Preston’s College Men’s basketball went down 67-83 to cross-town rivals Myerscough Giants in National League Division Four.
Captain Daniel Miller continued his superb form of late and led the team with 23 points, with Cameron King scoring 17 and Kyle Carey 11.
In the early stages, the visitors stayed with Myerscough’s intensity and physical presence under the basket matching them point for point.
But with two minutes left in the first quarter, the home side went on a 13-2 tear to lead 32-18.
The pattern continued in the second quarter as Myerscough got a stranglehold on the game, punishing Preston for a host of fundamental errors.
The often undersized and under-strength Preston outfit were no match for the Myerscough team who had only lost just once this season.
As the first half ended they had restricted Preston to just 12 points whilst scoring 18 of their own.
A 20-point lead at the half took the wind out of the sails for the Preston’s College squad and even though they put up a couple of spurts in the second half, it was too little too late.
The final five points came in the last 60 seconds from Myerscough as they held out to win comfortably.
“We didn’t play as hard as we are capable of,” said Preston’s College head coach Malcolm Leak.
“We started off good and it was nip and tuck but then Myerscough went on a bigger run than us and we didn’t know how to fight back.
“Credit to Myerscough they played well, they out-hustled us and took care of the basketball. We didn’t fight, we didn’t bring our helmets, we didn’t bring our mouthpieces or boxing gloves.”
As had been the case in the previous meeting between the two sides, Preston had no answer to the perimeter play of Myerscough, who hit six shots from beyond the arc to Preston’s one.
The only player that could muster a way past the Myerscough defence on numerous occasions was Daniel Miller.
“We knew it was going to be a dog fight,” said Miller.
“From the tip they came out, fought and took a big lead.
“We lacked the fight and the hunger since we were down and towards the end of the run we started to fight back but it was too late.”
Leak added: “Daniel played well although he made some mistakes he competed to the end.
“The only other player that I thought came ready to play was Cameron King. He defended really well and had a good rebounding game.”
With the loss the team maintain their fourth place in the league with an 8-6 record and a game in front of fifth placed Gateshead with four games left of the current campaign.
“My thought now is to gain as many points as we can and get that last spot for the play-offs,” said Leak.
Preston’s College Under-18s outfit fared better on the road as they beat Bury 116-41, with Melkisedek Moreaux once again dominating with a team-high 30 points.
The team remain in first place with a perfect 11-0 record with only five games remaining.