85 (Hyatt 22, Smith 21)
60 (Baker 21, Lepore 13)
Brighton Bears may have had home advantage in the BBL Trophy final but
it mattered not. A stunning defensive display from Newcastle Eagles saw
them end the north-east's 14 year wait for silverware in an 85-60 demolition
The Bears started
the brighter, bagging an early 12-3 run, concluding with long range baskets
from Ajou Deng and Steve Lepore, which gave Brighton the lead at 12-5.
pulled back into the game and two TJ Walker free throws with 28 seconds
left in the first quarter tied the game at 18-18. Six straight points early
in the second stanza gave Eagles their first lead since the opening basket
The teams then traded
baskets until Charles Smith's burst of eight points, which gave Eagles
a 34-29 advantage at half-time. They went on to bag the first ten points
of the second half, as Bears were kept scoreless for more than four and
a half minutes and Eagles led 44-29.
Eagles extended their
lead to 25 points early in the fourth quarter at 68-43 and Brighton, missing
Yorick Williams, could find no way back. Jeremy Hyatt led all scorers with
22 points for the victors, while Ronnie Baker topped Bears' scoring with
"There's always a
special thing about the very first one and it would always be held dear
at the club," said Eagles player-coach Fab Flournoy.
"It's our first title,
so it's special. A lot of people assumed I would feel more pressure because
I'm the coach, but I am also a player and I'm close to the players, so
I didn't feel the pressure. I'm really proud of the guys."
Charles Smith's haul
of 18 points andnine rebounds earned him the Most Valuable Player award.