Xavier McIntosh’s 34-point breakout help Arrows win
Encon Derbyshire Arrows 90 Bristol Flyers 83
The Encon Derbyshire Arrows burst into the play off picture with an exciting home victory over the Bristol Flyers by 90 – 83. It was a thrilling match that entertained the partisan support and went down into the final seconds before victory was secured. Once again Joseph Baugh was the outstanding player on view but he received great support from Xavier McIntosh who led all scorers with 34 points as they both impressed with their athletic all court games.
The Arrows began slowly and soon found themselves trailing the Flyers. However well led by Callum McKenzie it was not long before the Arrows settled and Napthali Nembhard and George Brownell found the basket. Both Joseph Baugh and Xavier McIntosh scored and the arrows led at the end of the quarter by 28 – 25.
The second quarter saw the Arrows extend their advantage as Jacob Parades and Matz Mastalerz converted opportunities. However, the Flyers were never out of the contest and matched the Arrows with a variety of baskets of their own. James Kelly entered the contest and used his experience to create an opportunity for Joseph Baugh and a 3 - point assist to Xavier McIntosh. The Arrows reached the interval with a lead at 53 – 44.
The Flyers re grouped and quickly closed the gap in the third quarter but 11 points from Xavier McIntosh and a neat finish from Napthali Nembhard kept the Arrows ahead at 70 – 63. The Arrows would hear the words of Coach Jonny Kelly realising they were about to enter a really defining quarter of the season.
The Arrows started slightly nervously and the Flyers pounced on this opportunity to close the scores up with just 5 minutes to play. The Arrows dug deep and matched the Flyers in every aspect of the game. Xavier McIntosh was inspired and added 10 points in the quarter added to clutch conversions by Jacob Parades and George Brownell. The defence of Joseph Baugh and Callum McKenzie halted the Flyers at the rim rejecting any attempted lay ups. The Arrows were rock solid from the foul – line and edged to victory fittingly with shots from Xavier McIntosh as they won 90 – 83.
Arrows scorers; Xavier 34, Joseph Baugh 20 and Jacob Parades 10
This victory sees the Arrows move into 4th place overall with a 10 – 7 record with 3 crucial games to play. Coach Jonny Kelly was exhausted emotionally but proud of his team. “We fought for everything today and Xavier was inspired finishing with great skill, he grows with each game and is beginning to understand what the team needs of him. Joseph Baugh was again inspirational and helps this team continually to get over the hump in the moments of great pressure. We do not play next week but need to keep our eyes firmly on our fundamentals as we host top of the table Newcastle in our next game”.