troubled, it had fallen to Mark Vingoe, Mark Jackson and David Butterworth to score the majority of the Solent points.
A series of missed shots at the start of the third quarter effectively sealed Solent's fate. Howard Jackson's injury finally forced him out of the match during the quarter and Solent hit further trouble when Mark Jackson was substituted on reaching his fourth foul. With neither Jackson on court Solent made little headway and coach Mark Scott was forced to put Mark Jackson back in the game. Two minutes later, with eleven minutes left of the match, Mark Jackson was dubiously fouled out.
Solent entered the last period still 15 points adrift and when Alan McDonald also left with an injury, and still three minutes to go, Solent were trailing 71 - 90. The six remaining Solent players, encouraged by a good following of visiting fans in Worthing's biggest crowd of the season, set about their task unphased by their situation. Butterworth, Vingoe and Dominique Jones gained rebounds and points as the clock ran down.
Coach Mark Scott was upset about the number of Solent turnovers that gave the ball away and felt that his players had tried to force the issue too many times instead of being patient.
SOLENT STARS 101 (20, 58, 76)
PLYMOUTH RAIDERS 114 (22, 50, 86)
Despite being without American Howard Jackson, Solent Stars reached 100 points for the second time in a month against league leaders Plymouth Raiders. Once again, however, they finished as the losing side as they exposed their defensive frailties
Solent were slow to start in this home game as they missed a series of shots that were usually rebounded by the visitors who broke quickly downcourt to add more points to their total. Plymouth built up a 10 - 19 lead by the seventh minute before Dominique Jones and a first three pointer from Mark Jackson closed the gap to just four points. Free throws from Alan McDonald and Jones helped bring Solent to within two points of the Plymouth total by the first interval.
The largest crowd of the season were treated to a vintage Solent display in the second quarter, in which they outscored Plymouth 38 - 28 and, at one stage, threatened to run away with the game. The home team strung together a series of flowing moves and accurate shots. Seven three point attempts were successful including three from Trevor Donaldson. By the ninth minute Solent led by fourteen points (55 - 41) - but they were still being outrebounded by Plymouth. A naive foul by Dominique Jones at the end of the first half allowed Gavin Love to complete a four point play to bring Plymouth back to just an eight point deficit at half time (58 - 50).
If the second quarter had belonged to Solent, then the tables were reversed in the third. This was despite a bright start from Solent with Alan McDonald and Dominique Jones scoring the first five points of the quarter to take Solent to a 63 - 50 lead. Suddenly the third quarter Solent gremlins struck and the supply of points dried up - only 13 more in the quarter. Meanwhile Plymouth gained confidence, as well as most of the rebounds, and began to score almost at will as they either shot over the defence or easily got inside it to score with close range shots. Coach Mark Scott called a time-out in the seventh minute once Plymouth had taken the lead and were beginning to draw away. Mark Jackson and Mark Vingoe responded with two quick baskets, but Solent were making too many mistakes to threaten Plymouth.
With the points supply from Dominique Jones and David Butterworth having almost dried up, it was left to Mark Jackson to keep Solent's score moving along. He had an inspired final quarter in which Solent managed to salvage some pride with a return to some of the pace and spirit that had helped them earlier in the game. However, league leaders Plymouth were not to be denied and comfortably held on to their lead for another win on the road.
SOLENT Mark Jackson 28 David Butterworth 23 Dominique Jones 19 Trevor Donaldson 11 Alan McDonald 10 Mark Vingoe 8 Anthony Rutter 2
PLYMOUTH Dean Williams 32 Inyo Cue 28 Gavin Love 16 D Beasley 14 Roderick Wellington 13 Deng Deng 4 Myron Riley 4 Gareth Laws 3
22 February 2003
SOLENT STARS 69
MANCHESTER MAGIC 112
Just seven days before this game, Manchester had lost at home to bottom club Coventry whilst Solent had given top-place Plymouth a run for their money before succumbing to a close defeat, and in the process scoring 101 points.
However, the form guide was thrown out of the window as Solent suffered an humiliating defeat at Manchester on Saturday night.
True, Solent were without injured trio Howard Jackson, Mark Vingoe and Chris Sheldrick.
And Alan McDonald could only play 12 minutes before having to leave the game because of the effects of a heavy cold.
But it did not excuse the other seven players for their performances on the night.
All, that is, save the honourable exception of Mark Jackson who scored over half the team's points and was the leading rebounder.
The match statistics show that Solent only scored 26 baskets out of 67 attempts from the field whilst Manchester were able to score 43 times from a similar number of attempts.
However, a lot of the home team's baskets came from second chance points when they grabbed the rebounds to score an easy basket from inside.
Solent could only manage 26 rebounds to the 51 taken by Manchester.
Solent started well enough, but then fell 10-20 behind by the seventh minute before three points from Dominique Jones and Jackson helped spark a mini recovery.
Manchester were able to increase their lead by ten points in the second quarter as Solent's woeful shooting added only 14 points to their total.
Coach Mark Scott's 12-minute half time talk had all the vehemence reported from a recent football club in the same city, as he strove to lift the performance of the Solent team.
The team did not respond immediately as Manchester scored the opening ten points of the second half as they took advantage of playing against the side with the worst defensive record in the league.
Jackson, almost single-handedly, lifted the Solent spirits by scoring several baskets after penetrating the Manchester defence.
Solent did not help their cause in the last quarter by reaching the four-team foul by the third minute, which gave Manchester several chances to add points from the free throw line.
Manchester coach Jeff Jones said this was by far his team's best performance this season.
Scott, however, was left to rue how much of that was due to the ineptness of his squad on the night.
Scorers: Mark Jackson 36, David Butterworth 11, Dominique Jones 9, Anthony Rutter 6, Alan McDonald 5, Trevor Donaldson 2
SOLENT STARS 95 (13, 37, 60)
READING ROCKETS 109 (27, 53, 86)
With two Solent players requiring hospital treatment after the game and only a bench of eight players to use - one of whom had already fouled out - coach Mark Scott was left with few options in the last quarter of the game.
Without American, Howard Jackson, - not fully recovered from his injury - Solent had got off to a slow start in their visit to third place Reading and found themselves 8 - 21 down by the eighth minute. None of Solent's outside shooting was successful and Reading were able to pierce the Solent defence almost at will to score from close in. Solent's first injury occurred when Adam Willis was caught by a Reading player's elbow and required treatment to stop the bleeding of a gash above his eye.
Solent's shooting improved in the second quarter as several of the players got on the scoresheet. Their progress was interrupted though when Dominique Jones had to leave the game for several minutes because of cramp. The Solent team continued to share the scoring as they managed to keep in touch with Reading until a flurry of late poihnts gave the home team a comfortable half-time advantage.
Solent slipped alarmingly 28 points in arrears (45 - 73) by the sixth minute of the third quarter before Mark Jackson landed their first three pointer of the match two minutes later. He immediately followed this with two more as Solent gained heart despite losing the quarter by ten points.
The biggest points gap of the game came in the fourth minute of the final quarter when Solent trailed by 31 points (66 - 97). To add to their woes, Mark Jackson and Dominique Jones clashed heads when going for the same loose ball. The game was interrupted for five minutes to allow attention for the players. Mark Jackson was able to continue, but Dominique Jones, with a gash below his eye, was not.
Mark Vingoe had already fouled out and with David Butterworth unable to hit any outside shots, Solent seemed at a low ebb. However, they staged a magnificent rally and the on-court players - Anthony Rutter, Mark Jackson, Adam Willis, Alan McDonald and Trevor Donaldson - restricted Reading to just six more points whilst scoring twenty one more themselves. Solent outscored Reading 35 - 21 in the final period, but it was too late to save the game.
After the game, Dominique Jones was kept in hospital overnight for observation whilst Adam Willis was given attention for his cut eye.
SOLENT STARS 90 (23, 45, 63)
KINGSTON WILDCATS 93 (18, 44, 68)
Dominique Jones was advised by a doctor not to play in this match because of his facial stitches and so coach Mark Scott still has to be faced with a selection problem this season, with just three matches remaining.
It took Mark Jackson only 70 seconds to score the six points necessary to reach his 500 for the season. Solent opened brightly with Jackson's two three pointers being matched by three from David Butterworth as Solent opened a 21 - 12 lead by the seventh minute. Kingston made a late rally and scored six unanswered points to close the gap. Coach Mark Scott kept faith with his starting five throughout the quarter which included a preference for Anthony Rutter over Alan McDonald as the second guard.
The same Solent five began the second quarter but coach Scott was forced to change the line-up when Mark Vingoe reached his third foul in the second minute. Kingston were relying very heavily for their points on Wayne Henry (22 in the first half) and Solent were unable to contain him. The Solent coaches began to ring the player changes in the second quarter but after a brief scoring burst in the middle of the quarter in which Mark Jackson contributed six points to take Solent 41 - 33 ahead, they again fell away. In part this was because Howard Jackson had not fully recovered his mobility after his recent three match absence through injury.
By the third minute of the second half, Solent were five points ahead (51 - 46). Then Kingston's player/coach, Solomon Ayinla, struck with ten consecutive points that put Kingston into a lead that they were never to surrender. Four successful free thows by Howard Jackson brought Solent back to within three points of Kingston but the visitors edged further ahead with the final basket of the quarter. By then Solent had lost Trevor Donaldson who fouled out in the ninth minute.
With just five minutes remaining in the match Solent were as good as down and out when trailing by 14 points (67 - 81). Then in what is becoming a trademark feature, they staged a fighting rally which brought them to within two points (81 - 83) in the next three minutes. Ayinla then scored a heartbreaking three pointer and because of Solent's foul trouble, Kingston were able to visit the free throw line eight times in the last minute and held their lead despite late three pointers from Anthony Rutter and David Butterworth.
Coach Mark Scott blamed the defeat on his team not being able to pick themselves up quickly enough once they had initially gone behind. "They became too tense and began to make mistakes", he said.
SOLENT Howard Jackson 26 Mark Jackson 23 David Butterworth 16 Anthony Rutter 13 Trevor Donaldson 5 Chris Sheldrick 4 Mark Vingoe 3
KINGSTON Wayne Henry 40 Solomon Ayinla 28 Ade Orelaga 8 Dorian Jones 6 Jamie Whitaker 6 Mark Vear 5
15 March 2003
SOLENT STARS 85 (20, 46, 61)
HACKNEY WHITE HEAT 92 (20, 42, 70)
Solent Stars lost to a team with just two wins to their credit in the current campaign. Hackney, playing at home, battled throughout to gain the points in a game that lacked any cohesion and was littered with mistakes from both teams. That the occasion had an end of season flavour to it began when one of the appointed officials arrived without his whistle. Mark Vingoe came to his rescue but no one player came to Solent's aid, with everyone deciding to have an off night.
The first quarter was even after Hackney made the initial running to take a 5 - 13 lead by the fifth minute. As usual Mark Jackson began Solent'ss revival with a three pointer and Solent took the lead (14 - 13) within three minutes. Solent had only taken four minutes to reach team fouls and further fouls enabled Hackney to gain valuable points from the free throw line.
Three minutes into the second quarter and Solent were on team fouls again. By the end of the quarter Dominique Jones was called for this fourth foul. He had only managed to score eight points in the match so far and was clearly showing his frustration. A regular supply of points from several of the players enabled Solent to hold a four point half time lead (46 - 42).
This lead was wiped out after two early errors by Anthony Rutter and a further series of turnovers, poor shot selection and misplaced passes by all the players - in part because of the constant hustling of the home team - led to the inevitable demise of the Solent game as they only scored four points in a four minute period whilst Hackney added fourteen to their own total.
Both Solent' American players fouled out in the fourth minute of the final quarter with Solent trailing 68 - 74. Despite this drawback, the remaining English players kept in touch with Hackney and Alan McDonald's consecutive three pointers took Solent into an 78 - 77 lead with four minutes remaining. But it was foul trouble (team fouls by the third minute) that helped prove Solent's final undoing with Hackney going to line sixteen times in the final seven minutes.Solent: Howard Jackson 24 Alan McDonald 16 Mark Jackson 15 Dominique Jones 8 Anthony Rutter 7 Mark Vingoe 7 David Butterworth 6 Adam Willis 2
22 March 2003
SOLENT STARS 76 (23, 45, 64)
WARE REBELS 87 (25, 39, 64)
Solent Stars' season spluttered to halt with an away defeat against lowly Ware Rebels.
Already without American Howard Jackson, Solent suffered a late withdrawal by Adam Willis (hamstring) and once again only had eight players available.
After five minutes Solent were trailing 7-15 before Dominique Jones and David Butterworth combined to score 11 points between them in the next two minutes to almost level the score.
When Mark Jackson stole the ball and scored with just eight seconds remaining Solent levelled the scores at 23-23.
However, Ware still had time to shoot three times (gaining the rebound twice) to add two more to their total at the end of the first quarter.
Three three pointers in the opening two minutes of the second quarter by Butterworth (2) and Jackson took Solent to a 34-27 lead. It also increased their confidence and they played their best basketball of the evening in this period, in which they outscored Ware, 22-14.
The third quarter started very slowly and it took Ware 90 seconds to record the first basket.
A similar time passed before Solent could add to their total. Gradually Ware made inroads on the Solent score in part when Butterworth's contribution for the match completely dried up half way through the quarter.
Anthony Rutter drove through to add three more baskets in the closing minutes, before being guilty of overdoing the same move. With seconds remaining Chris Sheldrick failed to hold a defensive rebound and Ware's Barry Gooch scored a three pointer to level.
A poor first two minutes in which Solent were outscored 2-11 cost them the game.
Solent were never able to close the gap below six points as Ware kept possession of the ball and denied Solent any opportunity to get back in the game.
Despite his disappointment, coach Mark Scott was upbeat about the performance of his young English players this season.
"They have stuck to their task. With more experience we will win the close games. The players are keen to train over the summer and work on their fundamental skills. Watch out for Solent next season," he said.
Scorers: David Butterworth 22 Dominique Jones 20 Mark Jackson 13 Anthony Rutter 11 Mark Vingoe 8 Alan McDonald 2