Eagles struggle in physical match-up with City of Leeds
The Eagles hosted the visiting Birmingham Rockets on Saturday at the ECA in what was a close game early on. The first quarter saw both teams struggle to find the net with 5 minutes gone in a very physical tie as the score sat at 7-5 in favour of the visitors. However the visiting Leeds team was then able to pull away on the way to a 19-10 break at the end of the first period. 11 of the 19 being provided by Gilies who proved a thorn in the Eagles side throughout.
The second quarter started with the visitors again leaning on Gilies as he scored the first ten points of the quarter for Leeds. The Eagles responded from each of Gilies baskets with a trip to the line, unfortunately only making 5 of 8 free throws meaning the gap grew to 29 – 15 the score stayed this way until just two minutes remaining in the quarter as both teams played some sloppy basketball leading to multiple turnovers. However when Gilies returned to the court the visitors once again pushed on offensively leading to a 44 – 25 lead going into the half-time break.
Out of the halftime break the Eagles seemed more locked-in defensively as they chipped away slightly at the Leeds advantage bringing the difference down to 15 points with four minutes left to play in the quarter. However poor offensive play again led to the Eagles falling behind as the Eagles went on to trail 62-37 going in to the final period.
The final quarter saw the visitors and the Eagles continue extremely physical basketball unfortunately the Eagles couldn’t quite find the net on the back of some sloppy offensive play against the Leeds press. Leeds leapt out to a 75-37 lead again behind offence from Gilies. The Eagles however played with pride scoring 15 points in the final four minutes of the quarter behind 8 points from guard Sloan.
Eagles Academy Coach David Sayers said “We struggled with the Leeds press today and really couldn’t stop Gilies defensively. Both sides played fairly sloppy throughout the contest, unfortunately they benefited more from the chaotic tempo and physical nature of the game today.”
Top scorers for the Eagles were led by newly christened England under-15 camp invitee Sheeran with 17 followed by Sloan with 11 and captain Jerrard with 10. Leeds were led by Gilies with a game-breaking 40, whilst Anderson & Edwards chipped in with 13 & 9 points.