Scorchers upset by Llynch Trophy winners Derby Trailblazers
Scorchers welcomed division 1 side Derby Trailblazers to the Sports Park for the opening round of the BBL Trophy. The away side looking strong off the back of a winning weekend lifting the division 1 LLynch Trophy. Derby led by finals MVP Malcom Smith who would be key in Derby’s victory on the night with 36 points.
Stanley Davis Jr makes his return from injury wasting no time opening the scoring for scorchers blowing past his defender. Continuing where he left off Raftopoulos knocked down his first 3 pointer in the opening minutes.
Young talent Blake Bowmen was doing it all for Derby in the first quarter. Scoring in transition Bowmen moved to 11 points in the first 4 minutes and would finish with 17 in the opening quarter.
Calming down the Trailblazers scoring run Dean Wanliss checks into the game with a three – pointer and hustle bucket from an offensive rebound. Derby’s hot start to the game placed them in the lead 27 – 32.
Davis Jr’s size and athleticism at the guard spot was a tough match up for Derby. Starting the 2nd quarter Davis getting to the hoop at will moving to 9 points. At the other end Scorchers were unable to adjust to Derby’s tempo of pushing the ball in transition as Ashley Ugo and Malcom Smith find joy on the break tallying 60 points at the half for Derby.
At the halfway mark the difference between the two sides could be seen in fast break points as Derby trumps the home side 24 points to 2 as they headed to the locker room 44 – 60.
An early blow to Scorchers to start the 2nd half as Legend Robertin fouls out the game. With Saiquan Jamison still out to injury Scorchers lose their size advantage inside.
Frustration increased as Coach Creon’s side turned to 1 on 1 play with little success. Derby hustle hard on the glass and extend their lead to 23 points as Scorchers look deflated.
With 3 minutes left in the quarter Lamar Hamrick sparks some belief with defensive stops and quick scores to make it a 16-point game with the final quarter to play.
The 4th quarter was not a pretty one as the Surrey couldn’t execute for the first 5 minutes. When the game felt out of reach Hamrick knocks down back-to-back three-pointers to get the crowd at Sports Park on their feet as the home team trial by 9.
The game turned to grit, and grind being decided by which team wanted it the most. With all momentum with the Scorchers Malcom Smith bodies his way to the hoop for 2 points and the foul extending the lead to 12.
McLemore answers back with a three-pointer as hot hand Hamrick adds an arial finish for a 7-point ball game. Coach Creon calls a time out with 40 seconds on the clock with a 5-point difference.
The home side unable to execute out of the time out gives Derby the cushion they need to play this one out and bring the upset to the fans at Sports Park taking a 93 – 98 victory. A respectful fight back from Scorchers just left too late in the game.