EJ arrival puts the Lions on front foot

We have the best squad ever insists Macaulay

Now we will see what Lions are all about said coach Vince Macaulay, after his side returned to winning ways with a comfortable 90-80 win over Worthing Thunder on Sunday.

Boosted by the arrival of new point guard EJ Harrison – who had been stuck in the USA for over two months trying to resolve visa and work permit issues – Lions put in their best display of the season to record their second British Basketball League win.

Both sides traded baskets throughout the majority of the opening period, but four points from Frank Holmes and a three-pointer from Harrison at the end of the opening quarter saw Lions lead 21-17.

Six points from Robert Youngblood took the score out to 27-17 at the start of the second but the visitors could not be shaken off that easily as they stayed in touch during the remainder of the quarter.

It was left to Lions' Guy Dupuy to give the hosts more of a comfortable lead as he bagged a deep three-pointer and a tip-in at the ring to take the score out to 50-36 going into the locker rooms at half time.

In the second half Thunder kept themselves in touch through Reggie Bratton as he netted 12 of his 28 on the day, but the combination of Holmes and Dawud Morris allowed Lions to maintain a comfortable cushion. Mike New and Yorick Williams joined in on the act and it was 68-49 going into the final stanza.

And in the final period Lions pushed the lead out to 21 points with just four minutes to play.

Thunder got themselves back into the game and closed the gap to within 10 points at 81-71 but that was the closest they were going to get as a Dru Spinks basket and emphatic Holmes dunk in the final moments secured the victory for.

Macaulay says Harrison helped to bring the best out of his young side, after arriving in the country just three days earlier.

"EJ watched us training on Thursday shortly after he arrived and then joined in with us on Friday and Saturday.

"He slotted into the side really well and even helps bring the best out of the other players. It is no coincidence that Morris scored 20 with EJ in the side.

"With EJ in the side it allowed us to score 20 baskets on the break and his four assists were a huge bonus.

"We finally have the whole squad together and the only way is up."