South Coast Outlaws are tamed as South East Tigers claim bragging rights
South Coast Outlaws came up short in their 96-81 home defeat to rivals South East Tigers in the first Hastings derby match of the season.
It was Battle rivals the Tigers who started off well, racing into a 9-2 lead in the first few minutes of the game.
The Outlaws team included seven players who were playing for their derby opponents last season.
They all got the chance to shine against their old team, with forwards Louis Parsk and James Tichband making the power moves under the basket.
Leading the charge was point guard Gio Bacor, shooting the Outlaws to a slender first quarter lead (23-19).
The Tigers, who looked startled against their former team-mates in the first quarter, stepped up a gear in the second.
They changed the defence to a full-court press which put pressure on the free-scoring Outlaws to force easy turnovers, resulting in a 18-35 point swing.
Guard James Green and forward Zak Kenward provided the only highlights of the quarter.
But the Outlaws still ended the half now trailing by 13 points at 54-41.
The Outlaws coach Joel Hunt tightened up the out-of-sorts defence with a solid 3-2 zone formation at the start of the third quarter.
A number of turnovers provided the Outlaws with momentum, with starting stars Sean Moseley and Dan Beard racking up 18 points between them to outscore the Tigers.
They finished the quarter on a high, although still they found themselves 64-73 behind.
The final quarter got off to a staggered start with the Outlaws guard Josh Burt twisting his ankle badly, which has put him on the sidelines for several weeks.
The Tigers maintained their lead and claimed the first local bragging rights of the season back to Battle, running out 81-96 victors.
Both teams still have to play again in the League Cup and in the return fixture making for some int intriguing meetings on the horizon.