The Eagles were looking to avenge a narrow home defeat against the still unbeaten Explorers of Calderdale who topped the division….
The game was played at a new venue for the home team as the Explorers in white edged the early exchanges and lead 10-4 at the 5 minute mark… The visiting Eagles in black then went on a 0-9 run to lead 10-13 at the 8th minute mark… The Explorers then tied it up at the first interval with a 4-1 run… (14-14)
The second quarter saw both teams play good solid basketball and it was the home team who edged ahead 23-19 at midpoint of the 2nd period… The Eagles then had a couple of mini runs making it 27-30 with 3 minutes to play in the first half… The boys in black then went on a 4-10 run making it 31-40 at the half way point… (17-26)
The first half saw the Eagles spread their scoring across the team with the Explorers relying a lot on Nat Akins… The 3rd period saw the home team come out hard and they started to treat the visitors to some hard defensive intensity which the Eagles struggled with… The Explorers had by the 7th minute of 3rd tied up the ball game at 48-48… The Eagles though on the back of a time out came out and got a mini 0-5 run with Yabantu scoring from the perimeter and beyond followed by two free throws from Alex Williams and another lay up before the break as the visitors steadied the ship and lead 53-55…. (22-15)
The fourth was set up to be a real tussle and it was the Explorers who jumped out with a 9-2 run in the first 5 minutes making it 62-57… The Eagles again showed a lot of metal as they hit back 0-5 run tying it up at 62-62… On the 8th minute of the period with score at 66-63, Alex Horta then drained a big 3 pointer and tied it up again at 66-66… The Eagles then held their nerve down the stretch as they got stops and scores… The last minute saw the home team hit a perimeter shot to make it 71-73… This was to be the Explorers last score and the visiting Eagles made 4 free throws to close out the game at 71-77…. (18-22)
Eagles head coach Graham Heath said “We finally played a tough full 40 minutes… Even in the 3rd when we were over-run for the early part we had chances but didn’t convert…. However we steadied ourselves and got back into the rhythm we had had early in the first half and we saw out the job as a team… Everyone on the team contributed something and we took the win off a very tough team in their own building…. We must now build on this win and move into a double header this weekend with lots of confidence….”
EAGLES TOP SCORERS- Themba Yabantu 16, Ilja Fjordorovs 15, Ben Hogg 14, Alex Williams 10 and Alex Horta 10….
Saturday 17th February home to Barrow tip off 2pm at Benfield Sports Centre
Sunday 18th February away to Tameside tip off 4pm..