Eagles Academy Under 16’s earn first home victory in style
The Eagles began the game at a frenetic pace, for both good and bad, as they pushed the pace against an Edinburgh team that struggled with the clear athletic advantages the home team had over them. Newcastle lacked a defensive intensity in the first however on offense the Eagles managed to target key areas by attacking the basket and firing away from long range – a theme that would continue throughout – to keep ahead of the Kings finishing the first ahead 28-20 as Sheeran poured in ten of his 22 game points.
In the second quarter the home side pulled away as they slowed the pace and began to work away on the inside through Hunt and Leperrier – leading to 14 points in the paint for the fledgling Eagles. Though the scoring slowed down it also allowed the Eagles to hold the Kings to just 17 in this quarter and began to establish a structure that would allow the hosts to continue to pull away through superior scoring. On the other end it was clear Stewart was the star of the Kings as he did his best to keep his side in it. The half ending 49-37.
The third quarter saw the Eagles adjust to an even heavier dose of post touches for their big men, which allowed them to work from the inside out as they scored 20 of their 25 points in the quarter from three-point land or the key. Jones and Leperrier buried three straight triples which put the game beyond doubt early in the third on their way to scoring 16 and 27 points respectively. The quarter finishing 25-15 in favour of the hosts as they widened the gap to 74-52.
The final quarter saw increased defensive pressure from Lewis, Xie and Cox which led to the Eagles getting out in transition and pulling away as the Eagles again worked to score again and again around the basket. The game finishing with the Eagles having nearly touched triple digits and holding the Kings down in the second half allowing only 13 points in the fourth. The final score 99-65 to the hosting Eagles.
Eagles Academy Under 16’s Head Coach David Sayers said “I was very happy with how we played today as a team. We tried some things on the defensive end that didn’t work in the first quarter but continued to score. Most importantly we managed to slow down and move the ball more today which was huge for us both offensively for scoring and defensively as we gave up fewer transition attempts to the other team. Special shout-outs to Hansom and Hunt who were great passing from the post which won’t be shown on the scoresheet but really helped us flow on that end.”
Top scorers for the Eagles were Leperrier (27), Sheeran (23) and Jones (16). The visiting Kings were led by captain Stewart (21) supported by Baxter (13) and Vernel (11).
The young Eagles travel to Derby next Saturday November 3rd to face the Trailblazers looking to pick up a third victory of the season.