Worthing Bears . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .72
IT WAS always close but the result was rarely in doubt at the Doncaster Dome last night. Guildford's lead was only 76-72 in the final minute, but the Bears clearly did not have a game plan, the lungs or the legs to last as Guildford held on to the National Cup and denied Worthing the first major basketball trophy in their history.
In deference to recent incidents in Kings-Bears matches, the authorities brought out the two 'hard men' of refereeing, Colin Gerrard and Alan Richardson.
When Gerrard denied Guildford's Trevor Gordon an early dunk by calling a travelling violation, a steely glare stilled the centre's threatened eruption. Instead, Gordon concentrated on the game and he scored 14 first-half points for a 38-27 Kings' lead.
If Guildford had not missed seven free throws and as many lay- ups Worthing would have been routed. The Bears clawed their way back and when Mark Hubbard potted three in a row, Guildford's lead was down to 50-46.
The 6ft 10in Mike Spade slotted in his third three-pointer for Worthing to make the deficit 64- 56, but inevitably the air went out of the ball for the Bears' long- range hit men as tired legs failed to find space and tired arms failed to make the shots.
Gordon, Carl Miller and Karl Brown pushed Guildford into a double-figure lead until Colin Irish and the final three-pointer from Spade brought Worthing back to 76-72 with 37 seconds to play. Guildford sealed the victory from the free-throw line to hold on to the cup and deny the pretenders their Carlsberg League title.
Leading scorers: Guildford Kings: Gordon 24, Miller 20, Brown 10. Worthing Bears: Irish 19, Hubbard 18, Spade 16.
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