Report: Manchester Giants 89-93 Bristol Flyers
Sunday, February 28th 2021
Bristol Flyers worked their way to a two win weekend, with a road victory over Manchester Giants.
Josh Wilcher led Flyers with a 23 point performance, adding seven assists and four rebounds.
Jordan Whelan was hot to start the game, racking up points inside and out to give Giants an early lead. Eric Lockett ground out second chance scores to keep the game tight and Marcus Delpeche checked in and raised the tempo, running the floor for great position to score. Sam Cassell Jr. hit a pair of threes and drawing a foul on the second to complete a four point play. Wilcher showed off his veteran smarts and range - drawing a shooting foul, then pulling up for a three pointer to put Flyers ahead. Delpeche closed out a high-scoring first quarter throwing down an alley oop dunk from Wilcher to make it 26-27.
Lockett opened the second with a smooth pull-up jumpshot, but Donovan Johnson tied the game with more outside scoring. Josh Rogers kept up his impactful play from Friday night, following a miss and drawing a shooting foul. Offensive rebounding continued to be key for Flyers, with Delpeche next to grab a board and fouled on the putback.
Giants new addition Justin Satchell levelled the score with a step back two. Delpeche ran rim to rim for an easy answer and then drew a blocking foul on another transition play to edge Flyers ahead again. Whelan finished a tough angled reverse lay-up but Giants foul trouble gave Wilcher a chance to add more points from the foul line.
Daniel Edozie checked back in and had an impact at both ends, outpacing the Giants bigs down the floor and turning away a shot attempt. Another lay-up from a defensive stop was enough for Coach Danny Byrne to call a timeout. The rest shored up the Giants defence and a put back dunk from Satchell finished the first half 40-46.
Whelan broke down the defence with a drive but Flyers kept crashing the offensive glass and Baker benefitted with a lay-up. Giants closed the gap to a single possession with a three from Whelan and a trip to the line for David Ulph. Flyers responded with Wilcher and Baker splashing threes from the same spot on the arc. Johnson established dangerous inside position and brought it within a point, triggering a timeout from Coach Kapoulas.
After a tough shooting first half, Okereafor put Flyers back ahead with a pull-up at the elbow. He kept the run going with a steal and spot up three. A buzzer-beating three from Baker gave Flyers a 57-64 edge at the end of the third.
Manchester made another run to start the final quarter, capitalising on Flyers turnovers to cut into the lead. Delpeche settled his side with a trip to the foul line. A Satchell three pointer was rapidly responded with a Delpeche drive. Another three from Whelan kept Flyers fans on the edge of their sofas. Okereafor expertly marshalled a pick and roll to hand Delpeche the ball in front of the rim for a powerful one handed dunk. A Lockett lay-up gave Coach Byrne cause to call time with the lead lengthened to nine points.
Wilcher fed his forwards for scores, first sending Edozie to the line then dishing to Delpeche for a high flying dunk. The Flyers forward had a huge night off the bench with a 19 point, 10 rebound double-double. Another Lockett driving lay-up gave Flyers their largest lead of the game at eleven points.
Manchester refused to let the game get away from them with Johnson and Whelan splitting a 6-0 run. Whelan kept the pressure on with another driving score, on his way to a game high 29 points. Edozie cleaned up a missed lay-up with a well timed tip-in.
Another offensive foul for Flyers gave Coach Byrne a chance to draw up a play with the game not yet out of reach but only a minute remaining. Giants were unable to execute out of the time out and Wilcher worked his way back to the line. A pair of three pointers from Sam Cassell Jr. kept the home side looking dangerous but Flyers veteran backcourt of Okereafor and Wilcher sealed the victory for Bristol at the foul line.