Rossendale Raptors claim away win

ROSSENDALE Raptors secured an impressive 81-71 away at Birmingham A’s on Saturday.

The Raptors are still without a permanent manager but temporary coach Ken Masser believes the side are pulling together and displaying a real spirit ahead of their quarter-final clash with Milton Keynes on Sunday in the quarter final of the National Shield.

Masser said: “We’re starting to really play together and play for each other.

“The team’s performances are improving every week. Birmingham are a talented young side that cause us some match-up problems but we handled them well.

“I was really pleased with the defensive effort. Everyone played well and we’re still getting good wins which is encouraging.”

Saturday’s game started at a furious pace with Birmingham making five three pointers in the first six baskets.

The first quarter finished 23-21 to home side.

However, in the second period the Raptors defence was first class as they held Birmingham to just 13 points in the 10 minute spell led be defensive specialist and new signing Conor Porter.

During the quarter the Raptors tallied 27 points of their own to take a 48-36 half time lead.

It was veterans Steven Gayle and John Lindsay who did the damage in the first half, but it was a nine point individual burst from Papis Samb that effectively sealed the game in the third quarter as the Raptors led 70-57.

In the final quarter the Raptors lead ballooned to more than 20 before a Birmingham rally.

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