THE West Craven Turbines looked to carry on their current winning form as they played Blackburn Phoenix - a team that had also hit some recent form and had previously beat title contenders Ribby Hall Jets.
The last time the teams met was in last season’s cup semi-final, with the Turbines taking the honours.
The Turbines had previously played Hyndburn, taking a hard-earned win that gave the players confidence.
The Turbines started out with the main five that had started the last three games, Ireton, Capps, Robinson, Widdup and Marshall with a bench of Dawson, Lonsdale and the young Lewis Brown.
West Craven started out slow and lacked on defence as Phoenix had three experienced players that were able to shoot inside and at the three-point line, giving Blackburn an early lead of 11-4 before the first time out. Turbines then began to score in transition offence, which came from good active defence that in some cases caused Blackburn to turn the ball over.
Turbines then began to work the ball around on offence with the style of basketball that has led to their previous two wins this season, getting the ball inside to big forward Marshall who scored consecutive baskets from inside. The score at half-time was 39-30 to the Turbines.
The second half saw Turbines lacking on scoring as the offence became static.
However, Marshall took charge of the scoring and scored three consecutive three-point shots in four minutes. Blackburn had plenty of rotation on their bench, where Turbines were lacking, and this saw Blackburn push and score points on the fast break as they brought the game back.
Creeping back Blackburn began the late stages of the game with good defence that caused West Craven to turn the ball over numerous times.
In the final quarter the Turbines began to switch on and fight back.
With big rebounds in the clutch from forwards Marshall, Dawson and Robinson, Blackburn were kept at bay in the final stages of the fourth quarter, and Turbines saw out this close match, which finished at 64-59.