Bury St. Edmunds Basketball Club's Under 16 Boys travelled to Bucks Hornets to open their season in the first round of the National Cup.
The Bulldogs registered the first score of the game, but struggled to settle in their first ever fixture against NBL opposition, allowing Hornets to open up a 20 point lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Suffolk side were stronger in the second quarter, with guard Joe Whiteman registering from beyond the arc, while holding their hosts to only six field goals.
However, injuries sustained to forwards Woody Jackson and Aiden Steel didn't help in the Bulldogs efforts to get back into the tie, and while guard Joseph Franks led the side defensively, the hosts kept Bury out of rhythm on offence, and made the most of the absence of key personnel to dominate the glass en route to a heavy win.
Coach Seb Benford was impressed by debutant Sam Godsmark who made contributions on both ends of the floor, commenting "Sam embodied the strength of the players who showed an interest in joining our NBL project. Some of the other debutants also gave a really good account of themselves, and have forced some of our established players to step-up and battle for their place."
"Naturally, we're disappointed with the result today, but we knew this was going to be a really tough opponent. We're going to get back to work in training. We believe in one another, and we know we're not yet the team we're going to be, but we have to work to get there. I think this was a bit of an eye opener for us, we'll grow from here and be ready for our league opener."
Up next for the squad will be competing in October's NYBL Under 15's and Under 18's competitions, ahead of the opening NBL League fixtures in November.