Michael Miller - The First Interview
Posted: Friday, June 11th 2021
Sunday, October 7th 2018
Flyers II suffered a crushing road defeat, falling 94-53 against Team Solent Kestrels II.
David Mann led the Flyers with 20 points despite limited minutes due to foul trouble. He was supported by new addition Louis Luparello with 11 points. Kestrels rookie forward Matt Hughes did the most damage with 31 points.
Flyers started strong with Jakub Kulig finding a cutting Mann to get to the foul line and put Flyers ahead early. The physicality from both teams remained a constant throughout the game, with Kestrels doing a good job of defending the paint. Mann was able to get going with a pull-up three pointer. From then on the Flyers offence looked disjointed with a miss then a pair of bad pass turnovers on the next two possessions.
Kestrels were able to get out of the gate with a baseline out of bounds play with a pick getting Kalvin Anns open for a corner three. Owen answered with an aggressive drive but could not finish through the contact. A defensive lapse from Kulig allowed Kestrels guard Theo King to find centre Daniel Bryan for an alley-oop lay-up to put Kestrels ahead for the first time in the game.
Kulig responded with a well-run pick and roll with Jordan Daniels resulting in a shooting foul from Bryan. He only made one of the resulting free throws which brought the game level again as Kestrels made their first substitutions.
Flyers continued to struggle to find each other and another turnover caused Coach Khan to make subs with Stephen Foard and Rhys Farrell entering the game. Mann stayed low on defence for a steal and breakaway layup through a foul. He missed the free throw but grabbed the rebound and laid it back up for a four point play.
With none of the Flyers starters left in the game, Kestrels were able to regroup and capitalise. Their pin down action resulted in a made three for Hughes and a miss at the other end allowed Kestrels to run it right back for an easy lay-up. Maranan followed by anticipating a hand off and making a steal and lay-up. Having found the rim he pulled up for a three from distance next time down to complete a 10-0 run.
Kestrels finished the quarter with more cutting into the paint, this time Kalvin Anns getting open under the basket for an easy lay-up. Flyers ended the quarter down 25-17.
Coach Khan put Mann back into the game to start the second and tried Levi Pither out at point guard. Maranan remained hot, hitting a step back three over Pither on the first possession. Kestrels limited Flyers to outside shooting and the long rebounds let them keep scoring in transition with Maranan making a coast to coast layup on the next play.
Mann was able to stem the bleeding with a couple of defensive stops, but Flyers continued to struggle to find the basket over strong interior defence. Mann was frustrated to pick up an offensive foul on a turnaround jumper in the post to take him back out of the game and put Owen in as the shooting guard.
Hughes made a strong baseline drive to draw a foul and get back to the line. Owen pushed the tempo to draw a shooting foul of his own. He made the first free throw and missed the second but an offensive rebound and made basket by Kulig turned it into a three point play.
Flyers’ celebration was short-lived when Hughes beat everyone back down the floor for an embarrassingly easy two points igniting another Kestrels run. Farrell responded with a strong drive but missed both free throws and Maranan was able to cut through the defence for an easy layup next time down.
Flyers woes at the free throw line continued as Luparello missed both free throws to send Kestrels into half time with a commanding 52-25 lead.
Flyers rallied in the third period but were unable to do enough to get back into the game going 20-17 across the quarter to see the lead grow to 30 points. They went back to the benches with the score 73-42. Flyers were listless again in the final period and Kestrels closed out with another dominant ten minutes of basketball to bring in the win 94-53.
Bristol Flyers II are back in action against Essex Blades on Saturday October 13th (5.30pm).
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