Beresford Influences Lions Victory Over Eagles
Newcastle Eagles u23 70-81 Teesside Lions
Newcastle provided a tough test for Teesside with BBL prospect Sauveur Kande continuing his impressive form for the Eagles feeder team.
The Eagles did their best to unsettle the Lions rhythm by raising the aggression and while it did disrupt the flow of the game via the mammoth 31 personal fouls called on the hosts, it did send the Lions to the free throw line for 17 shots. Composure was key for Lions and they held on for a tough victory at the Vertu Motors arena in Newcastle.
The game was tight in the first quarter finishing 21-20 in favour of the hosts with both teams probing and neither pulling away. Kande hit 9pts for Eagles to spark promise. Lions enjoyed a spread of scoring from Siman Stewart who hit 6pts and Tommy Devitt who chipped in with 5pts.
Matt Hughes started the second quarter as he finished the first, with a lay-up and a foul leading to two consecutive free throws.
Perimeter shooting and transition points were effective for Newcastle as Kande continued to have an impact on the game. Highly rated Sam Mamuini hit two long range shots mid-way through the period and despite Lions responding, their shot was a little off-target, and this seemed to give Eagles a boost as they took the second quarter 21-18.
With a half time score of 38-42, Lions were not happy with the way they were playing and Coach Steutel called for unity, chemistry, and to raise the level in the third quarter.
The result was a 11-22 period in favour of the Lions as they maintained composure in amongst the fouls whilst crucially levelling up on defence, inspired by Jack Beresford who clinched a number of important steals to help minimise The Eagles productivity and build momentum for Teesside.
The final quarter was another choppy affair with Devitt, Turner and Stewart the difference for Lions on offence while Beresford was again impressive on defence. Another 8pts from Kande was not enough to prevent Lions maintaining their unbeaten run and position at the top of the league.
Thoughts now turn to Tees Valley Mohawks as both teams look to inflict the first loss on the other. The game takes place this Sunday. Mohawks enjoyed a pre-season victory over Lions in September and have enjoyed an impressive run themselves recently, led by American guard Chris Jones.
Lions will have to be in better form for this encounter and Coach Steutel is looking for major improvements this week, adding:
“We are shaping a team and this takes time. We have work to do to reach the level I believe we are capable of, and this will be a process throughout the season. Mohawks are now the next challenge and I am expecting players to be fully focussed at training this week as we prepare for potentially the toughest test yet.”
Siman Stewart was awarded the MVP and led the Lions with 17pts. He was supported well with a good spread of scoring such is the depth of the Teesside.
Captain Tommy Devitt was pleased with the result but is calling on players to maintain composure:
“An 11pt win is another good result and we are still unbeaten so collectively we are happy with this. It is important we don’t become complacent. Training has been really productive recently and there is a strong positive vibe within the team.
“However we need to be guarded so as not to slip up. Every team is licking its lips as we are the team at the top. Everyone wants to beat the unbeaten and our job is to maintain composure and ensure we do our job in training and during games to ensure we don’t fall at any hurdles.”
– Lions: Stewart 17, Devitt 16, Turner 16, Hughes 12, Gray 8
– Eagles: Kande 24, Hickman-Singh 9, Baxter 8
Lions will be back at home on Sunday 19th December to play Calderdale Explorers.
Tickets available now at www.TeessideLions.com
Teesside Lions v Calderdale Explorers
Sunday 19th December 2.30pm Tip
– Doors open 1.30pm with music, snacks and entertainment.
– Spectators must be seated 30mins prior to tip
– Adult £6.50
– U18 & OAP £4.50
– Family £16 (2 adults & 2 u18)
Tickets must be purchased in advance to allow the club to cater for the attendance in accordance with venue & government covid guidelines.