Cheshire Phoenix head coach John Lavery bemoaned his a weak effort at both ends of the court as he watched his side slump to a home defeat against Bristol Flyers.
In a low-scoring affair, the Nix were downed 77-58 by a Flyers side who profited from a lacklustre offensive and defensive display from a Cheshire side who also saw their interest ended in the BBL Cup at the semi-final stage at Newcastle Eagles on Friday night.
Flyers bossed proceedings on the glass at both ends and, despite a 12-0 run from the Nix to start the fourth trimming their lead to just six, never really looked in danger of relinquishing their advantage.
“I think our turnovers killed us,” said Lavery, whose side have a 2-7 record at their new Cheshire Oaks Arena home in Ellesmere Port.
“They out-rebounded us and they were effective on the offensive glass. We just couldn’t seem to get in any type of rhythm, but credit to them they came in and played hard and went away with the win. Whatever we were running we couldn’t get stops or scores.
“We’ve just got to put some Ws on the board instead of picking up Ls. We have got to stick together and we have just got to worry about our next game, which is Newcastle (at home on Sunday, 5.30pm). We’ll prepare for that.”
Tyrone Lee top scored with 17 points and added 12 rebounds, while Daniel Edozie contributed a double-double of his own with a stellar 16 points and 16 boards.
Bristol edged their way to a slender lead at the end of the first, before making a timely 8-2 run before half-time to take a nine-point advantage into the break as Doug McLaughlin-Williams netted twice from down town.
The lead extended beyond double digits in the third as the Flyers took complete control as Lee and Edozie continued to do the damage inside and on the glass.
Facing an 18-point deficit at the start of the fourth, Jordan Williams instigated a revival with nine points in a 12-0 start.
However, Bristol responded with a 12-2 run in a devastating spell to secure the victory as they avenged their recent BBL Cup Quarter-Final defeat at the hands of Cheshire.
Williams led all scorers with 20, but it wasn’t enough to guide Cheshire to their seventh league win as they drop to a 6-9 mark.
With a the Nix not back in action until January 3 after this coming Sunday’s home encounter with the unbeaten Eagles, Lavery is hoping that the Christmas break will have a positive effect on his team.
“Christmas is just around the corner so we’ll get some rest and get ready for Manchester on January 3,” said Lavery.
“But we have got to work on some things. Our defensive rotation was poor (against Bristol) and our defensive rebounding was poor. For me, that is what hurt us the most.
“We weren’t getting any weak-side help and they were just driving to the paint. Their big guys, Lee and Edozie absolutely killed us and that’s where they pulled that win from.”
Nineteen-year-old point guard Sedale Hanson-Young was forced to leave proceedings just before the final buzzer with a suspected groin injury, further adding to problems at point guard that the Nix have endured since the departure of Jorge Ebanks last month.
Despite the dearth of options at the position, Lavery confirmed that no further additions were planned to arrive at the club.