D1: Trailblazers’ looking for league double against Lancashire and Worthing
After experiencing their first league defeat of the season away to London Lituanica last Saturday, Derby Trailblazers will hope it’s their impressive National Cup form which they showed against Manchester Magic on Sunday, which they carry into a pair of league fixtures this weekend.
The Trailblazers travel to Lancashire Spinners on Saturday (5:45pm), before hosting Worthing Thunder at the Clarence Wiggins Sports Centre on Sunday afternoon (4:15pm).
Derby’s Assistant Coach and Performance Analyst Michael Hanson-Morris says it’s an important weekend in the run up to Christmas:
“Last Saturday we didn’t play well enough for long spells and it’s important we learn from our mistakes ahead of another tough double header weekend.
“We find ourselves up against two teams who have had struggled for differing reasons in the early part of the season, but both are showing signs of turning the corner,” he said.
That’s particularly true of Lancashire, who picked up back to back league wins over Manchester Magic and Hemel Storm over the last two weekends. Worthing also seem to be improving, having come agonisingly close to beating Loughborough Student Riders two weeks ago; they would have done so had their last gasp three-pointer on target.
“Both Lancashire and Worthing are potentially high firepower offensive teams especially from the perimeter, which is a challenge we haven’t really experienced so far this year.
“Lancashire have won both their last two games, including an impressive victory over Manchester. They have a good blend of last year’s team and new players including point guard Jack Hudson, who leads the team in a lot of statistical categories.
“Lancashire are able to play in a lot of different ways and this week at practice we have been looking at trying to equip ourselves to play against different challenges.
“We continue to build offensively and were pleased to make a good step forward in our zone offence against Manchester last week. As a result, we feel like we’re more comfortable in facing longer periods of zone if required.
“In the case of Worthing, they only managed to play with a fully fit squad in the league for the last time last weekend, having suffered injuries to three different starters. On paper they are a team who can potentially challenge for silverware and will only get better as the season progress.
“Obviously Lyonell Gaines is making the headlines averaging 33.2 points and 11.2 rebounds a game, but it’s not just about stopping him, because Worthing have several players who are capable of having big games, especially from the perimeter.
“Finding the balance to defend them all is going to be a tricky process but it’s one we’re really looking forward too,” he said.
Saturday’s trip to Lancashire Spinners is a 5:45 start, whilst Sunday’s home tie against Manchester Magic at the Clarence Wiggins Sports Centre gets underway at 4:15pm.
The full line up of game for the weekend is as follows:
D1 Men: Lancashire Spinners v Derby Trailblazers; 5:45pm at Castle Leisure Centre, Bury
U18M (PN): Leeds Allerton H/S Force Academy v Derby Trailblazers; 3pm at Carnegie S.C.
U18M (Midlands): West Bromwich Albion v Derby Trailblazers (II); 4pm at Sandwell Academy
U14 Boys (Midlands): Mansfield Giants v Derby Trailblazers; 12:15pm at Oak Tree Leisure Centre
U14 Girls (Nth Reg): Derby Trailblazers v Manchester Mystics; 12 Noon at Clarence Wiggins Sports Centre
D1 Men: Derby Trailblazers v Worthing Thunder; 4:15pm at Clarence Wiggins Sports Centre
U16 Boys (W-Mids): Derby Trailblazers v Worcester Bears; 2:15pm at Clarence Wiggins Sports Centre
U16 Girls (Nth Reg): Lancashire Spinners Bury v Derby Trailblazers; 1pm at Elton High School
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