Cheshire Phoenix 82 Durham Wildcats 94

DURHAM Wildcats grabbed back-to-back wins on the road against the Plymouth Raiders and Cheshire Phoenix.

Dave Elderkin’s side ran out convincing 94-82 winners at the Northgate Arena yesterday to complete a successful weekend following Wildcats’ 98-81 victory over Raiders on Friday.

The Wildcats were on fire against the Raiders and travelled to Cheshire yesterday to face the Phoenix in a game which the Wildcats were looking to go against the odds again.

The sides had already met twice this campaign, with the home side coming out on top on each occasion.

Wildcats fans were hoping for back-to-back victories for their side and be see their roster bring home another historic win to Newton Aycliffe.

And Durham got off to another good start with BBL veteran Ralph Bucci sinking from the three-point line to give the visitors an early lead.

Cheshire skipper Chez Marks said he was expecting a tough encounter against the Wildcats and that was the case with Durham continuing their good shooting form, Brad Guinane continuing where he left off after scoring 31 points against the Raiders.

But Cheshire were also hunting for their second weekend win and established an narrow lead at the end of the first quarter, Marks pulling the strings for Phoenix.

Durham came out in the second quarter hoping to gain on Cheshire’s early advantage but were unable to find the spark that they had against the Raiders.

Marks broke into double figures for his side and seemed to be the difference between the two sides as the League point scoring leader gave the hosts the edge with four minutes left until the half-time buzzer.

But Durham sparked into life and began to sink baskets with ease from all over the court, as Elderkin’s side looked to rediscover their form from Friday.

Former Cheshire Phoenix star Keith Page and always reliable Andrew Keister were at the helm of a late basket-scoring surge which gave the Wildcats the lead by a single point at the half, travelling Wildcats fans hoping for another emphatic win.

Durham came out in the third looking to continue their momentum gained at the end of an evenly matched first half.

Mike Baldarelli was the third Durham player to break into double figures in sensational fashion, sinking consecutive three-pointers to give his side a dominant lead going into the final quarter.

And Baldarelli continued his rampage sinking further baskets from the three point arc to give the Wildcats a lead of 13 with seven minutes left.

Durham’s defence began to drown out any chance of a comeback from the hosts and Elderkin and his roster got a much deserved win to add to their sensational weekend of basketball.

Balderelli ran the show for Durham with the American guard scoring 26 points, well backed up with a second double- double for the weekend from Keister.

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