After more than a year of waiting, Bury St. Edmunds Basketball Club finally re-took the floor for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, as the Bulldogs U17's faced Culford U18's in a friendly fixture.
The Bulldogs started brightly, with Kacper Kasica and Woody Jackson benefitting from good ball movment and strong defence as they fuelled a 12-2 run to open the game, before Bulldogs noticeably eased off as the quarter went on and Culford found a footing in the game.
The hosts turned this momentum into a half-time lead, which they maintained through a strong third quarter, before Will Witham and Aiden Steel sparked an 8-2 run for the Bulldogs down the stretch - but it was too little, too late, as Culford took the game 56-43.
Leading scorers for the Bulldogs were Kasica (11), Steel (8) and Witham (6).
"It was a really rusty performance, but we were just so happy to get the lads back on the court." said Coach Arron MacDonald.
"Our performance was littered with the kind of things that give coaches nightmares - missed lay-ups, missed free-throws , passive rebounding and poor turnovers at inopportune times. But this group has only been back on the floor together for a couple of weeks - it's going to take some time for them to gel, and understand what we're looking for from them."
"Having waited so long for a fixture, perhaps our guys had built this up a bit, particularly for some of the debutants - and on the other side of the floor they were playing a few players quite a bit older than them - and for whom it was their first and last chance to represent their school. Hats off to the Culford lads - they outworked us, and out-fought us, and I can only hope that this is something that fuels our guys to get along to training, take on-board the coaching and feedback, and get much better - because I really believe they can have a great season."