Newcastle Eagles 123
Huddersfield Heat 67
On Wednesday night the Esh Group Eagles Newcastle played host to Yorkshire’s Huddersfield Heat in a mid-season friendly game that benefitted both sides. Eagles had been without any form of competition for almost two weeks so needed a sharpener and Heat are an ambitious EBL Division 2 side with hopes of going much higher in the British Basketball world.
As Head Coach Fab Flournoy commented it was a useful exercise. “It was about giving the guys some quality court time and getting game minutes under their legs. Regular practice is a good thing but guys like to play and with the break we had we needed to have a game.”
“I’d like to thank Coach Eduardo and The Huddersfield players for agreeing to come up at short notice and giving us such a worthwhile workout. I hope they got something out of the game as well.”
Unsurprisingly Eagles were a class or two above their opposition and won each of the four quarters very convincingly. Heat started well and their obvious energy and commitment at the start of the game was to be admired.
But once Newcastle got in to their stride there was only ever going to be one winner and led by point guard Paul Gause they got many good looks at the basket and were able to dictate the game throughout the full forty minutes.
The Heat never gave up and had some moments of their own but with the talent at the Eagles disposal it was always going to be tough and so it proved. By the end of the game the home side had seven players in double figures and as well as Gause’s game-high 27 points, Malik Cooke also had 23 with Darius Defoe dominant inside adding his support.
There was also great supporting efforts from Scott Martin, Charles Smith and Drew Lasker whilst 18-year old Eddie Matthew once again showed his massive potential by scoring seven of the last nine points to also hit double figures for the night.
“What we needed this game for was to run some of the plays we’ve been setting up in practice. We’ve had a long time off since we lost that BBL game against Worcester and myself and the coaching staff felt we needed to bring some new plays in to our play as well as look at different rotations and personnel.”
“From that point of view it was mission accomplished. We did some of the things very well and some not so good. But we gave ourselves plenty of things to work on and managed to bed one or two new things in at the same time so that’s important.” Added Flournoy.
Eagles now make the long trip south to Surrey United on Sunday looking to get their BBL season back on track and use last night’s practice run as a solid foundation for picking up an important road win.
Newcastle : Paul Gause 27, Malik Cooke 23, Darius Defoe 15, Drew Lasker 15, Scott Martin 14, Eddie Matthew 12, Charles Smith 12 and Stu Thomson 5
Huddersfield : Orlando Camin 19, Salva Mendez 11, Chris Bigley 10