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Owen Parker

Owen Parker writes

Posted Wednesday, April 11th 2018

Report: Bristol Flyers II 90-109 Derby Trailblazers II

Bristol Flyers II were knocked out of the play-offs by a hard driving Derby Trailblazers II team, losing 90-109.

Flyers pairing of Jermaine Major and Nestor Saa led the team with 16 points apiece but Flyers II were unable to contain the Trailblazers, with forwards Ashley Ugo and Leighton Elliot-Sewell combining for 62 points.


What Happened

Derby pressed for most of the game and Flyers saw early success against this defensive strategy with a pair of fast break layups. Derby kept the intensity high and an early dunk from Leighton Elliott-Sewell from an offensive board showed how dangerous the Blazers are in the paint.

Continued drives led to foul trouble for the Flyers. Coach Khan called timeout with Flyers down 6-10 in the third minute but Derby’s press continued to trouble Flyers with scoring from turnovers extending the lead.

Flyers got into a hole early falling behind 18 to 32 after eight minutes of play and picking up ten fouls in the quarter.

Blazers guard Kayne King commanded the fast moving offence. King delivered an impressive 15 assists to go alongside his 13 points and was key in setting up paint scoring throughout

The Flyers press break ran more smoothly in the second quarter and they managed to pull back the lead to just five points. Jermaine Major made effective drives and tough finishes in the paint to lead the comeback. 

Heading into half-time Flyers Curtly Ferguson picked up his third foul, with Ashley Ugo converting both free throws. The teams headed to the locker rooms with Blazers ahead 51-59

Blazers kept up their intensity in the third period with Elliott-Sewell racking up more points in the paint and at the foul line early. Flyers switched to a zone defence aiming to reduce the bleeding in the paint. Trailblazers Merson Paul stepped up with sharp shooting, converting four three pointers in the second half and totalling 21 points in the game.

Flyers Nestor Saa stepped up with a nine point fourth quarter. Adding defence and scoring from the bench was Ebuka Ekwegh, who was perfect from two point range, converting six of six shots inside and totalling 15 points. Flyers kept the deficit in reach and were down ten points with four minutes to go.

However, further turnovers and fast break points took any hope of a comeback away in the final minutes. The exclamation point on the fast break scoring came with a two handed slam from Ashley Ugo. Trailblazers pushed the lead back out to 90-109 to win the game. 

Flyers are knocked out of the Division four playoffs while Trailblazers will progress to the semifinals. However, Flyers league campaign success and the win in Division three South West affords them the opportunity for promotion into Division three south next season.

“With Aistis Keliauskas and Jordan Daniels on the injury list Derby brought their full team including their young D1 stars.” Coach Ehjaz told bristolflyers.co.uk.

We went down by 16 early and their top scorer Leighton Elliott-Sewell was the difference in the game. So that’s it, great season.

With usual Captain Aistis Keliauskas out with an elbow injury point guard Aiden Khan captained the team. Aiden’s ball handling, court vision and defensive effort were all present and correct in his final game with the Flyers II and earned him the coaches MVP award. In particular Coach Khan cited his limiting his turnovers against high defensive pressure and controlling the game as highlights of his performance.

The Flyers second team has drawn together players from the UWE Jets programme, the SGS Academy Flyers and veterans from the Bristol area and the team has gelled well and produced remarkable results in their first year together. Despite the loss we are looking forward to a new challenge as we set our sights on Division three South next year.

Image credit - Bryony Parker