Eagles Academy Under 16’s fall on the road to Cheshire Wire
The Eagles were slow out of the blocks on the road against Cheshire today as they struggled early in the first falling behind 9-3 to the hosts before several fouls made the Wire back off of their intense early defence which led to Jones breaking free for 13 first quarter points. The home team still managed to keep pace with the Eagles scoring with the quarter finishing 22-23 in favour of Newcastle.
In the second quarter both sides continued to be evenly matched as the Eagles switched to a zone defence that Cheshire struggled with mightily, however going the other way the Eagles often played in a sloppy fashion – failing to move the ball enough to take advantage of their improved defensive showing as the teams went in to the half with the Wire up by two points 39-37.
The third quarter saw the Eagles adjust to a more pressure based defence which seemed to struggle at times against Cheshire’s break. This led to a few easy baskets which couldn’t be match by Newcastle as time and again shots from Sheeran and Jones that dropped in the first half, were rimming out in the second. The Eagles clearly desperate for the quarter break limped in to the fourth down by 14, trailing the hosts 66 – 52
The final quarter saw the Eagles fighting spirit brought back as they focused heavily on the defensive end, effectively giving the youngsters a chance to fight their way back in to the tie as they held the hosts to just seven points in the final frame. However, the Eagles troubles with ball movement came back to haunt them as they failed to make Cheshire work on their defensive end. As the Eagles missed again and again from all over the floor time quickly ran out with the hosts ending up the victors.
Eagles Academy Under 16’s Head Coach David Sayers said “I was very happy with the how well our zone slowed Cheshire but we struggled to initiate any sort of offensive rhythm. The third is obviously where the game changed, we stopped swinging the ball and started trying to get the deficit back all in one-play. The hero-ball continued in the fourth and we threw away a winnable game. We’ll take these lessons and improve as we move through the season.”
Top scorers for the Eagles were Jones (15), Sheeran (14) and Leperrier (11). The visitors were paced by guard Dickens (19) supported by Parker (13) and Harrison (12).
The Eagles head home as part of a home triple-header to face Scottish rivals and familiar foes Edinburgh on Saturday 27th October at Newcastle College, tip-off is 2pm.