Carnegie ultimately secured the vital 72-57 win against Manchester in what was a game of runs. Leeds got off to the better start dominating on both ends but suffered a scare in the closing stages before closing out the game and claiming the head to head in style.
Both teams looked to find an early advantage inside as the battle under the basket started from the first possessions. Carnegie looked to get the early advantage as Camille successfully locked down Manchester’s creative point guard Ward. This combined with a big and one play from Stannard gave Carnegie a 3 point lead with just under 2 minutes played. Leeds capitalised on this early momentum and a crowd hyping put back dunk on Minister from Permenter spurred them on further. Manchester were unable to stem the flow as Carnegie stretched their lead out. Finishing the opening quarter on the back of a McGinn three giving them the 20-8
Manchester looked to regain some composure in the second period through the safe hands of their Spanish point guard Garrido. They also stepped up on the physical side of their play in an attempt to unsettle Carnegie on both ends of the floor. Leeds however continued to move the ball well and fight hard on the offensive boards. Some highlight plays from Carnegie’s Captain Stannard kept Manchester at arm’s length as Leeds got to the half time break with a 13 point lead (35-22).
Carnegie looked to push their lead in the first few offenses of the third period but were met by some resilient Manchester defense. This trend continued on both ends as the game entered a low scoring phase on the back of strong hustle and defense from both teams. Leeds managed to interrupt any rhythm that the Magic looked to establish and this pushed their lead out further to 17 points by the end of the third quarter (48-31)
Manchester started the final quarter the brightest with a 15-4 run, quickly eroding Carnegie’s lead to just 6 points with 6:12 left in the game. Leeds continued to struggle until a brace of trips to line with Stannard connecting 3 of his 4 attempts steadying Carnegie’s nerves. Manchester continued to foul to stop the clock but a pair of free throws from Metcalf for Leeds secured the win as Carnegie ended up on the right side of the 72-57 score line. This score line also gave Leeds the crucial head to head win over Manchester, meaning that if the two teams have identical records at the end of the regular season Carnegie will be placed above Manchester.
Leeds Carnegie Head Coach Matt Newby was pleased with his team’s head to head victory saying “With the top end of the league being so close and the playoff picture being so close we need to go out there each time and look to take the head to head against whichever opposition we are facing.”
Jack Stannard led Carnegie’s offensive threat with 19 points assisted by Russell Permenter with 12 points and 7 rebounds. Manchester were led by Pharroh Gordon with 10 points assisted by Ryan Lohfink with 9 points and 11 rebounds.
Carnegie’s Captain Jack Stannard is keen to keep their focus on the next game saying “We go into each game looking to win. We are not looking too far ahead but we are entering each game with a positive mindset”
Leeds still lie in 7th but with games in hand and their head to head count starting to mount they are in a good position to make a push for the playoffs.
Carnegie will now prepare for tomorrow’s, just as crucial, game against Bristol Academy Flyers in their quest for post season silverware. The game tips off at 4:30pm and tickets will be available on the door at the Leeds Metropolitan University Sports Arena.
Leeds continued their impressive run of performances with a clinical 78-59 win over fellow playoff hopefuls Bristol Academy Flyers. In what was a close game Leeds had to wait until the third quarter to go on the decisive run that proved too much for Bristol to come back from.
The game opened in a free flowing style with both teams moving the ball well to create open opportunities. Carnegie had the better of the play with Mikulic scoring 9 points in the first quarter to give them a 22-19 lead at the end of opening period.
The second quarter battled moved to the paint as both teams looked to dominate the interior on both ends. Permenter starting to control the offensive glass whilst Streete cancelled this out for Bristol with some impressive drives to the basket. The teams traded baskets throughout the quarter and Leeds managed to hold on to a narrow 2 point lead at the half time break (40-38).
The game continued in its close style as both teams traded baskets in the opening minutes of the third quarter. Leeds started to control the tempo of the game at the midpoint of the period and a three from Holland with 1:38 left gave Carnegie an 8 point lead. This was extended slightly by the end of the quarter as Carnegie entered the final quarter up 62-53.
Bristol increased their defensive pressure looking to close the gap on Leeds. Carnegie however kept the composure throughout as they looked to secure not only the win but also the head to head record. Carnegie locked the result down with a corner three from Mikulic with 3 minutes to play as they cruised to the 78-59 win.
Carnegie’s scoring was led by 18 points from Branimir Mikulic supported by Rowell Graham-Bell with 15 points. Spencer Wells led all scorers for Bristol with 20 points.
This result has guaranteed Carnegie at least 6th place in the regular season and an away trip to either Hemel or Bradford in the first round of the playoff. Carnegie will now finish the regular season off with a double header against Medway Park on Friday at home before a trip to Hemel on Saturday.
Story – Leeds Carnegie
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