Marjon basketball boost play-off hopes with 64-60 win against Canary Wharf
MARJON boss Matt Hatchell declined to get drawn into promotion talk despite a nail-biting win over highly-rated Canary Wharf.
Head coach Hatchell wants his side to concentrate on each game as it comes, rather than speculate on what the post regular campaign of the season might bring.
Marjon, playing on their own court, defeated second-placed Wharf 64-60 to effectively throw National Division Three (south) into the melting point.
The city team are in fourth place – the final play-offs slot – and would face the top Division Three North side in the first round if they remain in the same position.
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Sunday's defeat of Wharf put Marjon on the same number of losses as the London side.
But Hatchell refuses to get ahead of himself before the play-offs actually arrive.
He said: "It's going to be an interesting league now, I think.
"(Leaders) Ipswich and (third-placed) Worcester have got three losses and us and Canary Wharf have got four, although we have played fewer games than some of the teams.
"I don't know about going up – on recent experience I find it best to take one game at a time.
"All we can do is try to win each game and our league position at the end of the season will tell us how we did."
Against Canary Wharf, Marjon lost the opening quarter 18-17, but recovered in the second, posting a 20-4 scoreline and establishing hefty lead.
Wharf, however, rallied in the third quarter to claw back a 19-point deficit and win it 23-7.
Marjon, with the finishing post in sight, held out Wharf in the final quarter, winning it 20-15 and the match 64-60.
Mark Gillbard top-scored for the city side with 20 points, while Michael Czynienik notched 17 and Shane Hennessey 13.
Hatchell said: "It was a good team performance and everyone showed a lot of character in losing a 19-point lead.
"A lot of teams would have imploded at that point, but we knew it was important to stick with them (Canary Wharf).
"We ran up a big lead in the second quarter, but they ran up a bigger one in the third.
"It was always going to be a tough game, because they are physically disciplined.
"Our defence played really well, but in the third quarter Canary Wharf were shooting every chance they had."