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Under 18 League for Lincoln Bayside by narrowest of margins

Lincoln Bayside needed to beat hitherto unbeaten leaders Bavaria Blue Stars Pink by at least 9 points to win the Under 18 League on head-to-head, having lost by 8 in the first round.
Aggressive defence kept both teams’ perimeter shooting in check but LB’s Dan Dan Cassaglia and BBSP’s Matvey Celecia were difficult to stop in the paint. A very even first-half saw LB 35-34 up. The late arrival of Kaylan Balloqui gave LB an added edge and there was no doubting their desire to succeed as their opponents seemed to lose their focus.
The defining moment came late in the third quarter when a controversial unsportsmanlike foul was called on BBSP’s Nick Andrews, quickly followed by a technical foul on the bench. LB went on to win the quarter by 26-14, stretching their lead to 13 in the match, 4 more than the 9 needed.
BBSP regained their composure in the last quarter and fought back to actually reduce the difference to less than the 9 points. They were 9 down and had the last possession but LB defended grimly to win 73-64, BBSP rueing their atrocious shooting from the free-shot line (19 of 42).
Dan Cassaglia was the winners’ top scorer and best player with 25 points, followed by Balloqui 19, and Danny Cassaglia 10, who was brilliant in defence. Celecia led the losers with 26, with team mates Andrews 12 and Nathan Vaughan 11 also on double digits.
Europa Valmar kept up their efforts to be crowned First Division champions with a 85-68 win over GibYellow Animals. Mohamed El Yettefti 20, Javi Guerra 16 and Seb Cassaglia 15 led the winners and Callum Culross 25, Roydon Reyes 16, Adrian Cantero 14 and Gareth Balban 10 were best for the losers.
Europa Valmar Reserves (Ian Yeats 19, Louis Dalmedo 14, Javi Guerra 12) registered an important 69-59 win against GibYellow Beasts (Roydon Reyes 19, Jairo Ledesma 15, Gareth Balban 11) to go joint second with Lincoln Bayside Reserves, 1 point behind leaders Bavaria Blue Stars Reserves (Nick Andrews 17), 64-55 winners over Europa Valmar Fusion (Enrique Navarro 13, Marco O’Connor 11, Jamie Belilo 10, James Falzun 10).
In the u15 Boys, leaders Europa Valmar (E Havers 19) beat Mighty Rocks 50-32, and close rivals Lincoln Bayside kept up the hunt with a 38-22 win over Bavaria Blue Stars.
The Senior Women’s match between the two Bavaria Blue Stars teams ended in a 43-39 win for Blue (Sophie Stanley 17, Hannah Cabezutto 12) over Pink (Talia Gilbert 13).
In the Under13 Girls League, Bavaria Blue Stars beat Lincoln Bayside (Mia Ranieri 12) 36-24.

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