North East Connected

Eagles and Raiders hold slender Playoff leads

BBL Playoffs Quarter Finals, First Leg
Newcastle Eagles 79-77 B. Braun Sheffield Sharks (22-20, 52-40, 70-59)
(Eagles – Gordon 20, Defoe 18, Fletcher 18; Sharks – Hemsley 21, Ratinho 14, Nichols 11)
BBL Playoffs Quarter Finals, First Leg
Plymouth Raiders 84-82 Worcester Wolves (14-30, 46-48, 66-70)
(Raiders – McGill 28, Morsell 20, Hamilton 11; Wolves – Burns 18, Mcswigggan 13, Williams 12)
Newcastle Eagles and Plymouth Raiders will go into the second legs of their Playoffs Quarter Finals with a slim advantage after two pulsating games of Playoff basketball.
An incredible comeback from the Raiders saw them overcome a 16-point Worcester Wolves lead, whilst Newcastle held off a late surge from Sheffield Sharks to take the edge going into Thursday’s games.
The evening’s action tipped off with the fourth seed Eagles facing off against the fifth seed Sharks, and the game started in typically competitive fashion with both teams finding their rhythm on the offensive end. The Eagles found their groove in the second period and led by the veteran influence of Darius Defoe and Rahmon Fletcher, led by 12 going into the half.
Newcastle would stretch that lead to 17 points before the Sharks erupted in the final quarter, holding Newcastle to only 9 points as they even took the lead in the tie after some huge baskets from Nicholas Lewis.
The game was tied going into the final minute however two clutch baskets from Defoe ensured Newcastle would take a slender lead going into Thursday’s second leg.
Justin Gordon led the Eagles with 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists in a well-rounded showing whilst Jeremy Hemsley led the Sharks comeback with a game-high 21 points.
Following on from the early evening thriller, the Raiders and Wolves fought out a highly-charged affair.
The Wolves flew out the gates in the early stages and racked up 30 first quarter points as they were led by some early energy from Elijah Burns.
Plymouth found their footing in the second period however, and by the half found themselves only two points behind the Wolves after Rickey McGill scored seven of the Raiders last nine to end the half.
McGill was insatiable on the night, and finished with a game high 28 points as the Raiders continued to chip into the Wolves’ lead, and after a huge bucket from Mike Morsell Plymouth found themselves leading for the first time in the ball-game with just over two minutes to go in the game.
Jordan Williams had an impressive showing for Worcester as he posted 12 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, whilst Burns led the Wolves with 18 points.
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