The Eagles travelled away to face second top Blackpool looking to avenge an early season defeat in Newcastle… The Eagles travelled without Ross Leckenby due to work commitments…
The Eagles playing in black enjoyed the better of the early exchanges as they lead 7-12 at the 5 minute mark… Blackpool playing in orange were shooting and making shots from the perimeter but it was the Eagles who set the tempo with good offence from in the paint and the perimeter… They went into the first break up at 16-21….
The second quarter saw the team’s trade early hoops before the home team went on a mini run of 8-0 closing the game up at 27-29 by the 6th minute… The Eagles then hit back to back with 3s with Alex Horta and Themba Yabantu scoring… The hosts then finished slightly stronger outscoring their visitors 10-9 making it 37-44 at the half… (21-23)
The 3rd period saw a completely different complex on the game as the team in orange suddenly got very aggressive with their defence causing the Eagles to commit turn over’s and thus allowing Blackpool to get right back into the game and go ahead 57-53… Horta then hit another big shot before the home team scored 4 points including 2 free throws making it 62-58… (25-12)
The fourth quarter saw the team in orange continue to score hoops and the visitors got back into stride and by the 6th minute it was 76-64… The Eagles then went on a 0-8 run lead by Yabantu and Ben Hogg making it 76-71… Blackpool then scored again before another perimeter bomb from Yabantu and a quick score from Ilja Fjordorovs making it 78-76 with less than 19 seconds to go… The Eagles fouled early and Blackpool scored 1 from the line… Eagles called time out and from the inbounds they manufactured a rushed shot but it rimmed out closing the game at 79-76… (17-20)
Eagles U23 head coach Heath said “We played a great game of basketball and feel we should have won that one… The game swung in the 3rd when we were offered very little protection when going strong to the hoop and some decisions didn’t go our way… The guys dug deep and got themselves into a position to tie the game up on the buzzer but it wasn’t to be… We won 3 out of 4 quarters but the 3rd was a killer… We will regroup and be ready to go next weekend….”
Eagles Top Scorers- Themba Yabantu 21, Alex Horta 15 and Ben Hogg 14…
Eagles are at home to Sefton Stars on Saturday 3rd February 2018 at Benfield Sports Centre Tip off at 2pm….