Charnwood College 89 – 84 Derby Trailblazers Academy

Charnwood took a major step towards securing the Northern Conference’s #2 seed with a narrow 89-84 win over Derby.

It was a close contest throughout the first quarter between two sides with the same regular season record. Stuart Matimba got off to a good scoring start scoring 8 of his 25 points in the first quarter.

However some balanced scoring from the hosts, with six names on the score sheet, saw them with only a 1 point deficit to the visitors.

Blaize Sagna really showed his scoring dominance during the 2nd period, scoring 13 points straight for the home side, however some late scores from Derby in transition saw them keeping it within 5 going into the break.

Charnwood got off to a flying start in the second half, with Greg Wild and Victor Ndoukou each hitting a triple to start the period forcing head Coach Matt Shaw to call an earl time out.

However, it was big man Victor Ndoukou who did the damage scoring 9 points straight for the home side to see them take Charnwood up by as many as 16 during the 3rd quarter.

However, Derby refused to go away and it was Charlie Brown and Blake Bowman who stepped up for the visitors in the fight back. Combining for 14 points late in the 3rd made for an even quarter, with Derby still trailing 68-63.

A great offensive display from both sides in the 4th quarter made for an exciting contest down the stretch.

With some tough finishes inside and sharp shooting from Derby, the Trailblazers cut the lead and made the contest a tied game. Moments later, Adu hit a clutch 3 to push the visitors into their first lead for some time, forcing Charnwood into a time out.

Victor Ndoukou continued to score inside, and a huge 3 by Greg Wild saw the home side take the lead again, this time for good. Charnwood came up with vital stops down the stretch to see out the game.

“Huge credit to Derby who showed great resilience today,” stated Charnwood head coach Will Maynard.

“For us, we need to use depth better, and guys need to be ready to play when checking in to the game.

“We need to have better focus and not let our lead slip. Our defence really needs to improve if we have a shot of going all the way again this year.

“If we can lock up and lock in on defence for 40 minutes, it makes us dangerous.”

Charnwood’s Blaize Sagna and Derby’s Stuart Matimba led the scoring with 25 point each, whilst Victor Ndoukou had 19 for the home side, and Blake Bowman finished with a double-double of 23 points and 13 rebounds for Derby.

Charnwood face James Watt College this Wednesday at home, after a close contest in the West Midlands when the teams last met.

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