Trailblazers' struggles go on despite brighter signs
ANOTHER tough weekend for Derby Trailblazers ended with them out of the National Cup and still looking for their first league win.
They were beaten 77-73 in the VCARS Division One by Team Northumbria at Moorways and followed that with a 70-60 cup quarter-final defeat away to Worthing Thunder.
Trailblazers were much better against Northumbria than they were the previous weekend but fell short and then found very little going their way at Worthing.
That is the way it is going right now for Derby, with Stedroy Baker and Benson Arogbo the latest absentees, though Tom Sherlock was able to take part in the warm-up on Saturday, though he did not play as his knee injury continues to trouble him.
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Trailblazers made a good start against Northumbria, an 11-2 run putting them 17-8 up, and they led 23-14 seconds before the end of the first quarter only for Ivan Emanuely to beat the buzzer and cut their lead to six.
By half-time, Derby were 38-36 down but Martyn Gayle ended the third quarter with his second three-pointer to tie the scores at 51-51.
The game was in the balance but Northumbria made their shots in the closing minutes while Derby could not and so went down to a fifth straight league defeat.
Sunday's cup tie brought together the league's bottom two, without a win between them in that competition.
There was a further blow for Trailblazers as, with only eight players travelling to the south coast, they lost Miguel Leite following a collision with Worthing's Dom Baker early in the second quarter, which ruled both players out of the rest of the game.
That did give Tom Brown, the Belper-born former academy graduate, the chance to step up and he rose to the challenge with 11 points and six rebounds.
Jamie McGaffin also shot the ball well, hitting three of five three-point attempts on his way to a season-high 12 points but apart from that pair, Derby's shooting was woeful and they trailed almost the whole game.
Derby are at home to Essex Leopards at Moorways on Saturday (7.30pm) and travel to face Brixton Topcats on Sunday (4pm).
DERBY 73 NORTHUMBRIA 77
Derby: Gayle 24, Rose 17, Leite 8, Brown 4, McGaffin 4, Allaway 3, Milambo 3.
Northumbria: Stewart 28, Emanuely 11, Washington 10, Glenn 8, McLean-Salmon 6, Hutton 2, Morrison 2.
WORTHING 70 DERBY 60
Worthing: Sunderland 17, Johnson 16, Francis 9, Seduikis 9, Carter 7, Corbin 6, Rivers 6.
Derby: Rose 14, McGaffin 12, Brown 11, Gayle 10, Milambo 6, Leite 4, Allaway 3.