In what was a physical encounter from the opening tip to the final buzzer Leeds maintained control throughout, not allowing Newham a lead for the entire 40 minutes.
Both teams entered the game looking to secure their post-season playoff berth. With Carnegie sitting in 7th and Newham occupying the last playoff spot in 8th, it was a must win for both clubs.
Carnegie started the game strongly on both ends keeping Newham scoreless for the first three minutes whilst scoring at will on the interior. Newham stepped up their defensive effort, focusing on denying Leeds Stannard the ball on every possession. Newham battled hard and earned themselves a way back into the game from the free throw line. This enabled them to keep Carnegie’s lead to just 8 points at the end of the 1st quarter (23-15).
Newham started the second period well as they got back to within 6 win the first 90 seconds on the back of some tough interior play on both ends of the floor. Both teams increased their defensive intensity which turned the game into a scrappy affair. This suited Newham more and brought it back to a 1 point game with just 2:50 left in the second quarter. Leeds started to embrace the style of playing in the closing minutes of the half and stretched their lead back out to 5 points (34-29).
The game continued in its tough defensive tempo for the opening exchanges, with neither team troubling the scoreboard in the opening two minutes of the third period. A McGinn three with 7:30 left ended the draught and started Carnegie on a 14-3 run which included Permenter’s 6th block of the game as well as a monster put back dunk from Graham-Bell. Leeds kept the momentum through the quarter and took a 13 point lead into the final period (50-37).
Carnegie quickly asserted themselves on the final quarter as a tough drive to the basket from Stannard extended their lead out to 17 points with just over 6 minutes to play. The win was sealed with a strong and one play from fan favourite Oliver Hylands with 4 minutes to play, which gave Leeds an unassailable 19 point margin. Leeds cruised through the closing stages on their way to a 71-57 win.
Russell Permenter had a impressive performance with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 7 blocks, as did Josh McGinn with 15 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.
Top scorer Russell Permenter was pleased with the performance saying “I had a nice dunk out of the gate and it fired everybody up a little bit. We handled the pressure and the physicality of the game really well. They banged a lot with us and we were able to bang right back with them.”
Leeds Carnegie Head Coach Matt Newby was pleased with his team’s response saying “We managed the pressure very well, in particular McGinn and Stannard were very strong. Hopefully this is the start of a run and with our remaining games we need to take wins, end of.”
This result leaves Carnegie still strongly in contention for the post season playoffs. The team will head down to Essex to face the Leopards tomorrow (Sunday) in another critical game in their pursuit of playoff glory.
Story – Leeds Carnegie
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