PRESTON – Dayvantia Campbell-Deeble scored a team-high 22 points on 10-of-15 shooting and hauled in 19 rebounds to lift top-seeded Myerscough into the EABL Finals following a 77-61 win over Manchester on Wednesday at the Myerscough College High Performance Centre.
Myerscough will meet fellow one-seed Barking Abbey at the National Basketball Performance Centre in Manchester on Mar. 29 in a rematch of the 2018 Finals won by Barking and the 2020 Finals that was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The South Conference Champions defeated Charnwood College 79-72.
Myerscough has reached the Finals in three-straight EABL campaigns but is looking to claim just its second outright playoff title. Barking seeks their fifth overall and fourth alone.
“It’s cliché, but we’re playing some good basketball and we’re playing it at the right time,” said Myerscough coach Troy Culley. “Defensively, we’ve been taking it to another gear and have made it difficult for teams to get going. That helps us to get out and run and create some separation in the score. The guys are buying in to what we’re trying to do.”
Peter Asante had a balanced game of 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists while Daniel Azancot added 12 points and Euan Fraser-Birch chipped in 10 for Myerscough (14-2). Sco shot 41.6 percent with 26 of their 32 made field goals coming inside the paint where they outscored the Magic 50-36. They controlled the offensive glass with a 17-5 margin and turned those boards into 13 second chance points.
“I was really able to use my size to my advantage and that gave me a lot of confidence to put in a performance that would help the team,” said Campbell-Deeble, who was coming off a scoreless performance against Canterbury in the Elite 8. but the 6-foot-7 forward has reached double figures in rebounding in each playoff game, pulling in 11 to go with four assists against the Crusaders on Mar. 15.
Myerscough – three weeks removed from their second 31-point rout of their North West rival this season – had to overcome a high-scoring first half. The Magic were buoyed by Joe Buchanan, who scored 13 of his 15 points in the opening 20 minutes.
“We’ve done a good job at locking into key personnel at key moments in the game and that’s been crucial for us putting together runs,” Culley said. “We’re forcing other players to have to step up and beat us.”
Sco broke open a 39-33 halftime scoreline with a decisive 23-9 third quarter. Campbell-Deeble scored seven of his points during this stretch, including back-to-back baskets to start the quarter. Asante capped off the period with a 3-pointer to give Myerscough a 62-42 lead.
Myerscough led by as many as 27 points after the break before succumbing to a late 17-6 Manchester burst that cut into gap, but it would come too late for the visitors.
Ben Brown led the three-seed Magic (10-6) with a game-high 24 points and Matthew Goodwin added 11 in the loss. Manchester hit 38.8 percent from the field.
Per the EABL, tickets to attend the Final in Manchester are free, but still need to be purchased for capacity reasons. To secure your ticket, head to the Basketball England shop by clicking here.
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