Eagles stay tight til late against strong Magic side
The Eagles visited Manchester Basketball Centre Saturday to face Trafford Magic. The game started evenly with the score tied at 14 with just two minutes remaining in the first quarter as the Eagles worked well early on to break the Trafford press and Trafford worked back on the other end with some tough finishes at the rim. However, after multiple substitutions the Magic bench began to pull away from the Eagles ending the quarter up 20-14..
The second quarter started with the Eagles coming out on top of both teams trading baskets as they shortened the deficit to just two points by the end of the quarter as the scores read 34-32 going into the half-time break. Both teams had been extremely aggressive in the first half as the referees allowed both teams to play this tough style leading to a low-scoring half. The Eagles stand-outs in the first half were senior captain Jerrard and senior forward Clark both scoring 8 points and delivering double digit rebounds in the first half.
Out of the halftime break the Eagles and Magic once again traded blows back and forth with the Eagles taking a 44-39 lead with just three minutes remaining in the third. Excellent play on the defensive side of the ball was again the calling card of this quarter for both sides as the score for the quarter ended just 13-12 in the Magic’s favour. The Magic ending the quarter again on a short run as the score sat at 47-44 as the Eagles failed to score for the final three minutes of the quarter.
The final quarter saw the Eagles collapse early on as the Eagles fell behind 56-44 with just under two minutes gone in the quarter. Despite substitutions the visiting Eagles proved unable to weather the storm brought by the Magic leading to a Trafford Magic blow-out victory in the end by 28 points. The fourth quarter featured a fantastic performance from Magic forward Giwa as he poured in 15 points in the fourth quarter and consistently drew extra defenders and passed out to find Magic players.
Eagles Academy Coach David Sayers said “We struggled in the fourth quarter today and looked like a different side after the Magic began their run in the final quarter. I was extremely happy with how we played for three quarters and hopefully we can try to take that forward for the remainder of the season and continue to push on towards playing a complete game. I was very pleased with pretty much everyone’s game today individually but especially Clark and Jerrard providing us double-doubles with points and rebounds along with excellent defense.”
Top scorers for the Eagles were senior captain Jerrard with 15 he was supported by Clark with 10 and Sloan with 8. The Magic were led by Giwa with 20, Lolenga with 16 and Brown with 12 respectively.
The Eagles Academy 16’s next match-up sees the youngsters take on Birmingham Rockets at home on February 23rd at 4pm.