Newcastle Eagles 101
Team Northumbria 65
With the BBL Cup Final only six days away and without a competitive game before hand Head Coach Fab Flournoy turned to stable mate Marc Steutel to help sharpen up his charges before the clash with Leicester Riders on Sunday.
Steutel brought his EBL Division 1 side Team Northumbria to the court to face The Eagles in a friendly encounter at Sport Central. Unsurprisingly at the end of the 40 minutes action it was The Eagles that took a comfortable victory against a Northumbria side that never let up throughout the game.
For Newcastle all five starters got in to double figures and every one on the roster netted a basket as a pleasing training exercise saw Flournoy and his players get their week of preparation off to a good start.
Eagles started powerfully and within the first two minutes were 10 – 2 ahead. Sharpshooters Joe Chapman, Damon Huffman and Charles Smith were quickly in the groove and all contributed triples in an opening ten minute salvo that saw the men in black ahead 35 – 14 after the first period.
Flournoy was able to run his bench from as early as the first quarter and the rotations continued throughout the second ten minute stretch as the inside power of Kareem Maddox and Darius Defoe took its toll on the stretched opposition.
Northumbria got in to foul trouble and Eagles knocked down all 12 free-throws in the quarter to stretch their lead to 64 – 29 at the half-time buzzer. Steutel’s men never let their heads go down and Captain Siman Stewart who played a few games for the Eagles last season and US big man K C Wiser were always prominent.
The early stages of the third quarter saw The Eagles turn the defensive screw even more as they cruised out to a 74 – 33 lead before Flournoy decided enough was enough and rested the likes of Chapman, Smith, Huffman and Defoe to allow his bench players valuable court time.
Newcastle led 84 – 42 going in to the final period as Flournoy himself knocked down two further free-throws to end the third quarter. In the last ten minutes Northumbria showed their spirit and commitment and thanks to ex-Eagle Brian McCotter and Jack Thompson finding their shooting boots were able to take the final period 23 – 17.
However, the final margin of 101 – 65 told the story. Eagles did more than enough on offence to overpower their junior opposition and on defence played tight enough to restrict the Northumbria scoring to acceptable levels.
This was an excellent run-out for all concerned and whilst The Eagles know a huge task sits in front of them next Sunday, their week long preparations certainly got off on the right foot.
EAGLES – Kareem Maddox 19, Charles Smith 17, Damon Huffman 16, Joe Chapman 14, Darius Defoe 14, Ant Martin 7, Joe Ikhinmwin 6, Joel Madourie 4, Fab Flournoy 2 and Eddie Matthew 2.
NORTHUMBRIA – KC Wiser 16, Siman Stewart 14, Jason Washington 8, Jack Thompson 7, Ivan Emanuely 6, Jamie Glen 6, Brian McCotter 6 and Luke McLean-Salmon 2.