MATCH REPORTS: United stay undefeated just!

An understrength London United stayed undefeated at 9-0 last night at Worthing Leisure centre home of Worthing Thunder with a 92-94 victory. London without scoring guard Jagodka and centre van Elswyk trailed until the 9th minute of the 4th Quarter when Pete Deppisch pulled out two long range three pointers to seal London's 9th straight league win to continue their unbeaten league record.

The game started with Worthing finding the gaps in London's defence as Moore and Parillon scored 16 of their 23 points in the quarter. United stayed in touch with some great work from Damian Reid and Junior Williams with the first quarter ending at 23-18.


The second quarter was played at a high tempo with Thunder pushing the ball up court and finding the open men for lay-ups and uncontested shots whilst London managed to be more effective in their half court game with Sebastian Saloman and Damian Reid doing the damage inside the paint. Reid was at his best scoring 15 first half points, although his 3 personal fouls saw him rested for the end of the half with United trailing 48-42.


United started the brighter as Pete Deppisch nailed the first two 3 pointers of the half after a very quiet first period, levelling the scores at 50-50. Worthing however maintained their lead through Parillon and Gayle and the game continued with Worthing leading by 12 points until Reid and Smith hit successive 3's bringing it back to an 8 point deficit at the end of the 3rd quarter at 63-71.


The final quarter saw London slowly bring the game back to 5 points in the 8th minute as Junior Williams hit a big three and then a two point field goal to level the scores at 86-86, then Pete Deppisch went to the line with both teams in the foul penalty making them both for United to take the lead at 88-86.


Danny Hildreth then stepped up to the free throw line as he was fouled unwisely by Steve Vear in Worthings backcourt to level the scores at 88-88.


It was then United's Walid Mumuni's turn to get fouled and go to the line for two free throws after driving to the basket. He failed to make both shots and Worthing had the chance to take the lead with posession at 50 seconds remaining.


With some intense defence it was Mumuni who made up for his missed shots as he dived on a loose ball with Steven Gayle and with the possesion arrow in United's favour they had the chance to take the lead at a crucial time in the game. Vear brought the ball up to set the play for Deppisch to get free at the top of the arc who obliged the assist by nailing the 3 pointer to take them into a 3 point lead at 88-91.


Worthing then had over 40 seconds on the clock and it was Parillon who was open to hit his only long three of the game in an incredible turn around of events to again level the scores at 91-91.


United still had 27 seconds remaining as Steve Vear called the same play for Deppisch to again be left open to hit another massive NBA range three pointer giving London a 91-94 lead.

Pete Deppisch.JPG

Pete Deppisch

With only seconds remaining Worthing tried desperately to score as Vear dived on a loose ball again with Gayle as the possesion arrow this time went to Worthing with only 2 seconds on the clock.


With a 3 point lead and only 2 seconds remaining United's Steve Vear made a conscious effort to make an open play foul so as not to allow Worthing the chance to score a three pointer, and the referee called the foul putting Thunder's Steven Gayle on the line for only two shots, needing 3 points to level the game.


He hit the first shot and missed his second on purpose to give his team the chance to get the rebound, but United substituted all the big men onto the court and made sufficient enough of an obstacle to stop any last second basket.


The United team were ecstatic at winning a very difficult game without two star players, for them to go into the New Year as the only undefeated team in the British and English Basketball Leagues.


Top scorers Reid 20, Deppisch 19, Williams 16, Mumuni 14 and Saloman 12.


+ updated by on January 11, 2005

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