The Newcastle Eagles gained a tight 78-74 victory over the Cheshire Jets to complete their best ever start to a BBL Championship campaign in Chester on Sunday.
This victory on the road for the Eagles is their fifth straight win which affirms their place at the summit of the BBL Championship.
The Eagles Joe Chapman and Charles Smith led their team with 18 points each but it was Cheshire’s Bill Cole who claimed the top scoring honours. He finished the night with 24 points.
Lifted by the return of Paul Gause, the Eagles overcame a slow start to defeat their opponents and prevail in crunch time.
Baskets were rare in a low scoring start to the game as both teams were tied at 7-7 in the first five minutes. However, the Jets soon got their engines into gear posting an 11-5 run to lead by 20-14 going into the second quarter.
The Jets intensified their offence using the strength of Matt Schneck and the lively Keith Page to extend their lead into double digits at 30-18. Soon after, the Eagles found their shooting range, hitting three consecutive triples to trim the deficit. The Eagles couldn’t grab the lead before the break as the Jets exploded on a 12-0 burst to lead comfortably at halftime.
In the second half, the Eagles received a bit of good fortune with danger man Schneck limping off through an ankle injury. The Geordies scored the first eight points of the quarter to take the reigns at 43-42 with Smith netting a three-pointer.
In the closing minutes of the contest, the game was in balance. The Jets were in foul trouble and missing an influential player which the eagles took advantage of to full effect. Newcastle managed to hold the hosts with a five point lead in the last three minutes to fulfil their best ever start to a league campaign in their history.