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David Edole

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VI's Leslee J. Smith & Flyers come up short against Sheffield - Oct 16, 2016


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DAVID EDOLE
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ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Virgin Islands' Leslee J. Smith and the Bristol Flyers' valiant comeback fell short as they were unable to overcome a crippling first half shooting display, failing to beat the visiting Sheffield Sharks, on Saturday October 15, 2016.
Flyers lost 57-59.

They had opened the quarter with their trademark hard-nosed defence and the visitors were unable to find a basket in the opening minutes. Flyers aggressively hedged the pick and roll, closing in on McFarland and stopping his creativity.

On offence, Bristol attacked the basket, getting to the free throw line, with Brandon Boggs scoring the team's first points. Sharks came back through their veteran Michael Tuck, who scored the visitors first eight points.

Despite the early success driving the ball inside, Bristol shot a lowly 17% from the field for the quarter. Both squads suffered from a shaky start offensively, as neither team could take care of the ball. Turnovers were huge in the early stages, as the game saw 12 turnovers in the first quarter. As the initial period came to a close, Bristol trailed 9-12.

Offensive woes

Flyers' offensive woes continued into the second half and it began to bleed into the rest of Bristol's game. Uncharacteristically, their defence fell through on multiple occasions, allowing three straight open lay-ups to start the second quarter.

Bristol then overcompensated on defence collapsing in when the ball went inside, gifting Sheffield's Kyle Odister a wide open three-pointer giving Sharks a ten point lead. Struggling to gain offensive momentum, the home team went through a five minute stretch without scoring.

The draught was ended by Boggs, who beautifully split the defence with a spin move to the hoop, for the score. Hameed Ali then stole the ball, drove the length of the court creating an open look for Leslie Smith.

Despite a harrowing first half shooting performance, going six for 33 from the field, Bristol were back in the game. At the break, Bristol trailed 18-24.

The fightback

The second half began with Bristol building on their comeback. Back to back jumpshots from Lovell Cook, followed by a Daniel Edozie 15 foot jumper and long two-pointer from Boggs brought Flyers within striking distance.

Edozie briefly tied the game with his first ever three-pointer. In a whirl of a third quarter, Bristol had tied the game. Though Flyers recorded a number of quick fouls, getting in the penalty early. Sharks took advantage, converting at the free throw line giving them a one point lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Sheffield grabbed an early, slender lead behind a Edward Brownell two-pointer and a converted And-1 by Colin Sing. Looking to disrupt Flyers' offensive rhythm, Sharks set up a with a 1-3-1 zone, it seemed to work. The visitors came up with a few steals, giving them additional possessions to add to their lead.

The Flyers comeback had not ran out of steam, Ali made it a one possession game after hitting a three-pointer with the defence all over him. Then Smith stole the ball for the break-away slam-dunk. Cue bedlam at the SGS WISE Arena, as Bristol tied the game at 55 apiece.

As the contest came into its final minute of play, Smith gambled on a steal, gifting Tucker a shot to grab the lead. Flyers had the ball with the game clock winding down. Ali took a shot to send the game to overtime, only to see his shot bounce off the rim to the sound of the buzzer. Bristol Flyers 57 Sheffield Sharks 59.

Smith finished with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 4 steals.

  



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