Week 18 Preview – Northern Conference

David Amabilino

With an ever decreasing number of games between now and the end of the season, time is nearly up for making a move and securing a spot in the post season. There’s three games in the Northern Conference tomorrow, all of which involve teams chasing the playoffs.

Derby Trailblazers Academy (7-3) v Manchester Magic Academy (6-4)

It’s a 3rd v 4th affair in the Midlands and with 5th place James Watt just one win behind the Magic at present, Manchester really can’t afford dropped points if they want to remain in the playoff picture.

Good news on that front comes in the fact they ran the Trailblazers close when the teams first met this year, eventually losing out by single digits. Keeping Blake Bowman (28.4ppg) quiet will be a difficult task, but the Magic are one of the Conference’s strongest teams defensively, so that could prove to be an interesting match up.

Previous meeting in 2019/20 – Manchester Magic Academy 85 – 92 Derby Trailblazers Academy

Newcastle Eagles Academy (0-11) v James Watt Academy (5-6)

James Watt will look to keep the pressure on for a post season spot as they head to the North East. Comfortable winners when these sides last met, JWC will need to do a professional job if they’re to bounce back from last week’s 95-71 loss to Charnwood.

The Midlands programme finish their season away to Newcastle, at home to Derby and on the road against Sheffield. Ideally they’d like to win at least two of those games to jump 4th place Manchester, who still need to play Derby tomorrow, 2nd place Charnwood and leaders Myerscough before the end of their regular season.

Previous meeting in 2019/20 – James Watt Academy 120 – 38 Newcastle Eagles Academy

Charnwood College (9-2) v SGS College (3-10)

Owning both the head-to-head tiebreaker with third place Derby plus a six point advantage at present, Charnwood look good value to lock up the #2 seed sooner rather than later and beating SGS tomorrow would take them another step closer.

Having only tasted defeat twice this year (both times to leaders Myerscough), Charnwood have been in good form all season and on their home court they’ll be tough to overcome. That shouldn’t deter SGS though, who finish their campaign tomorrow and despite not being able to make the playoffs still have a lot to play for. A win would likely secure 6th spot, keeping SGS ahead of Sheffield in the process, so there’s still plenty on offer.

Previous meeting in 2019/20 – SGS College 66 – 91 Charnwood College

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