Report: Bristol Flyers 91-84 Glasgow Rocks (OT)
Saturday, March 20th 2021
Bristol Flyers claimed a crucial overtime win in their BBL Championship campaign over the visiting Glasgow Rocks.
Justin Baker led the team with an efficient 23 points on 70% shooting from the floor.
Christian Keeling opened the scoring for Glasgow with a drive to the basket, but Eric Lockett answered and Marcus Delpeche gave Flyers their first lead of the game. Baker was hot early, matching Rocks scoring output with back to back baskets.
With both teams stuck at 13 points for several minutes, Lockett ended the dry spell with a lay-up. Josh Wilcher extended the Flyers run with a drive to the basket and a three-pointer to force a time out. Ben Mockford had an instant impact off the bench on his return from injury, getting into the passing lane for a steal and fast break score.
Wilcher kept control with a pair of assists to Baker separated by a steal. A blocked shot from Delph released Keeling on the fast break to make it 25-21 at the end of the first.
Mockford and Baker stretched the Bristol lead. Delph was effective on the glass, giving his team second chance opportunities. Flyers brought in their own rebounding dynamo, Raphell Thomas-Edwards, also making his return to the team after a series of injuries. The Flyers forward completed a baseline drive for an easy score, but Keeling used his speed to get to the basket and another Delph block gave Isa Brandon a transition score triggering a timeout from Coach Kapoulas.
Rocks edged ahead with Flyers unable to shut down Keeling’s scoring. Delph made way for Boban Jacdonmi who got straight to work with a basket and a pair of free throws. Lockett responded with back to back scores on strong drives to the basket. Wilcher battled back with veteran smarts, breaking down the defence for a lay-up and then drawing a shooting foul.
Lockett was able to get to the basket and drop the ball off to Baker for an easy finish to tighten it up. Josh Rogers nudged Flyers ahead with a mid-range jumpshot, but Keeling closed out the quarter with another score to make it 42-43.
Delpeche dominated early in the second half after sitting out much of the first with foul trouble. The Bristol big man got a steal and ran the floor for a transition score then sank a lay-up. Wilcher lured Keeling into an offensive foul but the Glasgow guard soon showed his athleticism on a fast break dunk. Mockford found GB teammate Teddy Okereafor open for a three pointer and Thomas-Edwards followed-up with back to back triples.
Gareth Murray took a timeout and led by example with a driving score, but baskets were hard to come by for Rocks in the period. Lockett capitalised for Flyers with an emphatic dunk to make it 63-52 after three quarters.
Rocks refused to let the game get away from them and were able to force turnovers and get good looks at the basket to cut the lead to single figures. Coach Kapoulas took a timeout to settle his side. Mockford made a much-needed score, but Jacdonmi quickly responded and then swatted away a Delpeche shot.
A Keeling three-point play cut the lead to four points. Rocks kept battling and a pair of three-pointers from Murray gave them a two point lead with 30 seconds remaining. Coach Kapoulas took a timeout to draw up a play and looked to Lockett for a game-tying score. Flyers were able to grind out a final defensive stop to force overtime.
Delph opened the extra period with a go-ahead three pointer. Murray followed up with more outside scoring, but Flyers remained composed with Baker spotting up for his own back-to-back threes.
Okereafor was huge in the clutch, calmly orchestrating the offence and breaking through for a lay-up. Clock management was crucial for Flyers as they protected their narrow lead and used the clock to their advantage. Okereafor opened the wide open with a huge three pointer and then netted his eighth point of the period at the foul line to close out the game 91-84.