So the young Eagles Division 4 took on a more experienced Division 2 in The Pioneers of London looking to advance into the cup 3rd round.
The Eagles playing in black in front of a partisan crowd of around 50 plus took to the court looking to do a giant killing act on the Pioneers of London playing in orange…. The hosts looked timid in the early stages and by the 5th minute they were 6-12 down as the Pioneers top two scorers were dominating the finishing… The latter part of the first period saw the Eagles start to find their feet and although they lost it 8-10 making it 14-25 at the break…..
The 2nd quarter saw the visitors in orange really jump out as they hit the home team with a quick 2-12 run making it 16-37 by 6th minute…The Eagles competed better in the last 4 minutes of the half as they started to get to grips with their opponents from the higher division and edged the scoring 13-5 closing the half at 29-43….
The Eagles regrouped at the half time and came out ready to eat into the Pioneers lead as they turned up the defensive pressure and it worked as the visitors struggled and the home went on a 14-5 run making it 43-48… Pioneers called a time out to slow up the high flying Eagles… It didn’t deter the now fluent home side as they closed out the 3rd by outscoring the guys in orange 10-5 making it a tied ball game at 53-53….
The visitors were now well and truly rattled and came out for the 4th in a 2-3 zone which hampered the Eagles having not really came across this defence this season… the early part of the period saw the score move on slowly and it was the Pioneers who were 57-59 up with 4 minutes to play….The last 4 minutes was where the Pioneers zone defence really hurt the Eagles as the home team struggled to make their outside shots and the visitors capitalised and went onto win the game 61-76 (8-23)
Coach Heath said “We started the game giving them way too much respect and we didn’t play our game at all… We tried a couple of times to regroup in the first half but we turned ourselves around in 3rd and dominated proceedings tying the match up at 53-53…. We forced their hand and they had to resort to playing a zone and this killed our offensive momentum and we couldn’t buy an outside shot which is normally one of our better stats… They edged away really late on as we chased the game more… Overall the players should be really proud of themselves and we will take stock and move into our league season with confidence….”
Eagles Top Scorers- Domantas Karpinskas 15, Alex Horta 10 and Shaquille Freeman 8….
The Eagles U23 open their league season at home to Kingston Panthers 12 noon tip off at Benfield Sports Centre on Saturday 6th October 2018….