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Hall not well as Eagles beaten; Flournoy's men floored by Sharks in play-off rehearsal.

Byline: JEFF KING

Sheffield Sharks . 70 Newcastle Eagles. 60 SLUGGISH Newcastle Eagles failed to overcome a slow start as they kept up their unwanted run in Sheffield.

JUST over 48 hours after taking a W in the main arena at the EISS Sheffield, the Eagles were back in the same building but in the less salubrious surroundings of the small 'Blue Hall.' The hard rubber floor is one the Sharks have a 100% record on - and they kept that intact last night, reversing Sunday's home loss to the Eagles.

Newcastle looked disorientated early on and were all at sea in a first quarter they probably want to forget in a hurry.

Sharp-shooters Charles Smith, Damon Huffman and Joe Chapman had nights they will not store in their memory banks for very long - 35% overall and only 22% from three-point range.

The game was not helped by very inconsistent and indecisive referring.

It affected both sides, although the Eagles seemed to get the rougher end of the deal.

Only Kareem Maddox and Darius Defoe managed double figures for Newcastle, Maddox also grabbing an excellent 14 rebounds as well.

The Eagles never led at any stage during the game and at one stage were down by 22 points as they struggled to cope with an in-form Sharks side.

However, during the latter minutes of the third quarter and in the fourth when the Eagles restricted the hosts to only eight points and played great defence, there was enough there to show a 10-point loss was not a bad result after the way they started.

Assistant coach Dave Forrester was not too despondent at the final buzzer, knowing his side has to go up against the Sharks in just over a week's time in the BBL quarter-final play-offs, which will be two totally different games.

He said: "They played with a lot of intensity - at times we did not match that and at times we did.

"The Sharks demonstrated they will not rollover for us in the play-offs.

"We started very slowly but after a while we did get in to the basketball game."

"For various different reasons we were unable to put a run together or a passage of play which was constructive.

"However, I did feel the intent from the guys was right for the vast majority of the game.

"This result will probably give them the confidence they need for the play-offs.

"However, we will also be ready for those games when they come round."

While these two games probably will not have a bearing on the play-offs and the match-up ahead, the Eagles will be able to take something away from the differing performances for their preparation.

Forrester added: "We will take them away, have a look at them and see what we need to do to rectify any situations that we were in.

"They are on a good run so it is going to be a real battle in the play-offs.

"It is not a question of confidence knocked or gained.

"It is just two games in the play-offs and if we bring our A-game to the court we will go through and if we do not we will not - it is as simple as that."

Sheffield: Nick Lewis 19, Mike Tuck 12, Olu Babalola 11.

Newcastle: Kareem Maddox 20, Darius Defoe 15, Ant Martin 9.

CAPTION(S):

GAME TO FORGET Eagles' Damon Huffman endured a torrid night in Sheffield
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 3, 2013
Words:572
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