Topcats senior men beat bottom of the table Eastside Eagles in NBL Division 2 in their last game of January 2016. Lloyd and Stewart scored 15 points each as the Topcats led for 39 of the 40 minutes of the game to complete a comprehensive 16 point victory.
The game opened with teams trading both baskets and turnovers. However, after a closely contested early going, Brixton were able to clean up their turnovers and began to build a lead. Topcats pressure defence led to steals and two fast break dunks as the home team eased ahead to finish the first quarter 16 – 9.
Eastside fought to get back at the start of the second quarter, a 5 – 0 run for Eagles brought them back within two. Brixton steadied themselves and continued to pile pressure on Eastside’s young backcourt. At the offensive end James Lloyd sparked a scoring run which forced the Eagles to switch to a zone defence to try and stem the tide as both teams entered halftime with Brixton up by 12.
The second half opened with a fiesty third quarter. Eastside came out with a renewed vigour on defence, putting more pressure on the ball and contesting shots. Brixton’s execution slowed and this led to poor shot selection and a low shooting percentage. However, Brixton’s scrappy defence kept them ahead and the quarter closed with Topcats up by 4.
The third quarter run from Eastside appeared to wake the Topcats up. A 10 – 3 run to open the 4th quarter gave Brixton a comfortable lead which they would hold through a sloppy final five minutes.
Topcats will no doubt will be happy with the win but conscious that an improved performance will be needed in their next fixture as they travel across London to take on London Greenhouse Pioneers.