Cheshire Phoenix 78 – 90 Newcastle Eagles
by Vlad Ionasc
Cheshire Phoenix stumbled to their first defeat since February 17th against the Newcastle Eagles.
Despite their brilliant start, Ben Thomas’ team were unable to sustain their first quarter performance. Victor Moses, Rahmon Fletcher and Jeremy Smith led the way for the Eagles as they combined for 74 points on the night.
It was a high-octane start to the game for both sides as they combined for 52 points on 22 for 34 shooting in the first period of play. Everyone contributed well for the Nix while Rahmon Fletcher was the driving force behind Eagles’ 21 first quarter points. The Nix were the stronger of the two sides as they found themselves up 31-21 going into the second quarter.
The Nix cooled off in the second quarter and allowed the Eagles to cut their 10-point lead established in the first quarter to just one point at the end of the first half. Victor Moses led the way for the visitors, as he scored 11 of his team’s 24 points in the second period of the game. Phoenix played very unselfish basketball in the first half, they had 14 assists on 19 made shots.
The Eagles went on a 11-5 run to start the third quarter, which forced Ben Thomas to call a time-out with 7:15 left to play. The Nix had some sloppy turnovers in the remaining minutes of the third, they also allowed the Eagles to score easy lay-ups and missed 12 of their 17 field goals. The home team found themselves down 58-70 after they scored just 12 points in the third period of the game.
The Nix started the final act of the game with a 7-2 run, which gave the crowd some hope that another fourth quarter turnaround was on the cards, however the Eagles grinded out the win. Phoenix gave it their all in the dying minutes of the game, but some questionable calls from the officials paired with more easy lay-ups for the visitors meant that the Nix lost the game, 78-90.
Key Team Stat: 12 offensive rebounds. The Nix crashed the offensive glass but were unable to convert on the second chance opportunities that they created. Only nine second chance points were not enough to trouble the Eagles.
The Cheshire Phoenix will look to bounce back from the loss on the 29th March when they face off against the Leicester Riders.