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Report: Cheshire Phoenix 81-84 Bristol Flyers (OT)

Bristol Flyers gutted out an overtime road win against Cheshire Phoenix to claim their first league win of the season.

Eric Lockett did a little bit of everything for Flyers with a 13 point, 12 rebound double-double adding nine assists and four steals, whilst Marcus Delpeche made a triumphant return to the starting lineup with a 22 point, 13 rebound double-double of his own.

BOX SCORE


WHAT HAPPENED

Cheshire got off to a fast start with their new addition, Jimbo Lull winning the tip and sinking a hook shot. Lockett got to work feeding the Flyers bigs the ball, assisting Delpeche and then Daniel Edozie for scores. Phoenix were successful getting to the basket and drawing shooting fouls. A three-pointer from Jalen Hayes was swiftly answered by Zach Copeland.

Lockett drove and kicked it out to Teddy Okereafor on the perimeter for another three pointer. Flyers pulled ahead with Lockett deflecting a pass and finding Copeland on the fast break. Coach Ben Thomas rallied his players with a timeout and Kahron Ross came out firing, putting the Nix up 23-19 to finish the quarter. 

Sol Rolls-Tyson showcased his shooting with a nice fadeaway at the elbow to extend the lead. Delpeche went to work around the basket in the second quarter, drawing shooting fouls on successive possessions and doing his damage from the free throw line. Another Lockett steal allowed Delpeche to run the floor and score through contact to complete a three point play.

A transition three from Disraeli Lufadeju extended the lead but Edozie answered with a turnaround jump-shot. Both teams looked tired already as the quarter wound down, with turnovers on both sides and scores hard to come by. The welcome half-time break saw Phoenix up 36-32. 

Flyers won the third quarter to level the game. Delpeche brought energy for Bristol, running the floor and attacking the offensive glass for easy scores. Lockett turned his success from elsewhere on the floor into fuel for his shot making, splashing a three pointer and then driving to the low block and pulling up for two points.

Liam Davis showed his range, spotting up for a huge three-pointer to tie it up at 47. Delpeche and Rolls-Tyson exchanged lay-ups to make it 49-49 at the end of the third.

Davis had the hot hand, connecting from mid-range then following up with another three-pointer to extend Flyers lead to six points early in the fourth. The Phoenix back court of Ross and Mike McCall Jr. tied it back up with a pair of threes.

Cheshire built a five point lead with Ross finding Pharroh Gordon for another three and McCall Jr. feeding Jalen Hayes for a lay-up. Coach Kapoulas took time out with four minutes remaining, but a Cheshire forced a turnover and Copeland was lured into an unsportsmanlike foul trying to chase down Ross on the fast break. Ross completed the lay-up, sank the free throw and drew a shooting foul on the resulting additional possession to double the home team’s lead in a fast five point swing to force another Flyers timeout.

Bristol locked in on the defensive end and were able to generate crucial stops. Feeding their forwards the ball in the high post unlocked the Nix’ zone defence and trips to the foul line for Okereafor and Copeland allowed them to eat into the lead.

A triple from Ross looked like it could put the game out of reach, but Copeland stepped up and answered back. Lockett was able to breeze past the defence with a euro step and another stop allowed Okereafor the chance to tie the game at 71 with a clutch three-pointer. Flyers forced a tough midrange jumpshot miss to send the game to overtime.

A nervy start to OT saw both teams give up transition scores from turnovers. Copeland’s outside shooting edged Bristol ahead, but Cheshire retook the lead with a Hayes lay-up followed by a trip to the line for Lull.

A put back lay-up for Delpeche swung the needle back to Flyers. A crucial stop with seconds remaining forced Cheshire to foul Copeland and he sealed the win at the foul line, hitting two free throws to finish it 81-84.