LSBU Brixton Topcats 65 – 64 Eastside Eagles
Top scorers: Ashley 14, Petkus 11, Umekwe 10
After seeing home wins in both games before them the spotlight turned to the senior men’s LSBU Brixton Topcats to try to emulate their peers and complete a home treble against cross town rivals the Eastside Eagles. This was the opening league game in National League Division Two after a mixed Patron’s Cup campaign saw them finish with 2 wins and 2 losses.
The Topcats opened the scoring with a 2 point jumper from Vytenis Petkus, which was quickly trumped by Eastside who opened their account with a 3 from Mark Denchfield. Andrius Vaitiekus responded immediately with his own basket from beyond the arc, followed by a jump hook from skipper Uche Umekwe off a Petkus steal to take the Topcats into an early 7-3 lead. This advantage did not last long as Eagles combined for 10 unanswered points with some excellent distance shooting. The remainder of the quarter was an exhibition of long distance shooting as the Eagles extended their lead to 22-13 at the first break.
The second quarter saw Topcats up their defensive pressure and cause several turnovers but they failed to fully capitalise on this and continued good shooting by Eastside only allowed Topcats to eat into the lead by 2 points leaving the half time score at 39-32 to the visitors. Key stats from the first half were that Eastside made 6 three point baskets and Topcats only score one foul shot.
A change of defence saw the Topcats start the third period well with 13 unanswered points with some sharp shooting from Petkus and some intelligent play from point guard Nathan Ashley who shot a perfect 100% in the quarter. The change of defence really affected Eastside who failed to find their shooting rhythm and could only score 4 points in the entire quarter. Topcats led going into the final period 47-43.
The final period was a nip and tuck affair with Topcats extending their lead and Eastside bringing it back with the lead never getting into double figures. Ex Topcat Laurie Lewis had his best quarter for Eastside and began to score from closer in as Eastside’s shooting percentage failed to match that of the first half. Big baskets from Petkus, Vaitiekus and Ashley saw Topcats lead 65-64 with 90 seconds left in the game. Poor shot decisions from both teams occurred next ending with an offensive call on Topcats’ Ashley left the score the same with 6 seconds remaining. Two concurrent timeouts were called and the Topcats changed their defence set again and defended excellently for the remainder of the game forcing a poor shot from Eastside that struggled to draw iron. Topcats ran out winners 65-64 in their first league game of the season.
LSBU Brixton Topcats’ next home game is at 4pm on Sunday 27th October against Worcester Wolves with tickets available on the door.