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Report: Bristol Flyers 69-71 Cheshire Phoenix

Bristol Flyers recovered from a slow start, but suffered heartbreak on the buzzer with a game-winning three from Cheshire Phoenix.

Flyers trailed by as many as 24 points in the first half, but Ben Mockford led the comeback for Bristol with 19 points, while Marcus Delpeche had a 13 point, 19 rebound double-double.   

BOX SCORE


WHAT HAPPENED

Cheshire got off to a hot start with Kyle Carey and Jalen Hayes finding open lanes to the basket. With both Eric Lockett and Raphell Thomas-Edwards sidelined by knee injuries, Flyers were running a shortened rotation. Josh Wilcher opened Bristol’s scoring with a pair of free throws and Panos Mayindombe found Daniel Edozie for a lay-up. A low-scoring first quarter saw Flyers behind 10-18.

Mike McCall Jr. caught fire for the Phoenix in the second quarter, hitting a tough jump shot, a lay-up and a pair of back-to-back threes for the visitors to keep the lead growing. Bristol were able to get defensive stops at times, but couldn’t get the lid of the basket, uncharacteristically missing put back lay-ups and shooting 24% from the floor in the period. Defensive highlights came from Josh Rogers and Marcus Delpeche, turning away shots around the basket, but Cheshire extended the lead to 24-38 at half-time. 

Pharroh Gordon came out firing after the break, hitting a catch and shoot three. Coach Kapoulas took an early timeout, but Phoenix continued to grow their margin, peaking at 24 with 15 minutes left to play. Another Flyers timeout sparked a much-needed shift in momentum.

Justin Baker hit a baseline jumper and Wilcher worked his way to the foul line with a steal and breakaway drive. Ben Mockford followed up, finding Okereafor for a fast break score. Wilcher found Mockford open for three and Cheshire were forced to take a timeout with their lead eroding.

Daniel Edozie kept the defensive intensity high, diving on a loose ball and tossing it to Okereafor who found Baker on the break. Sehill Mouliom ended the run with a lay-up to make it 42-57 at the end of the third.

Flyers defence continued to fuel their comeback with Delpeche blocking a shot and running the floor for a lay-up. Mockford and Wilcher hit a pair of three-pointers to cut the lead to single digits.

Flyers looked inside to Delpeche again and Okereafor showed veteran savvy with a burst of speed for a coast-to-coast score. 

Delpeche tied the game with a lay-up and Flyers looked like they would pull ahead after a pair of missed free throws. McCall Jr. snuck in and stole the ball for a quick lay-up to edge Cheshire ahead. 

Flyers claimed their first lead of the game with a deep three-pointer from Mockford with just 4.1 seconds remaining. McCall Jr. broke Bristol hearts with a double clutch three-pointer to claim the win.