Rossendale Raptors had a terrific weekend as they clinched a top two place in division three, securing promotion in the process.
On Saturday the Raptors hosted Birmingham A's, a fast athletic, three point shooting team who've troubled the Raptors in previous meetings. The Raptors coaches finally had the whole squad available for section for the first time in over 3 months as injuries begin to clear up.
The Raptors started quickly and had a slender lead at half time thanks to some unbelievable long range shooting from Josh Houghton. But it was in the second half that the Raptors swarming defensive pressure kicked in, holding Birmingham to just 26 points in the entire second half.
That allowed Rossendale to stretch their lead and win the game comfortably 99-66. Steven Gayle led the team with a triple double of 28 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.
On Sunday, Rossendale travelled to Leeds where a win would clinch promotion. Leeds are a talented side led by former England International Jason Swaine. Leeds were the team which beat the Raptors key title rivals Northants last week and would potentially be the Raptors stiffest test of the season. However, after a first close quarter which the Raptors led 29-21, the Raptors pulled away behind 39 points from Steven Gayle and 20 from Josh Houghton to win the game comfortably 108-74. With that win, the Raptors sealed their fourth promotion in 5 five years and move into the second division in English basketball.
The Raptors can seal the third division title when they face Leeds this Saturday at Haslingden Sports Centre. Admission is free so why not come along to the game and celebrate promotion and the title with the team.