Cheshire Phoenix 77-73 Caledonia Gladiators
(20-28, 18-19, 21-11, 18-15)
Phoenix; Anderson 18, Austin 11, Teague 11 – Gladiators; Sloan 23, Onwas 15, Bailey 11
The Cheshire Phoenix used a late fourth quarter run to defeat the Caledonia Gladiators at the Cheshire Oaks arena this Sunday. It was a close fought game throughout with both teams starting off strong. Phoenix, however pulled away late through heroic efforts by Jamell Anderson – who scored 10 of his eighteen points in the fourth quarter.
The Phoenix were particularly efficient in the paint – scoring 56% on 2PT FGs. For the Gladiators, Jeremiah Bailey was the standout – finishing with 11 points, 18 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 blocks.
In the first quarter, Patrick Tape and Michael Ochereobia traded baskets – with both big men getting on the scoreboard. Darian Adams scored six points in the quarter with a pair of threes pushing the Gladiators ahead early. David Sloan started to warm up too – hitting a pair of three-pointers. He finished the game with 23 points.
With a minute remaining, Bailey hit a three-pointer to extend the Gladiators lead to seven – Whilst some excellent ball movement from the Phoenix led to a corner three for Ochereobia. Sloan continued to score at will for the Gladiators in the second period – for the Phoenix Tahjai Teague responded with a baby hook to bring the home team back within 10 points.
In the opening minutes of the third quarter, the Gladiators clung to a seven-point lead. An Evans turnover led to a Sloan finish before a huge Bailey three-pointer pushed the Phoenix back behind by 10 points. The Phoenix were able to maintain their focus and unselfish play – finding open shooters on each possession – Teague finished a dunk inside and Maceo Jack hit a three-pointer.
A tough reverse lay-up by Anderson and a transition jump shot by Evans gave the Phoenix a one point lead with 29 seconds left going into the fourth quarter.
The teams traded baskets in a tense, nail-biting final period. Princeton Onwas picked up a steal and hoop on one end – before Teague’s offensive rebound and score put Phoenix back ahead. With the game tied at 69 – 69, Anderson sent his defender the wrong way before finishing at the rim through the foul. He missed the free throw which led to a quick breakaway dunk for Onwas.
Will Neighbour managed to find Anderson again under the with the clock running down – and Phoenix used an Anderson dunk to seal the home victory.
Plymouth City Patriots 79-101 Leicester Riders
(26-29, 16-26, 22-24, 15-22)
Patriots; Dusha 15, Bell 13, Hawthorne Jr 9 – Riders; Nelson-Henry 17, Loving 12, Washington 10
The Leicester Riders continued their exceptional form with a win over the Plymouth City Patriots at the Plymouth Pavilions. The win caps off a run of four straight victories and keeps the Riders in Championship contention.
The Riders were led in scoring by Darien Nelson-Henry who scored 17 points as the Riders celebrated their 40th consecutive win against the Patriots. The Riders took control of the game early, establishing a nine-point lead in the first quarter and never relinquishing it.
It was the Patriots who opened the proceedings with a three pointer by Elvisi Dusha followed up by a jump-shot from Markedric Bell and drive by Antonio Williams. The Riders responded with Derryck Whyte scoring on a jump-shot. The Patriots were playing without Troy Simons, who is side lined with a trapped nerve.
The Riders were boosted by scores from Patrick Whelan, who finished with 18 points and Marc Loving, who finished with 12 points. Riders’ Head Coach Rob Paternostro was celebrating his 600th game as head coach, and his team turned up the heat towards the end of the period – Kimbal Mackenzie scoring on a bassline drive and a three-pointer.
The Riders opened a thirteen-point lead mid-way through the second quarter lead with a pair of back-to-back threes coming from Loving and Wheelan. After a timeout from Coach Paul James, Nelson-Henry, who had 17 points, finished through contact to hold off the Patriots.
The Patriots were led by Dusha’s 15 points and eight assists, but the Patriots were unable to mount much offensively elsewhere. For the Riders, Zach Jackson dominated the third quarter scoring back-to-back three-pointers as well as showing his defensive instincts by picking up a steal and a block.
The Riders cruised to victory in the fourth quarter finishing 101-79.
Bristol Flyers 75-71 London Lions
(27-15, 15-20, 12-14, 21-22)
Flyers; King 17, Miller 15, Watson-Gayle Jr 14 – Lions; Dekker 28, Zubcic 11, Nelson 10
In the second game of the afternoon, the London Lions faced off against the Bristol Flyers at the SGS College Arena. In what was a tightly contested game, the Flyers managed to survive a fourth quarter Lions run to emerge victorious. The win puts the Flyers within two points of the Lions; who cling to their position at the top of the table by a small margin.
In the opening quarter, Bristol Flyers worked the ball around the perimeter for an Anthony King three-pointer. At the other end, Koufous worked in the post to find Bell for the slam dunk.
The Bristol Flyers were incredibly active on defence from the beginning of the game and unsettled the Lions on multiple occasions. Three pointers from King and Mike Miller extended the lead to eight points in the opening period – forcing coach Ryan Schmidt to call a timeout.
The Flyers started to build further momentum in the second quarter with Mike Miller proving a tough coverage for the Lions. Building a 14-point lead, the Lions couldn’t find the hoop until Decker broke through the traffic for a slam dunk. Yet Miller came straight back with a nifty finger roll of his own. Buckets from Luke Nelson, Josh Ward-Hibbert and Kosta Koufous force Flyers to take a timeout and reset.
The Flyers opened up the third period with a 10-2 run – Malcolm Delpeche and Tevin Olison scoring. The Lions, who were playing without Ovie Soko, relied heavily on Sam Dekker who led all scorers with 27 points and and spurred a 7-0 run for the Lions to bring them within five points.
In the fourth Jelani Watson-Gayle took control – hitting back-to-back three-pointers and scoring 8 of his 11 points in the period. The Lions continued to knock on the door – Dekker scoring at will and finding Tomislav Zubcic for three.
Mike Miller hit a huge three-pointer which prompts a timeout from Coach Schmidt. The Flyers keep hitting big shots down the stretch as Watson-Gayle’s offensive rebound and free throws put the game firmly out of reach.
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