Sunday, 21 March 2010

Newcastle retain grip on BBL Trophy

Newcastle Eagles retained the BBL Trophy, producing a dominating display to defeat Cheshire Jets 111-95 in a one-sided final at the Guildford Spectrum.

Veteran Charles Smith, who won the game's Most Valuable Player award, and BBL rookie Joe Chapman, proved too hot to handle from deep with 27 and 21 points respectively as the Tyneside outfit claimed what could be the first part of a potential treble.

Jets, hoping to make a good start, certainly did that as Colin O'Reilly's three point play made it 7-0. The run seemed to spark Newcastle into life though as Lynard Stewart's bucket began a 14-0 burst.

Smith's three levelled it at 7-7 and Joe Chapman gave the Eagles their first lead of the match with a long range effort of his own. Newcastle's first quarter lead peaked at nine, first at 18-9, and then on another Chapman three to close the period 24-15.

Reggie Jackson made it a double-digit lead for Eagles with his first points of the match at the start of the second quarter before 40-year-old Shawn Myers dragged Jets - minus injured James Hamilton - back into the match with two three point scores which reduced the gap to just three at 29-26.

However Eagles quickly recovered their dominance though midway through the second quarter as their rivals' challenge collapsed, the holders breaking the game open with a 35-16 run. It was a devastating passage of play by Fab Flournoy's team and left Jets staring at a daunting 64-42 half time deficit.

Smith began the third quarter with a three to reinforce Eagles' superiority and despite Jets occasionally picking apart the Newcastle defence they couldn't stem the flow of points from their opponents.

With Newcastle taking an 89-63 margin into the final stanza, there was no way back with Cheshire stars Jerrah Young, Paul Peterson and Calvin Davis all well below their best.

Fab Flournoy's men saw their advantage peak at 100-69 on yet another Smith bucket early in the fourth quarter. Despite trying to recapture the magic of their epic comeback in vain against Sheffield Sharks in the BBL Cup, Jets could only get the final deficit below 20 thanks to a late 6-0 run.

The evergreen Myers scored a game-high 28 points but his efforts were in vain as Newcastle coasted to lift the Trophy for the fourth time in six years.


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