Baugh Stars As Arrows Beat Birmingham
Birmingham Elite 82-86 Derbyshire Arrows
The Derbyshire Arrows battled for the best part of two hours of play before Joseph Baugh held his nerve as the Arrows edged to a thrilling victory over Birmingham by 86–82.
The Derbyshire based side were spearheaded by Joseph Baugh, who racked up an impressive 34 points personal and Matt Wilson who added 22 of his own.
There was rarely more than a few points between the teams and the scores were level inside the last minute but it was Joseph Baugh who held his nerve with perfect free throw shooting as the Arrows recorded their first away victory of the league season to extend their overall record to 3–4 in their NBL Division 2 campaign.
The Arrows had been beaten by over 30 points on their earlier Cup visit to Birmingham but they immediately showed that they had evolved under Coach Jonny Kelly by edging the first quarter by 21–20. Veteran guard James Kelly assisted on plays to Baugh and Wilson as the Arrows began to find rhythm.
The second quarter was the most entertaining in terms of scoring as the Arrows took it 27–24. Birmingham lead by a game high 9 points midway through the second period before successive scores from Andreas Lycoudis sparked a run that put the Arrows in front at the half at 48–44.
The teams continued to slug it out after the interval with neither team prepared to give an inch and this was reflected in the 22–21 score line in favour of the Arrows. Wilson and Baugh continued to do damage on the offensive end as Nembhard created second chance opportunities for the Arrows thanks to his relentless work on the boards. With a quarter to play, the Arrows held a slender 70-65 advantage.
The Arrows had struggled away in the final quarter this season at Sussex but they were determined to break through the away barrier of wins this season. In an understandably tense final quarter for both teams it lacked some of the fluency of what had gone before as scoring became harder for both teams as each attempt was loaded with pressure.
The Arrows maintained their slight advantage for much of the quarter but a burst of scoring from Birmingham tied the scores inside the last minute. However, it was Arrows talisman Joseph Baugh who converted from the free throw line to give the Arrows a slender lead and when he repeated the medicine with 7 seconds remaining the Arrows were there at 86–82.
This win means the Arrows have recorded consecutive league wins and should go into this Sunday’s vital home game with Middlesex in good spirits at Killamarsh Sports Centre at 3.30pm.