Eagles suffer tough home loss to Dragons
The Eagles started there 2019 in faltering fashion as they fell to an improved Bradford team by a solitary point in their first game after the Christmas break. The visitors jumped out to a 13-2 lead in the first 3 minutes of the game. However, the young Eagles fought back to end the quarter down just one with the score 32-33 in the visitors’ favour.
The second quarter started with the Dragons continuing their strong play, at the 6-minute mark of the quarter the Dragons were leading 43-39. The Eagles then went on a run of their own finishing the quarter on a 19-9 streak, behind 10 points from vice-captain Sloan. At the half-time break the home side were leading by six, 58-52.
Out of the halftime break the Eagles and Dragons went back and forth as both defences tightened up a lot. The Eagles began to slow Bradford stand-out Osobor thanks to great defensive play from a pair of swingmen Clark and Cox who held the Dragons’ star to just 9 of his game-high 51 points in the quarter. This led to the Eagles leading 77-69 going in to the final frame.
The final quarter saw both teams trading baskets with Bradford coming out on top through the exchange as the home side fell behind 89-88 with just two minutes left in the game for the first time since mid-way through the second quarter. Then a parade of free throws began with the Eagles initially regaining a lead to establish a 100-93 lead with just 40 seconds to play in the game. Bradford then began their miraculous comeback fighting back to within just two points with 11 seconds remaining. Following an Eagles time-out, the ball was turned over leading to a tie game behind a lay-up for Knaps. Following another turnover by the home side Bain was sent to the line for two free throws with 4 seconds remaining, despite missing the first the youngster kept his nerve and sunk the second free throw and the Eagles struggled to get the ball forwards for a final shot as time ran out leading to a win for the visitors.
Eagles Academy Coach David Sayers said “We showed a lack of composure today that really came back to haunt us. There’s been multiple occasions this season where this has haunted us but there isn’t anything we can do now except congratulate Bradford, learn from the mistakes we’ve made and move on to play Sheffield next weekend. On the positive side both Jerrard and Sloan showed great scoring today.”
Top scorers for the Eagles were Jerrard with 26 he was supported by Sloan’s 20. The Dragons were led by Osabor’s 51 he was helped out by D. Knaps with 19 and E. Knaps with 11.
The Eagles Academy 16’s next match-up sees them visit Sheffield on Saturday 12th January to try and get their season back on track.