Cheshire Phoenix put on a defiant performance, edging out a determined Surrey Scorchers side, 100-80. Their fourth consecutive win in the British Basketball League, Cheshire equal their four-game winning streak last accomplished in February, 2022.
Cheshire Phoenix starting five: LaQuincy Rideau, Maceo Jack, Aaryn Rai, Ethan Chargois, Skyler White.
Surrey Scorchers starting five: Abdul Mohamed, Saiquan Jamison, Padiet Wang, Josh Steel, Quin Cooper.
Cheshire Phoenix launched a blistering start in the opening minutes, grabbing two quick steals and forging ahead with a 6-0 surge.
Aaryn Rai bulldozed through Surrey’s defence, setting the pace for the hosts.
Meanwhile, Quin Cooper – one of five players to chalk 30+ three-point shots this season – halted the scoreless streak for the Scorchers with another precise three-pointer to his collection.
The Phoenix players swiftly found their rhythm beyond the arc, as Skyler White and Maceo Jack punished Surrey’s defense, extending Cheshire’s lead to 14-3.
Surrey showcased some sharp offensive maneuvers and passing, leading to Elliott Bailey’s smooth layup on the weak side, narrowing the gap.
But Cheshire capitalised on turnovers, with 12 of their 29 first-quarter points stemming from these forced mistakes, providing a crucial edge.
However, Surrey fought back resiliently. Young guard Di-jani Parkinson sank a deep shot, followed by a series of determined moves inside for the Scorchers, resulting in a flawless 7-of-7 from the free-throw line.
A powerful baseline drive and a dunk by Rai capped off Cheshire’s dominant display in a high-scoring first quarter, firmly leading 29-22.
Cheshire persisted with their aggressive, high-speed approach, swiftly amassing an 8-0 run, highlighted by a stunning pair of consecutive dunks from Cam Christon.
Andrew Lawrence, a key player in Surrey’s recent home win, directed the Scorchers’ offence.
Lawrence nailed an important shot from long range and set up a seamless play for Saiquan Jamison’s straightforward layup. Despite their hustle, Surrey still found themselves trailing Cheshire, 40-29.
Justin Robinson and Padiet Wang teamed up to initiate a brief 7-2 run for the Scorchers. However, consistent scoring from the Phoenix squad maintained a double-digit lead for the hosts as the clock ticked down, the score standing at 48-36.
The only Phoenix player to see the floor without a bucket, LaQuincy Rideau demonstrated exceptional playmaking skills for Cheshire, tallying eight assists, three steals, and five rebounds before halftime.
Heading into halftime with a 50-40 advantage, Cheshire were controlling the game, nailing six three-pointers and boasting a 51% shooting accuracy from the field.
In the second half, the game took a swift turn as Cheshire’s commanding lead narrowed to just eight points at the start of the third quarter.
Robinson orchestrated a stunning play, setting up Wang for a sensational acrobatic dunk, igniting a burst of energy.
The crowd witnessed an intense shootout between Robinson and Cheshire’s sharpshooters, Jack and White, creating a basketball spectacle that enthralled the crowd, both teams heating up fast.
Surrey displayed confidence with a solid 7-2 run, preventing Cheshire from securing a field goal in the last four minutes of the quarter, setting the stage for a gripping closing period with Cheshire holding on to a tentative seven point lead.
Cheshire initiated the tense final quarter ideally, with Christon and White delivering two crucial shots from beyond the arc.
Rai showcased sheer determination, driving fiercely to the basket and securing an and-one possession, widening the Phoenix lead to 71-58.
White’s fourth successful triple in the game further extended Cheshire’s unanswered run to an impressive 14-0, dominating the scoreboard.
Cheshire showcased yet another sensational run, overpowering the Scorchers by outscoring them 14-2 in the final minutes. This dominant display solidified their lead, making a comeback nearly impossible for Surrey, despite the Scorchers’ relentless efforts in mounting a counter-attack.
A phenomenal 34-point final quarter propelled Cheshire to a commanding 100-80 victory, marking their fourth consecutive win in a resounding manner.
Player of the Game
Aaryn Rai earned Player of the Game honours in Cheshire’s fifth game scoring 100+ points, finishing with a season-high 25 points to go along with seven rebounds, three assists, two steals, and one block.
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