Derby Trailblazers Academy 80 – 83 Myerscough College

It was fantastic game to end the regular EABL season at Derby College with a contest that had it all. Both teams had plenty to play for, Derby needed a win to make the play offs and jump into 3rd place, but knew that defeat meant they’d drop to 5th place due to a three-way tie with James Watts and Manchester Magic in which they’d finish bottom on basket difference by 3 points. Meanwhile, for Myerscough victory would confirm their total dominance in the Northern Conference ended the season undefeated.

It was Myerscough who came out delivering the first blow in a game that would see incredible swings in momentum, they started with a 9-2 run as the home side struggled in the early moments. It was Meade-Bramble who got Derby going, netting seven points in a row to reduce the deficit and as the teams then exchanged some baskets a Rufus Caines 3 pointer followed by a Dejnek Vel Denek steal and lay up meant Derby ended the quarter 21-18 ahead.

The second quarter certainly belonged to Derby as they produced some of their best basketball of the season. Derby connected with 6 three pointers from 5 different players and managed to play some excellent defence limiting Myerscough to 3 field goal for nearly the entire quarter during a fabulous 26-7 run. Then Ellery nailed a huge 3 on the buzzer at the end of the half for Myerscough to reduce to lead to 19 as Derby went into the half with a surprising 47-28 lead.

Anyone who thought Derby were in control were quickly reminded of the Myerscough weaponry, they exploded at the start of the half as Kaboza drained back to back threes and McGlasson and Alano both connected twice as suddenly the lead was just single digits. Bowman restored some Derby scoring and Matimba once again ghosted in for a couple a floaters as Derby found a bit more rhythm. Charlie Brown drained a three at the end of the period as Derby maintained an advantage, but it had been seriously shaved and the fourth promised to be a spectacle.

It didn’t disappoint. Myerscough went another run which Derby struggle to deal with as the league leaders found ways to score inside the paint and outside the arc.  Meanwhile, Derby couldn’t get too much going at the other end. Bowman netted a three and Matimba connected with a tough lay-up, but that would be all for the hosts during a 20-5 Myerscough run over the first 7 minutes of the final period gave them a 68-78. Derby used their final timeout with just over 3 minutes remaining and the game seemly drifting away. But the Trailblazers weren’t done yet, Bowman downed a huge three and after a stop at the other end Brown keep down and did the same, Derby were back in it and had some momentum. Myerscough scored through Alannu then Bowman drove and scored and after a Matimba steal on the next play Bowman was sent to the line, scoring both Derby were down 78-80 with 40 seconds to play.

With the season on the line, Derby produced a fine defensive stop getting a 24 second violation to give themselves a shot at either tying the game or a three to take the lead with 16 seconds remaining. Brown and Bowman ran a pick and roll, with Brown spotting Meade-Bramble cutting back door with a pin point pass for a deuce to tie the game at 80 a piece with 5.1 seconds left. Timeout Myerscough. With the ball advanced into the front court after the timeout Myerscough found Fajana in the corner, despite being well contested he stepped back and launched a three – it was good! Myerscough end the season undefeated and move onto the play offs, Derby denied in heart-breaking fashion at the death.

After the game Coach Shaw commented “It’s a crushing way to end the season. I am incredible proud of the way the lads fought and battled today and throughout the season.

We’ve competed incredibly well with a roster that lacks height but not heart. They have a lot to proud of during the campaign. Congratulation to Myerscough, they found a way to win and remain unbeaten, we threw absolutely everything at them. They have some great players and will certainly be tough to stop in the post season”

Derby:

Bowman 28, Matimba 16, Meade-Bramble 15, Dejnek Vel Denek 9

Myerscough:

Fajana 23, McGlasson 16, Kaboza 15 Gargan 13

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