The Wolves Senior Men faced off today against the East Lothian Peregrines in the first round of the Lothian Cup. The Peregrines play in the league below and are in their first season after being re-established over the summer in order to bring men's basketball back to East Lothian. The Wolves division 2 squad have previously beaten the Peregrines in league action. So this game should not have proved to difficult a challenge for the division 1 side.
The game started off with the Wolves attacking the middle of the Peregrines zone and getting a lot of shots near the basket. However the Wolves could not convert these chances into score baskets. The Wolves looked a bit rusty through the first quarter, however they made a small offensive run mid way through the first quarter. Unfortunately their defence was a step to slow and allowed the East Lothian side a number of easy shots in the paint and a number of second chance opportunities which they converted. The Wolves went into the first break with a small 13-9 lead. Jamie Rilley was very aggressive early on and helped set the tone for how the Wolves would attack the paint throughout the game.
Three minutes into the third quarter the the Wolves were down 3 points after some terrible defensive mistakes and the rust of the Christmas break taking it's toll. Head coach Andy Smyth took a time out to try and rally the players and the players responded in fine fashion. Lead by Darren Baxter, Kas Arshad and Piotr Jeszkie the Wolves turned up the defense and caused a number of turn overs which lead to easy lay ups for the Wolves. The Wolves tighten up their defense only allowing East Lothian to score 14 points in the quarter, while scoring 25 points themselves. The Half time score was 38 - 28 to the Wolves.
The second half saw the Wolves continue to drive the score up, with good transition defense and a constant fast break that left the Peregrines very tired. Ben O Connell was very steady at the point guard position, whilst Andy Sturrock and Owen Cook made hustle play after hustle play on both ends of the floor. The pair were rebounding very well and protected the paint as the back line of the Wolves man to man defense. The Wolves scored 24 points in the third, while only allowing their opponents to score 13. The fourth quarter saw the Wolves newest player Jay Knowles make an appearance. Jay scored his first basket as a Wolf after some lovely passing led to a wide open baseline jump shot.
The Wolves also had some additional help on the bench today as Bobby Cosgrove took up the position as assistant coach for the first time today. A recurring shoulder injury has forced him to hang up his boots for the remainder of the season. Hopefully he will be back on the court next season. In the mean time head coach Andy Smyth will take advantage of all of Bobby's experience as the Wolves team continue on their quest for the Lothian Cup, League title and Chairman's Cup title.
On another note the Wolves went into the Christmas break undefeated in league action with six wins out of six. The Wolves' last game of 2013 was a very exciting match up against their league rivals the Edinburgh Kings, which saw the Wolves beat the Kings for the first time in a league match.