BBL Championship Play-off Quarter Final
Newcastle Eagles 102 (28,54,79) (Smith 29, Stewart/Sullivan 14)
Worthing Thunder 74 (12,30,55) (Bratton 19, Cricelli 16, Zabas 11)
The BBL League champions secured their place in the semi-finals of the BBL Championship Play-offs after a comfortable 102-74 quarter-final victory over the Worthing Thunder at the Newcastle Arena on Friday night.
It was the Eagles who started the game at a blistering pace as they opened up an early 22-6 lead off the back of an 16-2 run, including eight points a- piece from Andrew Sullivan and Charles Smith and the home side maintained their advantage at the end of the first period leading 28-12 heading into the second quarter.
In the second period the Eagles continued to pull away from the Thunder thanks to some impressive outside shooting from Andrew Bridge and Joe Chapman whose back-to-back three-pointers at the end of the second period gave the Eagles a 24-point advantage at 54-30 heading into the locker rooms at the half.
In the second half the Eagles started with an 8-0 to take the score out to 62-30 and an 11-4 burst from the home side again extended the Eagles lead to their biggest lead of the game of 35 points at 77-42, but three-pointers from Sherrod Prezzie-Blue and James Brame helped the visitors end the third period with a 13-2 tear to trim the deficit slightly to 24 points at 79-55 heading into the final stanza.
In the final quarter the visitors tried valiantly to get themselves back into the game but they could get no closer than 27 points at 99-72 with two minutes remaining as the Eagles secured their semi-final berth.
Smith led all scorers in the game with an impressive 29 points for the Eagles, while Reggie Bratton led the Thunder scorers with 19 points personal.