Derby College/Noel Baker School vs Milton Keynes College

In a thrilling EABL encounter Milton Keynes College ended Derby’s unbeaten start to the season with a five point triumph,82-77, to leave the two teams equal in conference play.

Milton Keynes College’s Michael New once again proved his pedigree, dropping 31 points, but it was Milton Keynes connecting on six three pointers in the space of 3 minutes and 20 seconds in the final quarter that put the game away.

It truly was a game of two halves. Trailblazers dominated prior to the break to lead 38-25. Threes from Monk, Wesselingh and Wroe combined with solid defence and the interior play from Nelson and Turner helped Derby build a nice cushion.

However, Milton Keynes started the second half with more confidence and stronger defence, and suddenly it was a contest. Drayton knocked down a three and Wesselingh and Barrett found ways to score but by the end of the quarter Milton Keynes College had closed the gap to 58-57.

And things didn’t get any better for the Trailblazers, as the visitor continued their hot shooting in the fourth, where they went on their three point flurry to lead by thirteen with just 4 minutes to play.

Trailblazers upped their defensive pressure in the final few minutes going on a 15-6 run, but it proved too little too late as Milton Keynes held on for the victory.

Trailblazers were without captain Jessup (knee), Brown (knee), McCluskey (knee), Guddemi and Supple. To add to that, Kravalis also got carried of in the fourth quarter with yet another knee injury.

Coach Shaw commented “It’s one of those things that sometimes happens. We have a really deep squad this year but of course missing those guys makes a big difference. It’s good opportunity for others to step up and I was delighted with the effort and energy our guys gave.

“Our top three scorers today have started just one game this season between them, so we can have no complaints about players stepping up to the challenge.”

Speaking about the opponents he added: “They are always tough. We’d done our homework on them and really didn’t expect them to shoot from the outside the way the did. They play good team basketball. New is a tough match up, strong off the dribble but also showed he has a perimeter game too, I was impressed”

Trailblazers were led by Jake Wesselingh who had 19 points, Josh Monk chipped in with 15 and Kylan Barrett had 10 points and 11 rebounds. For Milton Keynes, aside from New’s 31, Rudger added 10..

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