TCS Chester Jets 81, Thames Valley Tigers 84: COACH Paul Smith was left looking shocked and upset as an awful first quarter display and sloppy all-round performance condemned Jets to their third home loss of the season, writes CHRISTOPHER BEESLEY.
Smith said: 'We showed a complete lack of professionalism and killer instinct. We let Tigers get ahead in the first quarter and spent the whole game chasing but once we'd got going, we should have put them away. We produced some schoolboy errors and if the players had done that at college they would have been given laps.
'Certain players didn't make a contribution tonight. Shawn Myers has been fantastic and has carried us through Calvin Davis's absence so I suppose he's allowed a poor game but he was bad by his own high standards. I can't fault our physical efforts but we've got to sort our heads out. There are no easy nights in this league and we're not as good as we think we are.'
Just finding the hoop was hard enough for Jets in the opening period and it took them more than three minutes to register in open play and they were outscored by more than two-to-one (31-15).
Just a week after a virtuoso long range shooting display from Rocks' Lamont McIntosh had denied Jets a place in the BBL Cup final, it continued to rain on Jets from downtown with no fewer than four Rocks play-ers hitting the mark from downtown in the first 10 minutes.
Things could only get better in the second quarter and some determined play from Delme Herriman and regular scoring from Myers and DJ Harrison enabled Jets to get within four points at the interval (48-52).
The momentum seemed to have shifted suggesting a Jets comeback after the break but although they briefly led for the only time in the game less than two minutes after the restart and were level in the final minute of the third, every opportunity to snatch control was missed.
Jets trailed 66-62 going into the final period but whenever they looked like swinging the balance, there would be a stray pass, turnover or rimmed out shot.
DJ Harrison hit one out of two from the free throw-line with 22.9 seconds remaining, when a double would have put Jets level, forcing the hosts to foul.
Unfortunately, it was top-scorer Trey Moore who got to Tigers' man in possession Dean Williams first and he followed Thames Valley's Andrew Murdock in being fouled out.
Tigers' dominant force throughout the evening, Nick Moore, added another foul shot to extend the visitors' lead to three but Shawn Myers was unable to force overtime when his outside shot on the final buzzer was off target.
Jets' scorers: Moore (24); Harrison (16); Myers (15); Herriman (14); Martin (6); Simpson (4); Singleton (2).
On Friday, Jets won 99-86 at Milton Keynes Lions.