Newcastle Eagles 92 (32,54,67) (Babalola 23, Attah/Defoe/Spragg12)
Kularoos Plymouth Raiders 96 (19,33,66) (Moore 26, Lasker 19, Noel 16)
Kularoos Plymouth Raiders came from behind to defeat Newcastle Eagles in the BBL Championship 3rd/4th Place Play-off, by a score of 96-92.
Eagles were fastest out of the blocks, bagging the opening 12 points of the game, including two three pointers from Olu Babalola. The Raiders rallied and cut the gap to seven points at 17-10. Newcastle again picked up their offence and enjoyed a 10-5 burst on their way to a 32-19 first quarter lead.
Brody Bishop boosted Plymouth early in the second stanza with two impressive three pointers as the gap was reduced back to single figures at 35-28. Eagles rallied and hit 12 of the next 14 points to pull their advantage out to 17 points at 47-30 – Darius Defoe and Sam Attah bagging the majority of the points.
With Eagles lead at 54-33 heading into the third quarter, Plymouth came out of the locker room on fire and an Andrew Lasker three pointer at the end of a 21- 5 start saw them within a score of the Eagles at 59-56 to Newcastle. Lasker kept up his scoring streak as Raiders took the lead at 64-61. However, with Charles Smith bagging a vital long range shot to tie the game at 66-66 with 50 seconds to go, Newcastle then scored from the foul line to take a one-point lead into the fourth quarter at 67-66.
A pulsating final quarter followed, with the lead changing hands several times. First it was Plymouth in the ascendancy, Gaylon Moore significantly contributing to a 75-71 Plymouth lead, but Newcastle hit back and Olu Babalola’s three pointer put them 76- 75 to the good.
The teams traded baskets for the next few minutes, with neither team able to carve out any significant advantage. In the end, it was Anthony Martin and Gaylon Moore who made the difference, hitting eight consecutive points to give the south coast club an 89- 84 lead.
On three occasions Newcastle pulled the score back to within two points, but Andrew Lasker made the game safe for Raiders with the final basket in the closing seconds.
As in Saturday’s semi-final, Gaylon Moore was the top scorer – he bagged 26 personal points and pulled down 8 boards on the way to victory, ably assisted by Andrew Lasker’s 19 points. Olu Babalola was Eagles star man with 23 points.