BBL Cup Quarter Final
Cheshire Jets 64 (8,28,50) (Myers 15, Marks 14, O’Reilly 11)
Newcastle Eagles 61 (17,34,47) (Smith 18, Stewart 14, Chapman 10)
Cheshire Jets joined the Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders and Marshall MK Lions in the Final Four of the BBL Cup thanks to a hard-fought and thrilling 64-61 victory over the Newcastle Eagles at the Northgate Arena on Sunday evening. The Jets will now play the Lions in a two-legged semi -final with the aggregate winners heading onto the Final at the National Indoor Arena, Birmingham on Sunday 17 January 2009.
In a tight game throughout it was the visitors who started the game the stronger with Lynard Stewart bagging six points of his own in the opening period coupled with a number of intense defensive stands from the Eagles allowed them to open up a 8-17 lead after the first ten minutes of basketball action. In the second quarter, the Jets began to find their groove and an 8-3 start to the period saw them trim the deficit to just four points at 16-20. The Eagles however were able to get their opponents at arms length as they held onto a slender six point lead at 28-34 going into the locker rooms at the half. In the second half the home side continued to close the gap on their visitors and a combination of Chez Marks (7 points) and Frank Phifer (6) gave them the lead at 50-47 heading into the final stanza. In the final period the lead changed hands on a number of occasions in the early going and with the score at 56-57, a Shawn Myers three-pointer gave the Jets the lead at 59-57 with 4:30 remaining.
Andrew Bridge kept the Eagles in touch with a basket before Chez Marks was sent to the foul-line and made one of his bonus shots to keep the Jets in front 62-59. Another Myers basket extended the home side’s advantage to five points, but a foul on Reggie Jackson sent the Eagles player to the free- throw line where he made both of his shots to keep it at a one-shot game at 64-61 with 33.9 seconds remaining.
The Jets missed their next attempt and the visitors got the ball back with 3.8 seconds left in the game. Jackson put up a three-pointer as time expired, but the attempt hit the rim to send the Jets fans home extremely happy at the victory. Myers led the Jets scoring with 15 points, but it was Charles Smith who led all scorers in the game with 18 points personal for the Eagles.