Report via British Basketball League

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Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles fell to the Caledonia Gladiators in major British Basketball League Championship clash.

Quade Green headlined a high-character performance for Caledonia, as they battled a stubborn Newcastle side to earn a victory that potentially pushes them beyond the reach of their opponents in the table.

First Half:

There was a notable buzz in the Vertu Motors Arena ahead of Thursday pivotal tie between the Eagles and Gladiators. Newcastle entered the game one spot behind the visitors in the table, aiming to apply pressure to the Scottish side. Caledonia travelled to Tyndeside with the goal of breaking free from the middle of the pack and chasing down Cheshire in second position.

Well, the depleted Glads got off to the perfect start. Gareth Murray’s teams raced out of the blocks, sharing scoring duties across the lineup and earning a double-digit lead within the first four minutes of the contest.

Caledonia got off to a 7-11 start from deep in the opening period, catching fire early on from downtown, as seven members of a nine-man squad made their mark on the scoring column through the first ten minutes to take control of the game and finished the quarter up by 11.

Well, this half was certainly a tale of two quarters. Marc Steutel’s group showed tremendous resistance despite the subpar start, fighting back in the second quarter to chip away at the deficit.

Rickey McGill carved out opportunities in the lane to lead the way, while Malcolm Delpeche banged inside to offer a scoring punch from the bench, as Newcastle cut the lead to just one point with three minutes left in the half.

Caledonia saw the rest of the period out, but when the teams split for the break, they only held a four-point advantage.

Second Half:

The teams exchanged buckets as they returned to the floor. Caledonia were able to stave off the host, until Jordan Johnson drained a three to tie the game for the first time in the contest.

A string of jumpers from Quade Green was able to reestablish the lead for Caledonia, but the Eagles just wouldn’t go away and when Johnson sunk another J near the end of the third, the game was tied once again.

Delpeche made a free-throw as the penultimate quarter drew to a close and just like that, Newcastle had a three-point advantage with ten minutes remaining.

The game became chippy as the final quarter began, with words shared after almost every play. Newcastle hustled to maintain their lead, as McGill and Johnson continued to stuff the stat sheet.

Caledonia wouldn’t give up, however; Green showed why he has the keys to the Gladiators’ offence, as he drove the lane confidently and pulled up from beyond the arc with confidence. With just five minutes remaining, the Gladiators were up by two.

Princeton Onwas made some crucial defensive plays, allowing the visitors an opportunity to create an insurmountable lead, but they couldn’t capitalise. Johnson responded for Newcastle with consecutive baskets, making it a one-possession deficit.

Green showcased his quick hands to earn a steal with just under a minute remaining, punishing the team with blistering transition play and drawing an unsportsmanlike foul. He drained a pair of shots from the stripe and Caledonia were up by three.

Newcastle failed to strike back and from that point, Caledonia saw the game out through a free throw conversion. When the final buzzer sounded, the Gladiators had secured the 90-84 W.

Tonight’s Player of the Game was Quade Green, who spearheaded the Caledonia offence with 32 points, one rebound and two assists.

Rickey McGillSeriös Group Newcastle Eagles 2454
Jordan JohnsonSeriös Group Newcastle Eagles 1938
Quade GreenCaledonia Gladiators3212
Mike BothwellCaledonia Gladiators1511