Leeds Force beat league leaders Newcastle Eagles for the first time in their history as they ran out 94-88 winners and in turn ended their six-game losing run with one of the results of the season, writes ARIF AHMED.
Leeds Force beat league leaders Newcastle Eagles for the first time in their history as they ran out 94-88 winners and in turn ended their six-game losing run with one of the results of the season.
Jack Isenbarger topped scored for the Force with 24 points, following close behind was Rob Marsden who put up 19 points with 11 rebounds for a double double.
It rained triples early in the first as both teams found their long range. Captain Armand Anebo pulled a basket from beyond the arc, while a huge effort from Isenbarger who was deep in the court but still managed to find the basket also drew applause.
Rob Sandoval joined his compatriot Isenbarger in producing big triples. Sandoval went one better sinking two huge triples from beyond the arc in the second.
Rob Marsden extended the hosts lead to 17 points before Rahmon Fletcher, the games top scorer (25) took responsibility for the Eagles getting back into the game.
Newcastle kept their momentum in the third as they opened a lead for the first time since the opening exchanges.
Coach Matt Newby’s Leeds regrouped and tied the game at 51-51 thanks to a basket from the corner from Marsden on the shot clock buzzer.
Fletcher again took charge for the Eagles sinking three baskets as the third came to a close.
After each basket he turned and jeered in front of the home crowd.
Jermaine Sanders wasn’t going to let his side go down as he matched Fletcher with three baskets to give Leeds a two point lead going into the last 10 minutes.
It couldn’t get tighter in the fourth quarter as both teams cancelled each other out.
Isenbarger sunk his sixth triple of the game to open a three point lead with just 48 seconds left in the game.
Newcastle began to lose their discipline as they gave away foul after foul in the final seconds. The Force handled the pressure and sunk their baskets to end their six-game losing run.