Warriors stun Carlisle as Kendal look to the future

First published in Sport The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A SOUTH Lakeland basketball team is looking for more players as it looks to raise its profile in the area.

Three years ago only a few people took part in regular basketball from the South Lakes area, and they had to travel to Barrow to play the sport they love for other teams.

But since then the Kendal Warriors basketball side have gone from strength to strength, and entered a side into the Northern Premier League for the first time this year.

Now the club want to take their development to the next step by setting up a second team, a ladies team and a junior side.

Gareth France, a former England Cadet player, has formed part of the fulcrum which has turned the Warriors into a side battling for honours in the Northern Premier League.

“Over the last couple of years basketball has really started to grow in the county,” said France.

“We’re getting more people contacting us wanting to play as we try to build the profile of the sport and the club and that’s great because basketball is a fantastic sport.”

France added that the sport’s coverage is such that a second division to complement the Northern Premier League could be created for next season as more teams from the north of England and Scotland are applying to enter sides into the competition for 2013-14.

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France added: “It’s an exciting time to get involved in the sport - the nature of the game is very fast-paced.

“From a Kendal point of view there is a real community feel to the club and the nucleus of the side is mainly Kendal-based.”

The Warriors’ next match is against Lockerbie at Queen Katherine School on Sunday, January 6.

Anybody from eight-years-old upwards interested in playing basketball in the town can go to the Kendal Warriors basketball team Facebook page and pressing ‘Like’, before writing on the group’s wall to register your interest.

Carlisle Panthers 42

Kendal Warriors 87

Northern Basketball League

KENDAL travelled to Carlisle on Sunday afternoon with the hope of trying to reverse an unwanted losing streak and get their season back on track.

But this would not be an easy task against a much-fancied Carlisle team who had been last season’s cup finalists.

Things looked to be going Carlisle's way early in the game as they took off to a 10-4 lead, taking advantage of Kendal's fragile confidence and indecisive play.

But the Warriors were not going to lose this game without a fight and began to step up the tempo and aggression of their play with Kevin Mason in particular scoring freely early in the second quarter as he dominated inside the zone.

His lead was quickly followed by Gareth France, who hit a long range three pointer followed by some good drives to the basket.

Kendal were now in the mood and through a strong defence led by the tireless Keith McInnes, Kendal had a 32-22 advantage at the break.

Kendal sensed blood and pushed on again in the third quarter, hitting Carlisle on the fast break through the fleet feet of Phil Mason, while Kevin Mason still caused problems inside the paint allowing France to continue to find his range from behind the three-point line.

The third and fourth quarters were a defensive triumph for Kendal as the continued pressure of Kon Arfanis, Phil Mason and Matt Basedow led to multiple turnovers or forced shots, which Kevin Mason and Keith McInnes managed to rebound fantastically well and set up numerous fast breaks which Basedow was converting with greater frequency.

At the end of the game an expectant but stunned home crowd were left to reflect on a great performance from the away team which had resulted in an 87-42 win for the Kendal Warriors going into the Christmas break.

Scorers: G France 30, K Mason 18, P Mason 18, M Basedow 15, K McInnes 4, K Arfanis 2.

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