BBL Trophy
Derby Trailblazers 67 (10,29,45) (Lascelles 16, Taylor 11, Amabilino-Perez 10)
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 100 (34,56,79) (Defoe 22, Fletcher 18, Martin 17)
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle have progressed in the BBL Trophy, beating NBL Division 1 side Derby Trailblazers 100-67 as they pursue a third consecutive Trophy final appearance, having won this title on six previous occasions.
It is the second night in a row that they have hit a century, this time led by 22 points from Darius Defoe, with Rahmon Fletcher scoring 18 on a night when all ten Eagles registered on the scoresheet.
After Trailblazers scored the opening basket of the game, Eagles took control courtesy of six straight Scott Martin points, and were soon 19-4 up after Fletcher added seven. Defoe got going soon after, and Eagles’ lead would not be within single-figures for the remainder of the game.
That basket seemed to spark Defoe, as he added another one in an 11-3 second stanza run, in which Deondre Parks and Fletcher netted from long-range, pushing the lead to thirty at 49-19. And Defoe had 20 points by the end of the third quarter when he added six more.
Derby had their best spell at the start of the fourth, with a 10-4 push as Rema Lascelles and Maxwell Morrison scored four each. But Drew Lasker hit a triple and Joe Hart added two more in a blistering run of nine unanswered points, and Eagles led 92-55, finishing the night shooting 45% from beyond the arc.
It was the first time that Eagles had met a team from Derby since Derby Storm – against whom they had recorded nine straight wins – left the BBL in 2002. They had, however, lost their previous five Trophy games against Storm, dating back to 1994.