Preview » Bristol Flyers v Plymouth Raiders
Posted: Saturday, September 30th 2017
Saturday, September 30th 2017
Bristol Flyers opened the season with an 87-75 win over South-West rivals Plymouth Raiders.
Flyers were led in their first win of the season by Rohndell Goodwin, scoring 26 points on 57% shooting and three rebounds.
After a solid pre-season and a strong showing at the British Basketball All Star Championship, Flyers looked to start their campaign with a home win. Raiders, on the other hand, came into the contest wanting revenge for the defeat they experienced at the hands of Flyers in last year's season opener.
Both teams began the game surprisingly flat, as they went scoreless for the first two minutes. Brandon Boggs, on his way to ten first quarter points, broke the deadlock drawing contact on a drive and converting one of two free-throws.
Despite the score, neither team scored a field goal until Daniel Edozie was found by Mike Vigor on a strong cut to the basket. Plymouth came straight back with a three-pointer from Jordan Jarvelainen to tie the game.
The visitors struggled from the field only shooting 18% for the quarter. As the period wound down, Flyers came alive with Edozie receiving a feed from Boggs for a slam dunk and repaying the favour by catching Boggs for an alley-oop of his own, which ignited the Flyers' fans. Boggs and Jordan Davis hit a three-pointer each to give Flyers a 20-12 lead.
Bristol pushed the lead to 22 points early on, with Davis and Vigor connecting for the quick lay-up, a three-pointer from Goodwin and a pull up from Adam Weary.
Weary began to heat up, scoring eight points in the first half, penetrating inside with a hesitation dribble and scoring inside on multiple possessions in quick succession.
The offensive flurry caused Raiders to call for a time-out to stop the Flyers' attack. Plymouth could stop the clock, but they couldn't stop Flyers as the home team lifted their play even higher.
The increased success on the offensive end seemed to bleed into Flyers' defensive pressure, resulting in back-to-back steals and fastbreak opportunities for Bristol.
Raiders continued to struggle offensively shooting 11 for 35 for the half. Recognising that their offence had failed them, Plymouth looked to their defence to provide a spark.
The visitors changed to a zone defence in an attempt to slow Flyers' potent offence. Plymouth were able to turn Bristol away on multiple possessions, highlighted by Greg Mays rejecting a Boggs' lay-up attempt.
Raiders capitalised on their defensive success, by putting together some field goals. This impressive stretch saw buckets from Neil Watson, Eddie Matthew and Jarvelainen, the score 44-31 at the half.
Flyers opened the third with Goodwin scoring to protect the Bristol lead, but Plymouth came straight back with Watson finding Mays for the alley-oop. Seizing the opportunity, on the following possession, Mays made a strong move inside for another slam dunk.
Raiders' run was relentless, with the shot clock winding down they found Nick Tomsick open for a three-pointer to cut the Bristol lead to single figures.
Bristol looked to respond but Plymouth were persistent, continuing to find the open man for scores. In a shocking turnaround, Raiders were within striking distance and cut the Flyers' lead to just one point, 59-58, as Jarvelainen scored a long two-pointer at the buzzer.
Plymouth carried their momentum into the fourth, as Tomsick connected from the arc to give the visitors their first lead of the game.
Raiders looked poised to take over the game, but Bristol responded and did so quickly. Davis received the ball inside for a lay-up, then Boggs stole the ball and went coast to coast for the finger-roll.
Midway through the final quarter, Goodwin came alive scoring six quick points, including an impressive And-1 to give Bristol a precious five point lead.
Despite Bristol's run, the visitors hung around with timely scores behind their tireless guard Watson.
In a key moment of the final period and the shot clock winding down, Goodwin received the ball at the foul line to score a two-pointer.
In the final minute, Edozie caught an alley-oop dunk to emphatically put the nail in the coffin 87-75.
MVP of the league. Calling it now.. 26 or them thangs and counting! https://t.co/GHINpmTOmQ— Austin Pope (@AustinPope_) September 30, 2017
Box Score: http://www.fibalivestats.com/u/BBL/635906/
Images courtesy of JMPUK.