Lancashire TelegraphEight in a row for Rossendale Raptors (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Eight in a row for Rossendale Raptors

KEN Masser has been confirmed as Rossendale Raptors coach until the end of the season – after guiding the side to their eighth win in a row with a 79-77 win over Sefton Stars last weekend.

Masser, who has been in temporary charge since the departure of previous head coach Jim Fry in October, boasts an impressive record since being confirmed as Raptors chief.

And Masser is delighted with the way his side are performing ahead of a league clash at home to Stockport Falcons this weekend before a National Shield semi-final away at Oxford Brookes University on January 19.

“I am enjoying the coaching more than I thought I would,” said Masser who saw the Raptors lose the first game under his temporary watch but win the next eight.

“I am in charge until the end of the season now and we will go from there. I think club will make a decision then on a permanent coach so we will just have to wait and see.

“I stepped in as a needs must scenario in the first place but I am enjoying it. I have done quite a bit of kids coaching but haven’t coached adult basketball for a number of years.

“We lost the first game after Jim left but we hadn’t really trained together before then and since then we have won eight in a row in all competitions.

“We have a good game to look forward to in the national shield which is a big competition for teams in our division and the one below.

“Hopefully we can keep this run going.”

Last weekend the Raptors made a slow start against a Sefton side who began the day above the fourth placed Rossendale side on points difference alone.

The Raptors were behind early on but were back in the game by the close of the first quarter.

Italian ace Papis Samb then shone in the second quarter to give the Raptors a half time lead.

Samb had his best game for the Raptors to date scoring 11 points and impressing in defence.

The Raptors opened up a seven-point advantage in the fourth quarter led by Steven Gayle and Conor Porter.

That looked to have wrapped up the game but Sefton hit back to reduce the gap to two points heading into the final seconds.

But the home side missed their match-winning three point shot and the Raptors held on.

Gayle led the way for the Raptors with 25 points while Porter added 13.

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