Report: Bristol Flyers 91-82 Cheshire Phoenix
Saturday, March 24th 2018
Bristol Flyers took a huge stride forward in the race for the play-off places as they claimed the season series over the Cheshire Phoenix.
Jordan Davis led the way for Nick Burns' first win as acting Head Coach with 17 points on 100% shooting from the field.
Flyers started the game looking for an ambitious alley-oop to Brandon Boggs, which went awry.
On the following possession, Raheem May-Thompson scored his first three-pointer of the contest, which Davis countered with five straight points of his own. Davis was showing signs of heating up in the early goings.
But it was Cheshire who took the early lead, as May-Thompson displayed some gorgeous footwork in the post to lose Leslee Smith for the lay-up.
The visitors secured almost a double digit cushion and stepped it up on the defensive end, which forced Flyers into committing five early turnovers.
As the quarter came to a close, Flyers' defence changed the momentum of the game and allowed Bristol to get back into the contest.
Rohndell Goodwin, on his way to 10 points on 80% shooting for the period, started to attack the basket with more regularity to chip away at the deficit.
Taking the lead from Goodwin, Boggs caught an alley-oop to send the Flyers faithful into a frenzy and Mike Vigor scored at the buzzer to give Bristol a 25-21 lead.
Flyers swung the ball around to make Cheshire work defensively in the second. Davis continued to bomb away without hesitation from long range to keep the pressure on the visitors.
Good things happened every time the Flyers' point guard touched the ball, a truly dominant first half performance.
As Flyers were enjoying some success on offence, Phoenix could not find their rhythm and went back-to-back possessions without a score. Cheshire were trying to utilise their three-point shooting, but were having difficulty connecting from long range and shot under 30% for the half.
Despite the visitors' offensive draught, Flyers failed to take full advantage and closed the half up 44-42.
Bristol began the second half working the ball inside to get more high percentage shots and it paid off: they found Vigor deep in post position for four straight points.
But the contest remained tight, as Tevin Falzon scored eight points in the period to keep the visitors within striking distance. The battle inside became even more intence, as May-Thompson broke away on the fastbreak viciously dunking the ball for two points.
May-Thompson got free again and rose up for another score, but Smith met him in midair and rejected the shot out of bounds.
Both teams traded baskets and the lead for the majoirty of the third quarter, with neither squad able to take control of the the game. As the fourth quarter beckoned, it was Cheshire that held a single point lead 68-69.
Phoenix came into the final period looking to take over the game, with Alassan Touray scoring from three-point land and May-Thompson scoring on the fastbreak; five straight points from the visitors gave them the advantage early on in the fourth.
It looked as though they were going to steal the win, as Touray scored another three-pointer to keep the momentum resting with Cheshire.
Flyers forced Phoenix into committing a 24-second shot clock violation and Smith converted on an And-1. Following another defensive stop, Boggs raced up court and tied the game at 80 apiece with a triple. Suddenly the game was up for grabs and the contest was destined to go down to the wire.
Cheshire missed some vital free-throws down the stretch and, in the clutch, Weary stepped it up scoring six important points. The Flyers' guard stole the ball and scored on the fastbreak, then scored two clever up and under baskets inside to give Bristol a late five point lead.
This vital sequence of plays effectively sealed the game for Flyers. The final score 91-82.
RSG player of the game
Next home game
Bristol Flyers v Manchester Giants
Friday, April 6th (7.30pm)
Images courtesy of JMPUK.