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Owen Parker

Owen Parker writes

Posted Monday, January 8th 2018

Report: Bristol Flyers II 74-50 Bristol Spartans

Bristol Flyers II geared up for the second half of their division four campaign with a friendly game against Bristol Spartans along with some special guests.

Rhys Farrell led Flyers with a game high 15 points, with all of his scoring coming from three point range. Curtly Ferguson complemented Farrell’s outside scoring with drives and alley-oop dunks, netting twelve points.

What happened

Bristol Flyers II faced off against West of England Basketball Association (WEBBA) team Bristol Spartans in a friendly to work off the Christmas over-indulgence on Saturday. Spartans were joined by special guests including ex-Flyers first team Captain Greg Streete. Streete has been busy in his break from pro-basketball so far with a successful run through firefighter training.

Flyers point guard Berwin Wilks showed his defensive prowess with a steal and fast break layup to take an early 2-0 lead. He followed up with a blocked shot early in the period but from there on Flyers showed the rust with a slow start and allowed Spartans to get ahead 6-8.

Coach Khan called timeout and made significant lineup changes to inject some much needed energy. The subs made an impact with Flyers finding their mark from range, Ebuka Ekwegh assisting Wilks on a three pointer and then Farrell making a second three off a pass from Jordan Daniels. Steals and fast break drives led to trips the free throw line for Flyers and they closed out the quarter with an 18-11 lead.

Flyers were joined by a special guest of their own with assistant coach Christian Hill taking the floor. Also joining Streete on the Spartans were Coach George Varney from Flyers’ Division four rivals Gloucester Saxons and Sam Davis of Bristol Braves.

Farrell’s hot shooting continued into the second period as he hit another three to open the quarter. Varney assisted Davis on a long two pointer to answer. Spartans player coach Ric Hampton followed up with a block on Davis, who came back strong on the next play to score in the paint. Streete checked in to the game and was immediately active on the defensive end. Flyers matched his intensity, holding the Spartans scoreless for over six minutes. The Flyers lead stretched to 36-15 at half time.

Flyers big man Jakub Kulig continued to crash the boards in the second half, grabbing an offensive rebound and going back up to score. Kulig finished with a game high 12 rebounds.

Spartans began to find offensive rhythm more in the third quarter but Flyers' outside shooting allowed them to continue extending their lead. Farrell added another three pointer to his total. Then on the next play Farrell fed Ekwegh the ball inside for a layup. Ekwegh returned the favour with an inside-out pass back to Farrell for another three. The third period closed with Flyers ahead 57-28.

Streete led a Spartans comeback from the defensive end in the fourth quarter. His active denial of passing lanes and on ball defense led to Flyers turnovers and a 6-0 run for Spartans.

Flyers were again able to answer, managing to force turnovers and capitalise with fast break scoring of their own in response.  Ferguson and Wilks linked up for a pair of high flying alley-oops. Spartans refused to let that be the exclamation point on the game and forward Ian Grainger upped his activity, grabbing boards at both ends and scoring in transition but it was too late to close the gap.

The clock dwindled down on Streete holding the ball on the perimeter with Hill squaring up and urging him to shoot. Streete rose to the challenge, sinking a final three as the buzzer sounded to remind the WISE crowd that he was home. Streete and Grainger led Spartans in scoring with twelve points apiece. Bristol Flyers II won with 74 to Bristol Spartans 50.

Images by Bryony Parker.