BASINGSTOKE Blizzards started 2014 in fine style with a 73-58 basketball victory over the Farnborough Phantoms.
Farnborough scored first, but Blizzards quickly went 6-2 ahead.
They kept the lead with numerous steals and fast breaks by Tom Mavronicholas and Rob Gerrard moved the score to 14-10.
Gerrard finished the quarter with three straight buckets to extend the lead to 20-16.
The second quarter saw the same intensity from the Blizzards and new boy Orlando Lilly scored his first basket for the club making it 24-16.
The Phantoms kept fighting, closed the gap slowly to 30-25 and then drew level at 32-32.
It was left to Gerrard with his first three pointer to edge the Blizzards into a slender lead 35-34 at half-time.
After the interval Basingstoke went behind 39-37, but Gerrard was on the money, helping his side to a 45-42 advantage with four minutes left in the third quarter.
Gerrard was now on fire and hit a trio of three pointers as Basingstoke took control.The quarter finished with them leading 57-48.
After a slow start to the last period and over two minutes without a point, Blizzards add to their tally from Jim Darlow and Gerrard as they cruised to a 73-58 victory.
The victory came thanks to a great team spirit and intensity throughout the game especially on defence with great steals by Gerrard, Joey Haynes and Lilly, along with excellent defence by Adam Paddon and Damion Isaac.
There was also another club record for Gerrard as he finished with 50 points in the game.
The Blizzards are next in action on Tuesday, January 28, when they entertain South Buck Comets in the Karl Taylor Cup (tip-off 8 25pm).
Scoring: Rob Gerrard 50 points, Tom Mavronicholas 6, Joey Haynes 5, Jim Darlow 4, Josh Klein 3, Orlando Lilly, Adam Paddon 2, Chris Elliman 1.