Lions Edge BBL Cup Semi Final

Vince MacaulayThe Marshall MK Lions have the edge in their BBL Cup semi-final clash with the Cheshire Jets, after beating them 88-84 in the first leg on Friday evening, but the Jets will be encouraged by the fact that a dominant third quarter helped them to recover from a 21 point half-time deficit.

The Lions led 59-38 at the halfway point after a 31-18 second quarter. However, the Jets opened the third quarter with an 18-1 burst to get back into the game, and on three occasions in the fourth period they were within two points. The Lions held out, and had five players scoring in double figures, led by 21 from Frank Holmes. The other two players from across the Atlantic, EJ Harrison and Dawud Morris, both contributed well with 18 and 17 points respectively. Shawn Myers scored 17 of his 28 points in the second half to lead the Jets, and he was backed up by James Hamilton (16) and Chez Marks (14).

Back to BBL Championship action, and although it was not all smiles for the Lions as they lost 93-82 on Saturday to Guildford Heat. Mike Martin proved to be the difference between the two sides, as he had 26 points in this encounter. Heat Player-Coach Chad McKnight also had 18 points, whilst 'LA' Aaron Drakeford had 19 points for the Heat. Leading all scorers in the game though, was Dawud Morris, as the American posted 29 points personal, and EJ Harrison impressed against his former club with 23.

The Newcastle Eagles leapfrogged the Jets and drew level with the Lions in second place in the league table this weekend, as they beat the Everton Tigers 88- 82 at the Metro Radio Arena and followed this up with a hard fought win over the Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders in the East Midlands the following night. Although the final score line was 94-102 in the Eagles favour against Leicester, the scores were tied at 84-84 with four minutes remaining. Charles Smith top scored for the Eagles with 21 points, which was matched by Bradd Wierzbicki for the home side, but it was a combination of Tack Minor and Jason Johnson who led the scoring, with 29 points each.

The Essex Pirates will want to put this weekend behind them as they went down 77-88 at home to the Worthing Thunder. The win moved them into the playoff places, and Reggie Bratton was the star man in this one with 31 points. To rub salt in the wound for Time Lewis' side, they also lost out to local rivals, PAWS London Capital, on Sunday. Led by Ibrahim Gariba and Santa Ataha with 18 points each, the ever- improving Capital are now on the brink of the playoff spots, as they hammered the Pirates 70-48.

Other teams hurting after this weekend will include the Jets, as Sheffield's Ryan Patton showed off from behind the line to sink 10/14 on his way to a team high 44 points, whilst Mike Cook bagged 30 of his own, to send the Jets crashing down 89-108 to the Sheffield Sharks on Sunday, whilst the Worcester Wolves lost 111-59 at the Glasgow Rocks.


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