by Vlad Ionasc
Cheshire Phoenix sealed their third home win in a row following a dominant performance against the Plymouth Raiders.
Cheshire steamrolled past their opponents, who never really got into the game. Ben Mockford scored a game-high 26 points and also contributed with six assists. Cheshire’s twin towers, Michael Ochereobia and Demonte Flannigan combined for 33 points and 22 rebounds on the night. A brilliant performance by the Nix meant the Raiders had precisely zero leads during the entire 40 minutes of play.
The Nix failed to connect on their first three shots, nevertheless Louis Sayers’ three-point basket at the 9:19 mark gave Cheshire their first lead of the game. The visitors were kept scoreless for the first five minutes of the game and the Nix pounced on Plymouth’s mistakes as they embarked on an 11-0 run. The visitors put a cap to Phoenix’s early run thanks to a three-point basket by Samuel Daniels. The Raiders found a little bit of rhythm towards the end of the quarter, however, the Nix went into the second up 21-12.
The two sides traded blows at the start of the second quarter, with both teams committing silly turnovers in the process. Phoenix’s lead remained intact as they were able to answer back every time Plymouth put points on the board. Plymouth reduced the deficit to seven points, however, the Nix went on a late scoring surge which put them up 45-33 at the break.
Sayers opened the second half just like he did the first, with a corner three which helped the Nix create a 13-point cushion. Back-to-back triples by Mockford extended Phoenix’s lead to a then game-high 23 points. The Nix controlled the mid-way point of the penultimate quarter as the lead hovered around the 20-point mark in favour of the hosts. The Raiders were marginally better during the closing two minutes of the quarter, however, the Nix still went into the final period of play up 69-48.
Even tough they had the win pretty much wrapped up, the Nix kept at it as they didn’t take their foot off the gas in the fourth. Ben Thomas’ men extended their advantage to a then game-high 28 points after Sayers sunk another corner three at the 7:03 mark. The two teams traded baskets for the majority of the quarter, however, the Nix went on a last-minute 8-0 run which meant they emerged victorious, 97-64.
KEY TEAM STAT: 50 FG%. The Nix shot well on the night and they also won the rebounding battle 43 to 34. The Nix took better care of the basketball than their opponents as they only committed 11 turnovers to Plymouth’s 18.