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Owen Parker

Owen Parker writes

Posted Monday, February 12th 2018

Report: Bristol Flyers II 99-62 Oxford Stealers

Bristol Academy Flyers II won a convincing victory against Oxford Stealers at the WISE Arena.

Flyers fell behind in the first quarter but rallied and established a lead that they continued to build throughout the rest of the game.

The win sees the Flyers close the gap on league leaders Huish Taunton Tigers who remain just one win ahead.


What Happened

Flyers got off to a strong start with Jordan Daniels winning the tip and Captain Aistis Keliauskas scoring the first points.

The starters pressed the advantage and dropped seven unanswered points in the first two minutes. Things slowed down from there and Coach Khan rotated in his second unit with the score 10-4 with five minutes remaining in the period.

The reserves also struggled to score and Stealers took advantage of the stalled momentum, with player coach Jermaine Jarvis leading the come back to close out the first ahead by six points, 11-17.

Stealers held Flyers at bay for the first five minutes of the second quarter. Great on ball defence from Adam Hayle produced costly turnovers and while Flyers were able to draw fouls they could not convert their free throw attempts consistently.

Flyers continued to pressure the defence and push the ball into the paint. Jordan Daniels drove baseline and rose up for a two handed dunk to retake the lead.

The first half ended with Flyers ahead 40 to 31 but saw Jordan Daniels suffer an ankle injury as the half ended.

Flyers big man Jakub Kulig took on a distributor role in the third period, making two quick assists on his way to ten points and six assists during the game.

A Keliauskas steal and fast break score meant seven unanswered points to start the third and forced an early time out from the visitors. With Stealers forced to play a shorter rotation because of a limited number of players being available to travel tiredness and foul trouble were both factors in the second half. Flyers continued to defend with intensity, forcing turnovers and making transition baskets.

Curtly Ferguson got two steals from aggressive defence in perimeter passing lanes and both resulted in open dunks; the first an emphatic tomahawk throw down and the second a windmill.

With points advantage a potential factor in determining the league winners if the top teams have the same record Coach Khan took a late time out and drew up a play resulting in a final three pointer by Keliauskas to finish the game 99-62.

Keliauskas led all scorers with 20 points and also added six rebounds, five steals and five assists. Curtly Ferguson was Coach Khan’s MVP for the game with 16 points, four steals, four assists and two blocks. The team was boosted by an impressive 44 points in bench scoring, led by Jermaine Major with 12 points.

The rest of the day saw all Flyers teams securing victories of their own for a total of six wins for the club over the course of the day. The men’s first team showed great character in a come-back win over Glasgow Rocks in the BBL. The Flyers Under 18 South West Conference and Under 16 teams both beat Vale Vipers in earlier games at WISE.

There were four other games played around the rest of NBL Division 4 South West over the weekend with Huish Taunton Tigers beating Gloucester Saxons 87 to 74 on the road, Reading Rockets II beating Surrey Rams at home 69 to 58, Thames Valley Cavaliers II beating Southampton University Sharks 104 to 73 and RCT Gladiators getting a huge win over visitors Oxford City Hoops 123 to 86.

Flyers II play again on Sunday, February 18th away at Oxford City Hoops for a 3pm tip. Flyers II’s next home game is Saturday, Feburary 24th against Surrey Rams with a 4pm tip at the WISE Arena. There is free entry so please come along and show your support.

Image courtesy of Tony Parker.