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City of Birmingham Rockets vs Newcastle Eagles U16 Boys Premier North

NBL Under 16 Boys Premier North October 7, 2023 - 12:20 pm

Recap

City of Birmingham Rockets 101 V 78 Newcastle Eagles

Green shoots shown for young Eagles in tough road loss

Newcastle Eagles u16 Boys’ Premier side took to the road on Saturday to face City of Birmingham Rockets for just the second game in their young season. Following a tight home loss to Milton Keynes the week prior, coach Gaynor’s charges were eager to build on the late momentum they established in that game, as adversity lay ahead before the trip began. However, despite coach Gaynor being unable to attend and missing key members of the squad leading to a travelling roster of just nine these fledgling Eagles showed further growth in one of the most difficult away days in the Northern Premier calendar.

The game started with coach Tavares’ Birmingham side playing the Rockets customary brand of physical basketball, using aggressive defence to cause early turnovers which were then capitalised upon with swift fastbreak finishes leading the Rockets to an early ten-point lead just five minutes into the contest. Although the Eagles showed some early adjustment following the initial set of substitutions, they continued to struggle to deal with the early scoring of Basialidis as he paced the Rockets early offense scoring 15 of his 26 points in the first frame as Birmingham took a 29-14 lead in to the first quarter break.

Following the first quarter break Birmingham ratcheted up their physicality even further, however that physicality crossed the line into some consistent fouling. This saw the Eagles take 10 trips to the line for a total of 18 free throws, converting 11 of these freebies. With a balanced contribution across this quarter between guards Stanton and Merrifield the Eagles stepped up their scoring, however a scoring barrage by Rockets’ guard Lacey meant the hosts’ stayed on track as he poured in 11 of his 21 points during this period including a hat-trick of threes over four possessions to push the Rockets out to a 24-point halftime lead – 58 to 34.

During half-time the Eagles and deputising coach Sayers put a focus on getting back to their fundamental principles of high-energy defence, pushing the ball in transition and a relentless dribble drive offence. This resulted in the young Eagles truly taking flight in the next period as they caused Birmingham to commit a series of turnovers, each of which was greeted with roars from the away bench and a deluge of points from game MVP Degen-Potter who scored 13 of the Eagles 25 points in the 3rd as the visiting Eagles played the Rockets to a near tie during the period. Finishing just two points down as the Rockets further extended their lead to 85-59.

The Eagles carried their high-energy approach into the final frame as they further stepped up their defensive intensity. Forwards Kosoko and Cisse backing up the pressure play from the guards, providing excellent rim protection as they held the hosts to just 16 points in the quarter whilst scoring 19 of their own. Meaning the young Eagles not only won the final quarter but also the second half with a score of 44-43 in the visitor’s favour. A result that left the youngsters and their stand-in coach leaving very happy despite the final score as Birmingham ran out winners 101-78.

After the game coach Sayers commented: “I’m proud of these young guys. We came into a very hostile, loud building – in my opinion the most difficult place to play in the Northern Premier – and showed they can go toe to toe with some of the best this country has to offer. We spoke at half time about starting 0-0 and the boys really took that to heart. They re-committed to their values and worked extremely hard to win a second half against a very good Rockets team. Degen-Potter was obviously excellent, but every player pulled their weight over the game and to pull it back within 16 points towards the end of the game was impressive.”

 

Quarter Scores:

Q1 – Rockets 29 Eagles 14

Q2 – Rockets 29 Eagles 20

Q3 – Rockets 27 Eagles 25

Q4 – Rockets 16 Eagles 19

Eagles Top Scorers: Degen-Potter – 33 Merrifield – 12 Stanton – 11

Rockets Top Scorers: Basialidis – 26 Lacey – 21 Farrell – 15

Date Time League Season
October 7, 2023 12:20 pm NBL Under 16 Boys Premier North 2023-24
Team1234TResult
City of Birmingham Rockets29292716101Win
Newcastle Eagles U16 Boys Premier North1420251978Loss

City of Birmingham Rockets

Position PTS REB AST STL BLK FGM FGA FG% 3PM 3PA 3P% FTM FTA FT% OFF DEF TO PF
 000000000000000000

Newcastle Eagles U16 Boys Premier North

Position PTS REB AST STL BLK FGM FGA FG% 3PM 3PA 3P% FTM FTA FT% OFF DEF TO PF
 000000000000000000
PTS
0
0
REB
0
0
AST
0
0
STL
0
0
BLK
0
0
FGM
0
0
FGA
0
0
FG%
0
0
3PM
0
0
3PA
0
0
3P%
0
0
FTM
0
0
FTA
0
0
FT%
0
0
OFF
0
0
DEF
0
0
TO
0
0
PF
0
0

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