Quade Green continued a red-hot start to his Caledonia Gladiators career by dropping 33 points on Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles in the 2023/24 British Basketball League Men’s Championship.

Point guard Green, a recent arrival at the Playsport Arena in East Kilbride, racked up his highest points total with the injury-hit Scottish side to date. On the other end of the floor, centre Clifton Moore Jr. produced four blocks and set a personal rebounding record, grabbing 17 boards.

Newcastle missed the chance to close in on the Gladiators in the battle for third in the league table, though the fourth-placed Eagles do have two games in hand on their opponents.

First Half

Caledonia came into this one missing four players through injury, including Great Britain international Patrick Whelan and captain Fahro Alihodzic.

Despite their shortened roster, the Glad’s started strongly, as Lukas Palyza draining a triple for the first points of the game.

Despite getting clobbered on his way to the basket, Quade Green got up and running with a contested reverse lay-up finish, and duly added the extra from the free-throw line for the ‘and one’ play.

Newcastle fought their way back into it, with Rickey McGill drilling a slick three-pointer to bring it back to two points.

Clifton Moore Jr. responded for the Gladiators, getting up high for an ‘alley-oop’. Moore was putting on a block party on the other end of the floor, emphatically swotting away Jordan Johnson’s attempt.

Eagles couldn’t get going offensively, and were indebted to a buzzer-beater three from McGill to keep them within nine points after the first quarter.

Newcastle began to make some headway in the second frame. Back-up big Malcolm Delpeche, who provided a punch off the bench for his side, was on the money with a left-handed hook shot, before Rickey McGill made a reverse lay-in for a 5-0 run.

Eagles’ starting five are averaging 66 points per game this season, and they kept chipping away at Caledonia’s lead through Jordan Johnson’s cool shooting from the free throw line.

Newcastle’s veteran centre Darius Defoe produced an agile glide to the basket to lat it up and in. A pull-up jump shot from McGill reduced Caledonia’s lead to six in a 7-0 run for the visitors.

But the Gladiators finished the half strongly on both ends of the floor. A fast break into the Newcastle half create a three-on-one, before Green dished the ball to Onwas for the lay-in.

On defence, Moore once gain lived up to his nickname of the ‘the Block Ness Monster’, dramatically denying Josh Ward-Hibbert at the rim.

The centre had already bagged a double double and four blocks in the first half, which ended 49-37 in Caledonia’s favour.

Second Half

Newcastle came out swinging, with Tajh Green jamming home a two-handed slam and fellow All-Star McGill providing a four-point run.

In a blow to Eagles’ hopes of a comeback, McGill picked up his fourth personal foul early on, forcing coach Marc Steutel to sit him for a large chunk of the second half.

Quade Green took over for Caledonia, draining a couple of three-pointers, including one with the shot clock running down.

It became Green v Green for a moment in the third, as Tajh Green responded with a fast break bucket, before Quade Green was at it again, turning on a dime in the paint to nail a jump shot.

Newcastle were not their usual high-scoring selves, but kept hanging around, not allowing Caledonia’s lead to get much more than 10 points.

Johnson and Austin Jr. helped them edge the third quarter and make it a nine-point game heading into the final frame.

Eagles started the fourth quarter strongly, Delpeche bullying his way to the basket to lay it in. Fraser Malcolm answered with a corner three for Caledonia, before Delpeche hit back, this time with a two-handed jam.

The game had exploded into life, with both teams trading buckets. Another big time three from Malcolm and a driving lay-up from the irrepressible Green wrestled the advantage back for Caledonia.

McGill checked back into the game and made three free throws from the line, to once more get the defect down to nine points.

However, the dynamic duo of Green and Moore was not going to be denied. A bounce pass from Green to Moore allowed the big man to put an exclamation mark on the result with a thunderous slam.

The pair have quickly formed a formidable partnership, which could be a huge weapon for the Gladiators come play-off time, with a couple of key players still to return from the treatment room.