Manchester Giants 97 vs 92 Surrey Scorchers
(23-30, 27-26, 22-23, 25-13)
Giants – Green 18, Williams 17, Lewis 16; Scorchers – Martin 22, Steel 17, Johnson 15
Sheffield Sharks 82 vs 77 Plymouth City Patriots
(19-21, 23-16, 16-18, 24-22)
Sharks – Flowers 18, Ramsey 14, Nelson 12; Patriots – Gadsen 18, Bell 16, Daniels 11
Caledonia Gladiators 76 vs 88 Bristol Flyers
(16-16, 20-31, 21-16, 19-25)
Gladiators – Sloan 19, Tape 18, Onwas 14; Flyers – Watson-Gayle 18, King 17, Delpeche 15
The Surrey Scorchers went into battle tonight against the Manchester Giants in a tough game at the National Basketball Performance Centre in Manchester.
The Giants were led in the fourth quarter by Dirk Williams who had 10 points on three of three shooting from behind the arc.
The Scorchers led by double figures in the first half; with forward Ryan Martin finding the hot hand. However, Martin’s 22 points were not enough to find Surrey the win, as the home side came out on top 97-92.
Behind five points from Martin, Surrey flew out of the gate. Back-to-back three pointers from Josh Steel were matched however by Rahmon Fletcher and Tajh Green.
Quincy Taylor also got on the scoreboard and Padiet Wang hammered home a fast break dunk, as the Scorchers built a seven-point lead to close the half.
Scorchers impressive start to the game was continued in the second quarter.
This time Jalen Ray added three points from the free throw line and a Martin three-pointer gave the visitors a 15-point lead within the first five minutes.
Manchester used an 11-point run to claw back within six points, as Williams hit a stepback three, while Green and Nick Lewis chipped in with a dunk and three pointer respectively.
Martin came out strong again; displaying excellent footwork in the paint and stepping out for the triple.
However, three-pointers by William Lee and Green kept Manchester within sight.
Johnson threw down two dunks in 30 seconds, as the Scorchers pushed the lead back to 11 points.
The Giants showed their resilience yet again as the quarter came to a close, with Lewis capping off a 13-2 run and putting his team within a single point.
In the fourth quarter, Lewis connected on another three, which was answered by Martin scoring from the baseline.
Four points from Green tied the game, before Steel and Williams traded triples.
In a true shootout, Steel and Williams rose up and hit another pair of three pointers, as neither team was willing to relinquish control.
After a round of substitutions, Green gave Manchester the lead with 90 seconds left – with this being the Giants’ first lead since the first minute of the game.
With a turnaround in sight, Green punched in a one-handed dunk adding further damage and Williams hit a huge three-pointer to give the Giants their biggest lead of the game.
Steel kept the Scorchers alive with a corner three but it wasn’t enough, as Fletcher’s free throws iced the game. With this win the Giants move into fifth place – Surrey remain in last place.
In the second of tonight’s games, the Sheffield Sharks were able to hold off the Plymouth City Patriots (82-77), at Ponds Forge with Tyrn Flowers leading the way with 15 points and 7 rebounds.
It was Plymouth who started strong – building an early lead through Isa Brandon and Rashad Hassan.
Yet the Sharks answered right back with Bennett Koch finishing a dunk inside.
Jordan Ratinho’s triple gave the hosts a five-point lead. It was the Patriots turn to answer; this time with Elvisi Dusha scoring and Markedric Bell hammering home a dunk.
Four points from James Hawthorne Jr was enough to give the Patriots a small margin at the end of the period.
Ty Gadsden opened the second with a three-pointer, extending the lead to five points. However, a 6-2 Sharks run quickly reversed things.
With the lead swinging back and forward, Bell and Gadsden scored 10 points for the Patriots, whereas the Sharks got a balanced output from various players.
Yet, it was Kipper Nichols who finally created some distance as he slashed to the basket. Saeed Nelson’s three pointer and layup gave the Sharks an eight-point lead.
The Patriots sensing the game slipping away, turned to Jawaun Daniels who scored four quick points including a spectacular dunk, rivalled only by Bell a few minutes later.
Marcus Delpeche was able to put together a couple of baskets, with Flowers and Nichols regaining the momentum in favour of the home side.
In the fourth, an 8-2 Sharks run was capped off by Koch inside.
Daniels gave Plymouth some hope, but Flowers hit right back with sharpshooting of his own, as Sheffield worked the ball on the perimeter for the open man.
With an eight-point lead in hand, the Sharks tightened up on defence and steadied themselves to victory. Sheffield are now in eighth place whereas Plymouth hang in seventh.
In the final game, Bristol Flyers shot 65% from the field on route to a 76-88 win against the Caledonia Gladiators.
Jelani Watson-Gayle followed up his tremendous shooting against the Newcastle Eagles with 18 points and six assists in tonight’s win, while VJKing also chipped in with 17 points.
For the Gladiators, they were led by David Sloan with 19 points and assists, whilst Patrick Tape added 18 points to go with seven rebounds. It was a tightly contested first quarter, with neither team giving up much ground.
Caledonia got balanced scoring from their frontline trio of Princeton Onwas, Tape and Jeremiah Bailey. Bristol opened the second with eight unanswered points – Mike Miller connecting on his first three-pointer of the game.
The Flyers built a 10-point lead, with only Tape able to get a few buckets in response. Behind five points from Watson-Gayle, Bristol’s 9-2 run wedged further distance from their opponents.
Sloan’s late three-pointer gave the Gladiators some hope heading into the break. In the third quarter, Caledonia battled to within six points after a poor second period
Sloan was orchestrating the offence, making smart reads and finding his open teammates. Onwas managed to score a couple of buckets inside and Fahro Alihodzic got on the scoreboard with four points.
Bristol were able to get production from sharpshooter Miller and Watson-Gayle, giving their team a six-point lead.
Tape opened the scoring, with Delpeche getting the steal and finding Watson-Gayle on the break, extending the lead to eight points, before Delpeche’s dunk pushed the lead at 10 points.
Sloan worked his team back with a few scores, but Miller answered the call again – knocking down another triple. Delpeche and four late points from King saw the Flyers cruise to victory.
Bristol currently sit in second place, although Leicester Riders have three games in hand. Caledonia sit in sixth place.
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