James Watt College 87 – 75 Derby Trailblazers Academy

Two Midlands rivals were again involved in a big stakes game as both teams needed wins to fight for the remaining playoff spaces, with hosts James Watt College eventually sealing an 87-75 win.

JWC started off steady with early consistent scoring while Derby were still getting up to speed with the game.

Derby were able to find some rhythm later in the quarter behind their motion offence. Derby finished strong, ending the quarter with an expected close contest at 18-17.

In the second quarter JWC put their foot on the peddle, scoring freely behind some good team defence and balanced scoring on offence. Derby found it hard to get much out of the quarter as the hosts quickly turned defensive stops into points on the other end for a 33-15 quarter and a 51-32 half time lead.

The 3rd quarter was very much a repeat of the 1st. Derby came out with more focus and were able to slow JWC down. The game started to get more physical as the visitors were clinging on, leaving the score at 72-49 going into the last.

Derby threw everything at JWC down the stretch as they never gave up. The hosts were caught in a comfort zone and struggled to find much rhythm.

That allowed Derby to disrupt JWC on both ends of the court and drastically cut into the lead. The point difference and resulting head-to-head tiebreaker was crucial for both teams, turning the contest into a slightly tense affair where every possession counted.

JWC just managed to keep themselves in front though, sealing the tiebreaker in the process.

Top scorers for JWC were Ian Rodriguez with 29, Josh Ijeh on 18 and Ethen Stanley with 10.

Derby’s Blake Bowman had 23 points in reply, with Charlie Brown on 18 and Stuart Matimba on 12.

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