Derby Trailblazers Academy vs James Watt College

Derby Trailblazers Academy claimed their first EABL victory of the season with a game against James Watt College that ended in a convincing 19 point triumph. However, it was anything but a comfortable win for the Blazers as the Birmingham-based visitors pushed them all the way and lead at the half.

James Watt started well behind some sharp shooting from Luke Caulwell, who netted three early three-pointers, and Rodriguez who scored 10 in the first period. Derby’s forwards Luke Ptak (six) and Blake Bowman (seven) combined for 13 early points between them as the quarter ended 18-21 to the visitors.

Cameron Samuels, Cyon James and Stuart Matimba all connected from behind the arc as Derby gained the lead at the start of the second quarter. But Lynch responded well for James Watt as he took over as the scoring threat for the visitors, draining nine points in the period. The lead changed several times but a strong end to the quarter left James Watt up 37-42 at the break.

Derby came out guns blazing after the restart as they exerted extra pressure on the James Watt scorers and found some rhythm at the offensive end. The Blazers scored the first nine points of the period, going on a 19-5 burst to gain control at 56-47. For James Watt, Richardson suddenly became the go to man. He became the fourth visiting player to score nine points in a single period. Heading into the fourth quarter the game was still in the balance, with Derby holding a narrow 60-56 lead.

Derby final found some breathing space in the fourth, as Tzion Essel-Jaji and Bowman both hit from downtown, then Samuels put the game to bed with a trio of three-pointers in a two-minute stretch. Defensively it was largely Essel-Jaji, Matimba and Tyler Mutemasango who collectively focused on guarding Caulwell and Rodriguez, holding them to just two points in the second half after their early onslaught. In the end Derby ran out with a 85-66 triumph, with Charlie Brown lead Derby on the boards with 12 rebounds.

Blazers’ Coach Matt Shaw commented afterwards, “It was another exciting EABL game that provided a real test for our guys. It was pleasing to see how we were able to raise our defensive intensity and find ways to stop some of their threats. We still have a lot of room to improve but I’m pleased for the lads to get their first win of the season.”

Scorers:-

Derby – Bowman 19, Ptak 18, Samuels 14, Essel-Jaji 11, Matimba 9, Mutemasango 9

James Watt – Rodriguez 17, Richardson 16, Lynch 12, Cauldwell 10

 

Next week Derby host Sheffield College, while James Watt travel to Myerscough.

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