Youngster stars in Eagles win

The Springfield Honda Newcastle Eagles produced a much improved performance on Saturday for their third successive win and second of the Festive period.

The Springfield Honda Newcastle Eagles produced a much improved performance on Saturday for their third successive win and second of the Festive period.

They ended the old year with an 8-6 record for the season so far to give themselves fresh hope.

Missing Jeremy Hyatt through disciplinary reasons, coach Fab Flournoy sprang a surprise by naming rookie English forward Tom Sherlock in his starting five for the first time in his BBL career.

The youngster responded with his best game so far for the Eagles vest picking up a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds. Sherlock said: "I was surprised to be in the starting line-up. Fab told me before practice he intended to start me, however I didn't do well in practice and thought I had missed my opportunity."

But Sherlock opened the scoring and then blocked a shot at the defensive end to create a basket for Shawan Robinson to put Newcastle 4-0 in front.

The Wolves hit back with an 11-0 run to lead but Sherlock continued his good start to help Newcastle to take the quarter 21-17.

"I was pleased with my start which helped to settle me down. I felt I didn't make too many mistakes which meant Fab stuck with me. To be honest I was shocked to play so many minutes," Sherlock added. A good start to the second period from the visitors saw them back in front but 10 unanswered points from the Eagles saw them establish a lead they would never relinquish. With Robinson in fine shooting form Newcastle led 46-37 at the half.

The third quarter saw the Eagles close down the visitors with their trademark defence restricting the opponents to 11 points while they scored 28 to stretch their lead to 25 at 74-49 with 10 minutes to play.

In that final time Flournoy ran his side from the sidelines, and with the Wolves losing three of their starting five to foul trouble Newcastle forged ahead. They finished with a 9-2 run including two late three-pointers from Irish rookie Bryan McCotter to get all the Eagles on the scoreboard as they won 93-59.

Sherlock said: "It was a good way for me to finish the first half of the year. However, to continue to get good playing time I need to work hard in practice."

With the Eagles facing a tough game on Friday at second-placed Sheffield, the internal dispute with Hyatt is uppermost in managing director Paul Blake's mind.

"We need to sort this situation out. Jeremy knows he has done wrong and I need to sit down with Fab and discuss what action we need to take and then meet Jeremy," he said.

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