Report: Bristol Flyers 95-79 Plymouth Raiders
Friday, March 8th 2019
Bristol Flyers claimed the season series over their South West rivals with a dominant performance at the SGS College Arena.
The Flyers jumped out to a fast start and never looked back, establishing a commanding 24 point lead at the half. Plymouth increased their scoring output in the second half, but the gap was too large to overcome.
Jalan McCloud had a 21 point, 10 assist double-double. Fred Thomas filled out the stat sheet with 20 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks.
Flyers started the game focused and ready to play. Justin Gray used his speed to exploit a mismatch and blow by Rashad Hassan for a lay-up through contact from the Raiders’ big man. Gray then found Marcus Delpeche for an easy dunk in the paint.
McCloud snatched the ball from Hassan in the post and finished the fast break lay-up through another Raiders foul. Coach Paul James had seen enough to know that something had to change and took an early time out.
McCloud and Thomas stayed hot through the rest of the quarter, extending the lead to double digits. Daniel Edozie had an immediate impact off the bench, drawing a foul and then hustling to grab his own miss and make the put back lay-up. The first quarter closed with Flyers ahead 25-13.
Edozie carried on where he left off in the second, making a further pair of buckets in the paint. Chris Taylor was able to draw a shooting foul on a three point attempt and calmly sank all three foul shots.
McCloud continued to break down the Raiders’ defence off the dribble, scoring multiple lay-ups to extend the lead to over 20 points. Thomas missed a three next time down, but Justin Gray grabbed the rebound and was fouled on the put back attempt by Hassan. Gray made both foul shots and Thomas followed-up with a steal and forceful fast break dunk.
Flyers closed out the quarter with scores from Gray and Delpeche as the hosts went to the locker room with a comfortable 53-29 lead.
The third quarter opened with a series of highlight plays. Taylor knocked down another three-pointer on his way to an efficient 13 points. McCloud turned distributor, feeding Delpeche for an easy lay-up and then perfectly timing a lob for a Thomas alley-oop dunk. Delpeche was a monster in the paint and threw down a huge slam over the outstretched arms of two defenders.
Lewis Champion picked up a technical foul after putting his body on the line in front of a Nicholas drive, but kept his head up and found Gray for a fast break dunk. Raiders’ defence started to rattle Flyers and a turnover and unsportsmanlike foul by Panos Mayindombe sent Nicholas to the line for more free throws.
Champion protested after getting some contact on his follow through on a three point attempt and a swift second technical saw him ejected from the game. Nicholas again made the penalty count but Fred Thomas responded with a breakaway dunk to put the lead back over 20 points. Flyers finished the third ahead 79-56.
Raiders rallied behind a full court press in the fourth period but Flyers managed the clock well and continued to break through the defence for easy scores at the rim. Raiders went out fighting with Nicholas leading the way with scoring, steals and assists down the stretch.
A late fifth foul on McCloud saw him return to the bench, but the game had already been won much earlier in the game. The Raiders run was too little too late and Flyers held on for a 95-79 win.