A QUICK glance at the stats sheet showed precisely where Jets were found wanting in Sunday’s big playoff clash.
While the home team struggled to keep the scoreboard ticking over, Everton hit basket after basket with ruthless regularity and efficiency.
As the post-match statistics revealed, the Tigers’ 94 points came from just 57 shots.
Tellingly, Jets’ 79 points came from 78 attempts.
The hosts simply failed to turn possession into points, and they paid the ultimate price for their profligacy. In the space of one evening, a season’s work was lost. It was hard to take but the home side could have few complaints with the final scoreline.
Over the course of the campaign, they proved themselves to be a better side than Everton by finishing one place above their bigger-spending neighbours in the BBL Championship.
But playoff basketball is a do-or-die, winner-takes all format – and the Tigers’ expensively-assembled squad of talented yet unpredictable individuals rose to the occasion and booked their semi-final spot with a confident performance.
What a sorry way to end a season of encouraging on-court improvement for Paul Smith’s ‘Men in Black’.
Two cup finals and a top-four finish... Jets have put themselves well and truly back on the British basketball map.
They had the backing of a boisterous home crowd on Sunday but by the end of the night the Northgate was rocking to the Mersey beat as Everton’s fans cheered their side to a famous derby win.
Jets old boy Trey Moore was the home team’s chief tormentor. The maverick American clearly enjoyed his return to Chester, landing a game-high 25 points to book the Tigers a last-four showdown with Newcastle Eagles this weekend.
In truth, Jets were rarely in the frame. Everton used a 28-10 run over the first quarter break to open up a 48-29 lead.
Jets reduced the gap to 66-61 in the third quarter, but a James Jones three and five points from Moore put Everton back in control again at 74-63. They cruised home.
For Cheshire, the veteran pair of Calvin Davis and Shawn Myers led the offence with 20 and 16 points respectively.
Sadly, their team-mates were unable to step up to the plate as a season of great promise ended on a losing note.