Jack Isenbarger’s 28 points were in vain as the Leeds Force fell to the Surrey Scorchers by just three points, 80-77, writes ARIF AHMED.
The American was the game’s top scorer running the show for the Yorkshire side with an impeccable performance. Unfortunately for the guard, the Scorchers had enough overall to level the series at 1-1. Leeds kept up with the Surrey Scorchers early on in the first quarter as the teams cancelled each other out. Then Surrey went on a 10-0 run, Will Neighbour contributed four points in one play as he was fouled during his three-point attempt, which found the basket. He also sank his free throw.
Leeds halted the run but were not finding the basket often enough. Jermaine Sanders scored six points towards the end of the quarter to reduce the deficit to 14 going into the second. The second became the Isenbarger show as the American went on a solo 8-0 run for the Force to bring them right back into the game.
He added another six baskets in the quarter to bring the score to within a basket.
Leeds were down by a single point with seconds left on the clock when Eddie Matthew found Isenbarger unmarked in the Scorchers half to lay up unopposed to give the Force the lead at the halfway stage.
Disraeli Lufadeju got the Force a three-point lead but Omotayo Ogedengbe threw down a triple from the corner to level. The score stayed level until the final minutes of the third when Neighbour sank a triple.
Rob Sandoval quickly levelled the game after the restart at 66 apiece. He was fouled in the build-up to his basket but made no mistake putting away his pressure-free throw. Two quick-fire baskets by the hosts opened a four-point lead, the biggest lead in the second half with five minutes left in the game. Leeds found their second wind with just over a minute left to play. Armand Anebo tipped the ball into the basket Sandoval followed up with a deep triple to make it a one-point game.
In the final seconds Sandoval drove to the basket to win the game for the Force but his attempt failed to nestle in the basket. And Neighbour ensured victory as the Scorchers held on for the win.