BIG Storage Cheshire Jets are hoping James Hamilton is fit to return to action on Wednesday as they aim to bring an end to their worrying slump in form.
Reeling from a run of six defeats from their last seven matches, Jets know they will have their work cut out when they make the trip south to take on the table-topping Milton Keynes Lions (7.30pm).
Their chances of success will be enhanced if the experienced Hamilton makes his comeback from a groin problem. The big American is due to undergo a fitness test tomorrow (Tuesday) having narrowly failed to recover in time for last Friday’s away loss at Everton Tigers.
Director of basketball Paul Smith, who has taken control of team affairs while head coach TJ Walker is in America having an operation on his injured knee, saw his team cope well for the first three quarters, but the Tigers blitzed them in the final period and ran out 93-77 winners.
Smith said: “We played well. It was really tough. We used every player we had available during the game and we could have done with perhaps one more body.
“The team did a good job for three quarters but you are always going to miss players like TJ and James, particularly if you lose them both, and facing a side with quality like Richard Midgley in it was always going to be a tall order.
“The Tigers are a good side but we matched them for a long time and the team pulled together to cover the missing players. In the end it wasn’t quite enough.”
At half time the scores were tied 45-45. The Jets had started stronger and led the first quarter 27-21, but Tony Robertson – Everton’s top scorer with 21 – led the Tigers back level before Richard Midgley started to pile on the points.
Chris Haslem and former Jet Calvin Davis also came to the fore in the second half, and a 70-61 third quarter lead was established.
The young Jets battled hard to get back into the game and Jayson Obazuaye led all scorers on the night with 29 points.