It was another example of ‘so close, yet so far’ for the Manchester Giants, as they came up just short in an end-to-end encounter with the Surrey Scorchers, losing 93-86.
The Giants came into the game on a 4-game losing streak in the league, but they were in a confident mood early on against a Scorchers side they beat 80-66 just a few weeks ago. After a few games with slow starts, Manchester were firing on all cylinders offensively in the first quarter, scoring 31 points to lead the game early on, but their offence tailed off for the remainder of the game, allowing Surrey to grow into the contest and eventually take control after halftime.
It was the third quarter where the game got away from the Giants as Surrey outscored them 28-22, and the foul trouble that we’ve seen so many times this season reared its ugly head once again as the discipline levels began to falter. Danny Byrne’s side fought valiantly to get themselves back in the game, but with the Scorchers finding the baskets and boards they needed down the stretch it just wasn’t to be.
A collection of issues are all coming to fruition at the same time for the Giants. They can go off with a barrage of points at seemingly any moment, but they can then go through important periods of the game without finding a basket. Then there’s the defence, which is really missing the influence of Lyle Hexom as the opposition are getting their fair share of open shots and free throws.
As for the stats for the game, Donovan Johnson was the standout performer for the home side as he scored 18 points and shot 66% from 3-point range, and Breaon Brady was once again a big presence on both ends of the floor with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Sam Cassell Jr and Alex Ouandie also got into double figures for scoring (12 and 11 respectively) but it was a quiet night for recent high scorer Jordan Whelan, who finished with 6 points after getting into early foul trouble.
Tony Hicks was the Scorchers’ star man as he’s been so many times before, leading the game in scoring with 20 points as well as 8 assists before he fouled out. Recent acquisition Cam Hildreth also chipped in 15 points and 5 assists from the bench.
The Giants now have a week off before travelling back to Worcester to face the Wolves in the league on Friday.
Words – Jordan Morris
Photo – All Sports Photogrpahy