BBL Trophy, First Round
Durham Wildcats 73 (Baldarelli 27, Bucci/Keister 14)
Newcastle Eagles 102 (Chapman/Defoe 22, Maddox 19)
The Newcastle Eagles will face the Worcester Wolves in the quarter-finals of the BBL Trophy thanks to a comfortable 73-102 victory over the Durham Wildcats at the Newton Aycliffe Leisure Centre on Sunday afternoon.
After a tight opening to the contest which saw both teams trading baskets, the visitors took control of the contest as they rattled off a 15-4 burst to take the score out to 12-26 at the end of the opening quarter with Darius Defoe netting eight points in the tear.
In the second period, a Kareem Maddox basket capped off a 15-5 start to the quarter to extend their lead out to 24 points at 17-41 midway through the second stanza. The home side tried desperately to close the deficit and a basket from Mike Baldarelli and a Keith Page three-pointer allowed the Wildcats to trim the gap back to 18 points at 30-48 heading into the locker rooms at the half.
In the second half, the home side continued to try and and get themselves back into the game, and managed to close the deficit down to nine points at 50-59 off the back of a 10-4 burst midway through the third period, but that was as close as they would get as the Eagles further extended their lead thanks to a 10-2 tear of their own to take the score out to 52-69 with 1:18 remaining in the quarter. The home side tried valiantly to close the gap before the break but were unable to do so as the Eagles held onto their advantage to lead 56-72 heading into the final stanza.
In the final period, an 11-4 burst from the Eagles helped the visitors take the score out to 64-94 with less than five minutes remaining in the contest and a Maddox basket with two minutes left in the game gave the visitors their biggest lead of the contest at 32 points with the score at 68-100. The home side tried valiantly to make the scoreline more respectable and a strong finish to the game from the Wildcats meant that they closed the gap slightly to 29 points by the end of the contest, but the Eagles picked up the all-important victory.
A combination of Defoe and Joe Chapman led the scoring for the Eagles with 22 points a-piece, but it was Baldarelli who led all scorers in the contest as he netted 27 points for the Wildcats in the defeat.