Newcastle Eagles down Plymouth City Patriots despite releasing Lesley Varner whom Steutel called “an absolute professional.”
Javion Hamlet’s 16 points through out the first half inspired a struggling Eagles team to a 21 point first half lead. The Tyne and Wear side exited with 61-40 lead at the half.
Extraordinary defense from Marc Steutel’s team including double teams and traps lead the Eagles to their second straight home victory.
The Eagles gaffer brought in another weapon this week, Justin Everett who played the beginning part of the season in Saudi Arabia with Al Wehda where he averaged 13.8 points and 8.9 rebounds through his six games at the club this season.
Patriots starter Elvisi Dusha was put in early foul trouble and totaled two fouls after playing a mere 95 seconds.
Half way through the first quarter, Ben Mockford Hit a fast break three extending the Eagles lead to five before forcing Patriots coach Paul James to call a timeout in an attempt to regroup his players.
Toward the end of the first quarter, Everett and Denzel Ubiaro both made first quarter appearances which resulted in enthusiasm for both the team and the crowd at Vertu Motors Arena.
The Eagles finished the quarter with 60% on the floor, going 12-20 grabbing 30 points in the first quarter. This resulted with the Eagles nursing a nine point lead over the Patriots going into the second.
James had to make hard decisions that saw Sam Keita, Markedric Bell and Dusha tally up three personal fouls with over 2 minutes left to play in the second quarter. Keita only played two minutes and 20 seconds before his third foul.
Jermel Kennedy’s catch and shoot corner three saw the Eagles extend their lead to 10 after three minutes into the second quarter.
Steutel’s side played strategic traps and double teams causing eight Patriot turnovers in the first half. Adding 11 points off turnovers for the Eagles.
To end the first half, Patriot starters Troy Simons and Bell combined for 23 of the teams 40 points before the start of the third.
Starting the third quarter saw, yet again, the Eagles third quarter woes as the Patriots pushed to a 9-2 run to start the third quarter. The Patriots were in the bonus with 6:28 left in the quarter.
Mid-way through the third quarter saw another alley-oop from David Cohn to fan favorite Duke Shelton.
The visitors had to deal with their sixth man, Keita, who fouled out with 1:15 left in the third quarter, despite only playing four minutes and 47 seconds. Keita finished with two points and two rebounds.
Hamlet lead a motivated Eagles team with 24 points entering the final quarter of play.
Early in the fourth quarter saw the visitors assessed a fourth technical foul which was given to Simons. The previous technicals were assed to Dusha, Bell, and Patriots coach James.
Javion Hamlet decided to add to his assist tally after gifting Kennedy an oop leading to a highlight poster for the Eagles. Following the poster James called another timeout after the Patriots went down 20.
With 2:31 left in the fourth Patriots guard Simons was ejected after being assessed his second technical of the game. Before the technical shot was taken a member of the bench was assessed a technical totaling six for James’ team. The Patriots were fighting for a fourth quarter comeback win and only down 10 before Hamlet sunk the two technical free throws.
Kennedy and Hamlet combined for 50 of the teams 108 points in their 108-96 victory.
Although the determination and fight was present for the Patriots, committing 28 fouls – six of which are technicals and saw two players end with four fouls and another three foul out – proved detrimental in hopes to get revenge against the Eagles after knocking them out of the BBL cup earlier in the season.
Plymouth City will travel home to Plymouth Pavilions to open up a three game home stint and look to bounce back against the Caledonia Gladiators on October 30.
The Newcastle Eagles will stay at home and look to continue their climb up the table against the only team yet to record a win this season, the Surrey Scorchers on November 4.