An astonishing fourth quarter comeback from Newcastle Eagles helped them secure a dramatic 105-97 win over a stubborn Surrey Scorchers.
Trailing 73-60 heading into the fourth quarter, Fab Flournoy’s men managed to pull off a stunning comeback to shock Surrey, who lead for most of the game.
With just three games left in the BBL regular season, Newcastle were keen to make sure they were heading into the play-offs firing on all cylinders.
In front of a packed Eagles Community Arena, Newcastle got off to a fast start.
Looking to punish Surrey, who sat at the foot of the BBL standings, Eagles guards Eddie Matthew and Rahmon Fletcher starred early on, putting Flournoy’s side in control of the contest.
And leading 11-4 midway through Q1, it seemed as though the Eagles were poised to blow away their opponents.
Unfortunately for Flournoy’s men, the Scorchers came scorching back.
Trailing early on, the visitors managed to silence the ECA, producing some Basketball that would make some question how they sit at the foot of the BBL standings.
Spurred on by forward Willie Atwood, who finished the contest with 31 points, the scorchers blazed a path through the Eagles lacklustre defence, scoring basket after basket.
And when the Q1 buzzer went, the Eagles early lead had vanished, with Surrey leading 25-18 in front of a subdued crowd.
Q2 started and the Eagles were looking to find their footing in a game they lead early on.
But Surrey could not be stopped, with the Scorchers raining in a number of three-pointers on the Eagles basket to extend their lead.
Time and time again the Eagles looked uncharacteristically off their usually impressive game as they missed several chances to reduce the deficit.
With just 2:45 left in Q2, the Eagles, who trailed 39-28, knew that they needed to stop the rot fast.
But frustratingly for Flournoy, it was the Scorchers who looked as though they were primed for play-off action, with the visitors leading 47-37 when the half-time whistle went.
In the second half, the Eagles got off to the perfect start, forcing an early defensive turnover, much to the ECA delight.
However, back-to-back misfires on offence, coupled with a score from Surrey meant that the Eagles were left with a mountain to climb.
What followed the Scorchers early basket was a back and forth Q3.
While the Eagles had the efforts of Fletcher and Jamal Williams to thank for a brief fight back, it looked as though the deficit was too big for the Eagles to overturn.
And while Newcastle tried to claw their way back into the contest, they continued to shoot themselves in the foot at crucial moments, meaning that it was advantage Surrey with the score sitting at 73-60 in the visitors favour heading into Q4.
Q4 started with two quick Eagles baskets which roused the faithful Newcastle fans.
But unfortunately for the crowd, every time Newcastle did something positive, they were then suddenly deflated by Surrey, who continued to dominate the contest.
Time was running out for Newcastle, who knew that they had to play almost a perfect game to stand any chance of coming away with a win.
Thankfully for Flournoy’s men, they were determined to show off their winning calibre.
Roared on by a raucous crowd, some fantastic work on both sides of the ball by Newcastle handed them a route back into the contest, with the score sitting at 79-72 half-way through Q4.
Suddenly it looked as though the script had been flipped – with the Eagles now on the front foot with just 4:15 left in the final quarter.
A Kyle Williams three-pointer and baskets from Lasker and Fletcher then cut Surrey’s lead to just one, with just under two minutes remaining in the contest – the score sitting at 89-88 in visitors favour.
And then, with just 24.2 second remaining, the Eagles were handed two free throws to tie the game – which were then masterfully converted by Kyle Williams, who finished the contest with an impressive 34 points.
With the scores all tied at 90-90, Surrey had one final chance to leave the ECA with a win – but unfortunately, they could not find a route through the Eagles defence, meaning the contest headed to overtime.
OT started like Q4 finished, with two converted Kyle Williams free throws handing the Eagles their first lead since Q1 – 92-90 in the hosts favour.
And from then on it was all Newcastle, with both Kyle Williams and Fletcher showing off their impressive array of skills to help the Eagles claim a dramatic win.