The Eagles Academy under 16s began their league season with a loss to Manchester Giants at Newcastle College on Saturday; in a game they feel they probably could have won. As the game began the problems which dominated the day for the Eagles reared their head early on with a both offences struggling mightily to begin the game. However, when the deadlock was broken it came through the away side battling in the key after multiple offensive rebounds; both areas that would haunt the Eagles defence for the rest of the game. Both sides continued to struggle for rhythm as 14 free throws combined were shot in a first quarter that ended 12-17 in the visitors favour.
In the second quarter the Eagles once again relied heavily on the scoring of Leperrier to carry the side as the young big man fired away from the perimeter and worked his way inside to score 14 of his 21 first half points. Unfortunately, at the other end of the floor the Eagles continued to give up shots in and around the basket leading to fouls which sent multiple Giants to the line as again the quarter was dominated by fouls and free throws. Despite this the Eagles narrowed the deficit to four at the end of the quarter as they went in to the half 29-33 in favour of this Giants.
The third quarter began with the Eagles and Giants trading baskets as the score reached 37-42 with 5:23 left in the third quarter the Giants once again began a parade of free throws as they took a total of 12 free throws in the remaining time in the third. This led to the Giants slightly widening the gap again to end the third. The Giants dominance inside once again being demonstrated by Archer and Wright as they continued to work the Eagles over on the offensive boards.
The fourth quarter began with Eagles trailing by 9 points 43-52. Again, the quarter began with the sides trading baskets before a mid-quarter spurt by the Eagles as they narrowed the deficit to just four points behind aggressive offensive play from Sheeran, Lewis and Leperrier. Following a time-out however the Giants continued to dominate the rebounding on both ends of the floor and finally pulled away following four more trips to the foul line and a lay-up from Archer following multiple offensive rebounds on a single Giants possession.
Top Scorers Eagles: Leperrier (28), Sheeran (7), Lewis (6)