Derby College/Noel Baker School vs Myerscough College

Derby ended Myerscough’s unbeaten start to the season with an exciting 79-76 overtime victory in a thrilling end to end EABL encounter at Noel Baker Academy on Wednesday.

Derby finished regulation on a dominant run to force OT where they managed to hold on to the win, behind 20 points from Leighton Elliott-Sewell and 16 from Essel-Jaji.

After the game Derby Coach Shaw commented: “I’m delighted for our guys. They showed a lot of heart and put in an outstanding effort. We made some tough plays at the end and in overtime.

“It’s a big win against one of the strong teams in our conference so it’s also a great confidence boost for the lads. I thought all the players made a positive contribution which is also pleasing. Now the challenge is to maintain that level in the coming weeks.”

Konrad Kantorski led Myerscough with 23, whilst Edoardo Del Cadia had 17 of his 22 in the first half.

The first quarter was a sign of things to come as the lead changed hands several times and the pace was frantic. Myerscough implemented a full court press and both teams switched between man and zone defences with both tactics causing the opposition some problems. Derby took the first quarter 19-17.

Myerscough came back to lead again, largely through the work on Del Cadia who had 17 first half points. But the half ended with a Derby three from Tzion Essel-Jaji as Derby regained the lead at 39-36 at the interval.

The third quarter saw both teams enjoy their largest lead of the game, Derby started well to push out to a 45-38, but suddenly the home teams scoring dried up. Derby went 6 minutes without connecting despite a couple of timeouts to try to regroup, meanwhile, Myerscough continued to find their rhythm to piece together a 16-0 run to take charge at 45-54. Derby did finally score and then an Elliott-Sewell’s 3 at the end of the period reducing the deficit to 50-54 going into the final period.

Myerscough held the lead for most of the fourth quarter and when Kantorski connected with another 3 (he had five in the game) Derby called their final timeout down 59-68 with 2.48 left to play. Then, Derby seemed to turn up the defensive pressure and held Myerscough scoreless on the final sequence of possessions including a couple of steals.

Meanwhile, at the other end Essel-jaji connected with back to back triples and when Elliott-Sewell finished with a smooth reverse layup with 24 seconds left the score was suddenly tied at 68-a-piece. Myerscough cleverly held for the final shot but failed to connect on the buzzer and the game went to overtime.

Myerscough’s Papa opened overtime with an and-1 play but Derby hit straight back, again through an Essel-Jaji downtown shot. Misambu, Essel Jaji and Lue all made tough shots around the basket for Derby while Papa did the same for Myerscough to go with a Kantorski triple to take the scores to 77-76 going into the final 50 seconds.

A big defensive stop from Derby was followed by a massively contested floater from Misambu which he netted to give the Trailblazers a three point lead. The final play saw Okros get off a well contested 3 but he failed to connect and Derby secured the rebound to hang on for the win.

Derby host BMet James WAtt in two weeks while Myerscough will have a visit from Charnwood on the same day.

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