Cheshire Phoenix 102 – 80 Manchester Giants
by Vlad Ionasc
Cheshire Phoenix snapped a three-game losing streak after they secured a priceless win against play-off contenders Manchester Giants.
The Nix shot brilliantly as a team on the night, they connected on 36 out of 71 shots. Daniel Norl had a monster game for the home side, he scored 28 points on just 14 shots but credit has to go to the whole squad, they played amazing, selfless and efficient basketball all night long.
The Nix started the contest well as they quickly embarked on a 12-0 run. The visitors answered back with a three-pointer but the hosts continued to score at will. Phoenix played great defence as they limited the Giants to just 13 points on 5-17 FG in the first quarter. The hosts had more success shooting from the floor, they made 11 out of 16 shots and went into the second quarter up, 33-13.
The Nix slowed down at the start of the second period of play, they were kept scoreless until the 7:37 mark when C.J Gettys hit a couple of free-throws. Daniel Norl continued his brilliant shooting night as he connected on three tough three-point attempts in the second quarter, the Nix guard shot an almost perfect 9-10 FG in the first half. Willie Clayton had himself a good half for the visitors, the dominant big man scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the first 20 minutes of play. Phoenix outplayed the Giants in the second quarter and went into halftime up, 57-33.
The visitors started the second half with an 8-2 run but the Nix quickly regained focus and recouped their 24-point advantage. Three-point baskets from Momcilo Latinovic and C.J Gettys meant that the Nix extended their lead to 30 points half way through the third quarter. Gettys went down with an injury and The Giants profited as they reduced Phoenix’s lead to 21 with 2:15 left in the third. The visitors had their best quarter of the game but the hosts still had a comfortable 22-point cushion heading into the final act of the game.
The Nix played well in the fourth quarter. They matched every run that the Giants went on and played great team basketball against their local & play-off rivals. Louis Sayers and Momcilo Latinovic made some crucial shots in the fourth period of play while Dii’Jon Allen-Jordan was hugely influential on both sides of the floor. The Nix ran out victorious 102-80.
Key Team Stat: 46% 3PT. The Nix shot brilliantly from beyond the arc, while they also limited their opponents to a mediocre 28% from three-point range. The huge discrepancy in shooting proved to be crucial as the Nix secured their 14th win of the season.
The Nix will look to build on their dominant display when they visit the London Lions at the Copper Box Arena on the 22nd of April.