Week 12 Preview – Northern Conference

Joe Pinchin/Leicester Riders

There’s plenty to look forward to in week 12 as three of the Northern Conference’s four games involve match ups between sides next to each other in the standings.

Derby Trailblazers Academy (5-1) v Charnwood College (5-1)

With both sides hot on the heels of leaders Myerscough, tomorrow’s match up in the Midlands should draw plenty of attention for all the right reasons. A win would put either side in outright 2nd, an important place to be as the season heads towards the home stretch.

Derby’s Blake Bowman continues to churn out eye catching plays and impressive stat lines, demonstrating his ability at this level. Transitioning to a more prominent role in Derby’s NBL Division One side has also aided his development.

For Charnwood, they still have plenty of strings to their bow but none more prominent than Blaize Sagna. The talented guard leads the team in efficiency (25.0), points per game (24.4) and rebounds per game (9.0).

2018/19 result – Derby Trailblazers Academy 76-101 Charnwood College

Manchester Magic Academy (3-4) v SGS College (2-5)

It’s a 5th plays 6th contest in the North West and there’s plenty at stake for both sides.

Manchester have had an up and down season so far, but they’re still just one win away from James Watt College in the 4th and final playoff spot. A win tomorrow would help their push for the post season, and if they’re successful it’ll be down to a great team ethos. Only one player currently averages double digit scoring per game on this Manchester roster (Malachi Boakye-Yiadom, 10.4ppg), yet six other players all average six points or more per contest. A balanced attack, to say the least.

SGS head into tomorrow’s game looking for a little separation between themselves and the likes of Sheffield and Newcastle at the foot of the table. A third win of the season would also represent real progress against last year’s 1-13 record, so this is a programme heading in the right direction. Finlay Woodward and Marvin Dinnall form an excellent forward/guard combo that Manchester will need to account for.

2018/19 result – Manchester Magic Academy 77-46 SGS College

Newcastle Eagles Academy (0-7) v The Sheffield College (1-6)

A battle between the bottom two sides in the division, Sheffield head to Newcastle tomorrow looking for their first win since late September.

The Eagles are yet to taste success however, struggling to match most of their opponents so far. Tomorrow’s contest potentially represents Newcastle’s best chance at a win this year, so they’ll have plenty to play for.

For Sheffield, a victory would see them back in contention with the sides above them, especially with SGS and Manchester playing each other and one side guaranteed to lose. Tom Morey still averages over 18ppg despite Sheffield’s struggles, he’ll be hoping to pull his team to a 2nd win of the season.

2018/19 result – Newcastle Eagles Academy 97-76 The Sheffield College

James Watt College (4-3) v Myerscough College (7-0)

After moving through the opening half of their schedule without a loss, Myerscough head towards the playoffs with a road game in Birmingham against a James Watt side they’re already beaten 85-46 this season.

What can JWC do to turn the tide in their favour this time around? Ian Rodriguez remains on a tear this year, averaging 24.0ppg, but he’ll need some support if the Northern Conference’s 4th place side are going to spring a surprise. Look to Josh Ijeh and Wakeem Richardson to step up if this one is going to stay close.

Little has come close to slowing Myerscough this season, home or away. Amari Williams’ 21.2 efficiency and 13.3ppg are both impressive stats, though it was Joseph Bankole who hit six 3-pointers when these sides last met.

2018/19 result – James Watt College 71-92 Myerscough College

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