Eagles take road loss to Sharks after battling display
The young Eagles came out in the first quarter struggling to score despite good defensive play; trailing the hosting Sharks 17 – 6 after the first six minutes of the game but then battled back through a trifecta of triples to finish up the period trailing 22 – 17. Luke Jones making an early impression three triples in the first quarter.
The second quarter started with the Eagles continuing their aggressive defensive play from the first as they scored early and often to quickly tie the game after just 3 minutes at 27-27 both teams then traded baskets back and forth for the rest of the quarter with the Sharks finishing up by 1; 44 – 43. The second quarter saw junior guard Sloan score 12 of the Eagles 26 points in the quarter.
Out of the halftime break the Eagles and Sharks went back and forth scoring at first but the Sharks began to slowly pull away as the Eagles struggled to score as the lid seemed to go on the basket with shot after shot looking like it would find the net before rimming out. Sheffield continued their strong play on both ends winning the quarter 22 – 13 meaning they led the game 66 – 56 entering the final frame.
The final quarter saw the Eagles start on a short 7 – 2 run; before the Sharks fought back on the back of some sweet shooting from Ali as he knocked down three triples on the way to 11 points in the period. As the Eagles tried to shoot their way back in to the game it was clearly not going to be the Eagles day as they again saw multiple attempts look good only to rim out. Ending the game by losing the final quarter 20 – 16.
Academy coach David Sayers said “We had probably our best defensive stretch of the season for about 14 minutes in the first half so we just need to look at trying to extend that time out further for the rest of the game. The game seemed to turn once Clark and Cox had to come out of the game as they provide good defence but neither had long-term issues so should be back for the next game.”
Top scorers for the Eagles were Leperrier with 21 he was supported by Jones and Sloan who had 17 & 16. The Sharks were led by Ali with 25 he was helped out by Ellis and Ibrahim both with 21.
The Eagles Academy 16’s next match-up sees them host Cheshire Wire on Saturday January 19th.