Leeds Force secured a HUGE win in an overtime thriller against the Bristol Flyers (91-88).
Friday night saw the Bristol Flyers make the trip north to face your Leeds Force in a crucial game for both sides!
The visitors arrived and took to the court early and it was clear that they were determined to leave with a win.
Prior to the game, the teams had played each other twice and had each won once so it was definitely going to be an interesting one.
The last time we played the Flyers, we had one of the worst possible starts to the game and wound up losing.
So this time around, it had to be different.
The first quarter was very much a sign of what was to come as, despite Force going up by as much as eight, it finished level at 17.
Flyers took the lead early in the second quarter and held onto it throughout.
Force were never out of reach though and a tough three-pointer from Kwan Waller to beat the half-time buzzer brought us even closer.
The score at the break was 41-39 and it was all to play for.
As the second half got underway, Bristol continued to hold onto their lead and even managed to extend it to eight points towards the end of the quarter which finished 58-52.
The fourth quarter was set to be an exciting one if Force were to take the win – and that’s exactly what it was!
We needed a great opening few minutes in order to catch the Flyers and put ourselves in a position to win the game.
So we switched the tempo and, very quickly, the momentum shifted and we were on the front foot!
After not much longer than two minutes into the quarter, we took the lead with a trademark jumpshot from our captain, Armand Anebo.
The margin was increased with some hot shooting from Marek Klassen and Louis Sayers, some relentless defence from Eddie Matthew as well as Force’s forward Clayfell Harris putting on a display of his own with four crucial rebounds and two massive steals in the closing minutes. Regardless, if there’s anything you should know about basketball, it’s that it’s never over until it’s over and the Flyers showed us why!
As Force led by three points with time drawing to an end, the Bristol Flyers had the ball for one final possession.
They needed a three-pointer to tie the game and force an extra period. They put the ball in the hands of their lead guard, Cardell McFarland and, boy, did he deliver.
As time expired McFarland shot a toughly contested three- pointer in the corner.
It was nothing-but-net and we went to overtime.
It’s easy to be disheartened at this point but we knew we had to finish the job because this was such an important game to win. So we gathered our thoughts and took to the court once more. We opened the scoring and didn’t look back, maintaining the lead from the start of the extra period to the end.
And with 1.6 seconds on the clock, Force were up by one point with Sayers shooting two free throws. He made both to put us up by three and Flyers couldn’t convert. The final score was 91-88!
Force’s top scorer on the night was Klassen with 23 points along with 12 assists for good measure! Sayers and Waller were also up there with 18 points and 17 points respectively, while Marsden finished with 13 points and nine rebounds.
Thank you to all the fans that came out to support us on Friday.
You guys were a massive part of that win and we would love to see you there again this week (Friday, 26th) as we take on the Manchester Giants in yet another must-win game.