Report: Bristol Flyers 80-70 Plymouth Raiders
Friday, October 19th 2018
Bristol Flyers earned early bragging rights in the south west derby in a fierce encounter with the Plymouth Raiders.
Justin Gray led all scorers with a ruthlessly efficient 24 points on 72.7% shooting from the floor. He was ably supported by the Flyers front-court with Delpeche adding 18 points and ten rebounds and Edozie recording a double-double of ten points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and two blocks.
A scrappy opening sequence saw both teams picking up fouls before they could get on the scoreboard. Fred Thomas drew a foul but tenaciously made the lay-up after the inbounds to get Flyers started.
Gray rocked the rim with a huge dunk off another inbounds play; the force of the throw-down necessitating an officials timeout so the basket could be put back in position. Raiders regrouped during the break and kept the scoreline close through the next few minutes.
Tevin Falzon brought energy from the bench, making back to back scores on entering the game. Bristol’s defensive intensity dropped at the end of the quarter and Donte Nicholas was able to drive into the paint seemingly at will. The dribble penetration allowed Nicholas to both score and facilitate for his team mates. The Raiders run left Flyers behind 20-24 at the close of the first quarter.
The second quarter started slowly, with both sides struggling to find momentum among the flurry of fouls being committed. Edozie broke the stalemate with a mid-range jump shot. Flyers worked hard on the glass and their rebounding gave them an edge over the visitors.
Edozie pulled down a big offensive board and fed Chris Taylor for a high flying lay-up. Taylor returned the favour next time down, setting up an Edozie lay-up for Flyers to retake the lead. The physicality remained high with both sides finding themselves in the penalty but neither able to capitalise at the the free throw line.
Delpeche made two key plays to keep Flyers ahead going into half-time, first throwing down a huge dunk from a Lewis Champion dime and subsequently finding his range at the line to sink a pair of free throws. Flyers returned to the changing rooms with a narrow lead, 36-33.
Coach Kapoulas worked his half-time magic and a reinvigorated Flyers team went on a 10-0 run to stun the visitors as the second half began. Delpeche opened with great positioning for an easy lay-up, Jalan McCloud completed a driving lay-up and Gray sank back to back three-pointers.
Gray’s outside shooting helped Flyers extend the lead late in the third. He had three made threes in the quarter and added points at the line after being fouled on a late three-point attempt. Raiders looked to substitute Javis Howard to shore up their rebounding late in the game, inserting him for the first time in the third quarter. Delpeche welcomed him with a block but he was able to get to the free throw line next time to bring the score to 64-49.
Raiders' new signing Devontavius Payne got dangerously hot to start the final quarter, netting a trio of three-pointers to keep Raiders in the running. Ebullient passing from Panos Mayindombe maintained Flyers scoring, with Mayindombe setting up big men Edozie and Delpeche in turn.
Raiders Joonas Jarvelainen did a good job running the floor for easy scores and a pair of lay-ups from him brought the lead to just six points. Gray responded immediately with a timely pair of three-pointers to keep the visitors at bay.
Delpeche capped off the win with a spectacular mid-air adjustment to finish a lay-up through a hard foul, summing up the grittiness of the Flyers performance in a single play.