Report: Surrey Scorchers 90-76 Bristol Flyers
Sunday, April 28th 2019
Bristol Flyers ended their 2018/19 campaign with a road defeat to Surrey Scorchers.
The two sides were level heading into the final period before the hosts came out firing in the fourth with a 16-3 spell which proved the decisive factor. Fred Thomas led all scorers with an efficient 27 points on 52% shooting from the floor.
Flyers got off to a great start with Daniel Edozie winning the tip and Justin Gray finding Thomas on the perimeter for a three. Scorchers quickly answered with a drive to the basket by Quincy Taylor. Taylor’s speed kept the Scorchers offence flowing, finding Joe Junior Mvuezolo for a lay-up of his own.
A mid-range basket from Mvuezolo from another Taylor assist saw Scorchers build an early lead. Gray was able to draw a foul on a three point attempt and head to the line to even things up, hitting all three foul shots. Taylor poured in a quick five points with multiple trips to the foul line of his own. Edozie connected with a mid-range jumper but Scorchers came back with a dunk from Tayo Ogendengbe. Gray followed his own miss and tipped it in to keep things close.
Both teams rotated their bench and Flyers were able to tie the game behind energy plays from Panos Mayindombe. Caylin Raftopoulos erased the Flyers’ lead with a pair of three pointers. Fred Thomas checked back in and quickly got his team back in front completing a three point play at the line after being fouled and finishing the basket on a drive. Anthony Elechi tied the game back up with the last basket of the period, making it 22-22.
Flyers started the second quarter with a lay-up from Gray. Mvuezolo kept the points flowing for Surrey, getting to the foul line and then following up with a dunk. Jalan McCloud was able to cut through the defence for a score at the rim. Thomas followed up with a mid-range pull-up.
Chris Taylor checked in, returning from a knee injury that had kept him out of the last few games. His defensive intensity won a steal releasing Thomas for a fast break dunk. Mvuezolo answered with a second chance score. McCloud extended Bristol’s lead with a pull-up three in transition. Quincy Taylor ensured a quick bounce back for Scorchers feeding Mo Williams for points in the paint then finding Elechi for a three-pointer.
A drive to the basket from Falzon and a tip in swung the momentum back to Flyers and forced a Scorchers timeout. Bristol forced a turnover and Thomas poured in a three-pointer. Elechi and McCloud traded a pair of driving lay-ups. Scorchers finished the quarter chipping away at the Flyers lead from the free throw line, going into the break behind 43-48.
The third period began with both teams misfiring. Falzon remained active, hauling in a missed shot and then relocating to the perimeter for a triple. Thomas got to the free throw line to give Flyers their biggest lead of the game at 11 points with just over 15 minutes remaining.
Bristol went cold for the rest of the quarter with points coming from scant opportunities at the line. A 15-2 run for Scorchers saw them retake the lead. A late turnaround jumper from Mayindombe made it 62-62 to end the third period.
The momentum stayed with Surrey in the fourth, with a 7-2 run forcing an early timeout for Coach K. The run continued on from there, topping out at 16-3 and prompting a second Flyers timeout. Coach K’s men rallied and regrouped, forcing a pair of turnovers, both resulting in highlight dunks for Thomas.
Coach K took a final timeout and drew up a play for Thomas. With the score quickly answered by Scorchers at the line the margin was too great for Bristol to overcome and the clock ran out on the visitors with the score finishing 90-76.
Images courtesy of JMPUK.