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April 26, 2021 by Ben Lang

Newcastle Eagles 87 Surrey Scorchers 82

 

Scorchers saw their BBL Play-Off bid come to an end on Sunday evening as they fell to an 87-82 defeat against Newcastle Eagles.

Creon Raftopoulos’ side travelled north looking to bounce back from a 78-86 loss to Sheffield Sharks on Friday, but their second defeat of a pivotal weekend marked the end of any play-off aspirations.

Scorchers had boasted an excellent record against Eagles following their two victories last month, with these home-court successes helping them play their way into top-eight contention.

However, Eagles led the way from the first quarter and quashed any chances of a Scorchers clean sweep in this fixture, despite the best efforts of Tony Hicks who top-scored for the visitors with 19 points.

Scorchers found themselves trailing by 11 points after the opening eight minutes, but a flurry of scores from Tayo Ogedengbe, Evan Walshe and Caylin Raftopoulos ensured the score was 26-19 to Eagles at the end of the first quarter.

Raftopoulos’ triple was particularly memorable as he managed to beat the buzzer with a half-court shot to reduce the deficit to seven points heading into the second quarter.

The point guard picked up where he left off by knocking down a further two triples before the half-time break, while Hicks and Martelle Mclemore also registered maximum scores.

However, Eagles still maintained their seven-point lead heading into the interval courtesy of some sharp shooting from Rahmon Fletcher who top scored for Eagles on the night with 34 points.

The hosts pulled away from Scorchers in the third with Fletcher continuing his hot streak and Cordez Edwards also proving effective, with this meaning Scorchers needed to overturn a 13-point deficit in the final 10 minutes.

They started the quarter strongly with Hicks and Emondre Rickman all finding the basket to set up an intriguing finale, but Eagles managed to temporarily fend off the Scorchers fightback.

Mclemore then scored consecutive triples in the closing stages to close the gap to just five points, but a series of controversial technical fouls late on meant Scorchers could not close the gap any further.

This disappointing defeat coupled with Bristol Flyers’ win over Manchester Giants means Scorchers have been ruled out of play-off contention ahead of Friday’s final game against Plymouth Raiders.

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