Leeds Force took home the bragging rights as they beat Manchester Giants in the Roses derby 88-80 at the Carnegie Sports Arena, writes Arif Ahmed.
Leeds Force took home the bragging rights as they beat Manchester Giants in the Roses derby 88-80 at the Carnegie Sports Arena.
The Force didn’t have it all their own way as they were pushed hard by the Giants in a tight affair.
It was the Manchester Giants who held the lead early in the first taking the lead at 9-2 as they looked to restore some pride.
The Force then clicked into gear as they went on an 11-0 run to take control of the game as three triples were hit in that run, including a rare triple from Yorkshire Evening Post columnist Rob Marsden.
Jack Isenbarger continued the theme of threes in the opening quarter as he sunk five in the opening 10 minutes to give Leeds a 10-point lead at the end of the quarter, with the score 31-21.
The Giants tried to hit back in the second as they looked to reduce the gap opened up by the Force in front of their own fans.
A triple from Eddie Matthew made it a 13-point game as the Force looked to put the game to bed early.
The Giants were resilient and kept themselves in the game and at the halfway stage the Force held a seven point lead.
It was a low scoring third quarter but Manchester edged it as they came out hot from the dressing room.
They brought the gap down to just one point as they went on a 7-0 run to give them the momentum.
Isenbarger provided temporary relief with a triple to open up some space between the two but a Harold Trobo basket before the quarter was out made a four-point game going into the last.
The Giants continued to knock on the door in the final quarter but the Force held strong to hold out for the win and a whitewash of the Giants.
Isenbarger topped scored in the game with 29 points, four rebounds and four assists for the Force.
Matt Newby’s Leeds now make the trip overnight to Bristol where they will take on the Flyers on Saturday night.
Sheffield Sharks crashed 84-55 at home to Glasgow Rocks in the race for third place.