BBL Championship
Cheshire Phoenix 91 (22,38,66) (Rochford 27, Huffor 23, Williams 21)
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 98 (22,47,71) (Smith 26, Martin 22, A Thomson 19)
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle were made to work hard to make it a 16-0 start in the BBL Championship as they defeated Cheshire Phoenix
The victory was Newcastle’s third over Cheshire in as many weeks, and also makes it a club-record 24 straight wins.
Charles Smith led the way with 26 points from the bench along with five rebounds and six assists. Scott Martin added a further 22 points with Andy Thomson finishing with 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists in another all-round effort.
After an even opening period – in which the home side had led by as many as five – Newcastle began to pull away in the second and a 10-2 run helped them into a nine-point lead at the break.
The gap reached 12 points on a Joe Chapman three midway through the third, but Cheshire later battled back within two on the back of a 9-0 run.
Jordan Williams tied the game at 73, before Smith responded with a three of his own to spark an 8-0 Eagles burst.
Danny Huffor had the chance to tie the game again for the Nix, but his 3-point attempt misfired only for Martin to connect at the other end to make it a six-point game at 87-93, which effectively sealed the win.
As for Cheshire, all five starters played the full 40 minutes as the home side fell to their sixth straight defeat in all competitions to drop to a 6-10 mark.
Kinu Rochford collected a double-double of 27 points and 10 rebounds, while Huffor and Williams had 23 and 21 points respectively.