THE Jets have a real chance of making their second final of the season after they produced strong second and fourth-quarter performances in their BBL Trophy last-four first-leg clash in Milton Keynes last night.
Paul Smith’s side – who beat the Lions in the semi-finals of the BBL Cup earlier in the season – will take a one-point deficit into next Sunday’s second leg at what is sure to be a red-hot Northgate Arena.
The Jets lost the opening stanza 22-8, but some harsh words in the break from head coach Smith certainly did the trick as they stormed back to win the following passage of play 30-12 to take a 38-34 advantage into the locker rooms.
Veteran Calvin Davis, with a 10-point burst, did most of the damage for the visitors, who were unable to keep up the pace in the third quarter as the Lions responded in turn to lead 63-57 going into the fourth.
An exciting last 10 minutes followed in which neither team was ever far behind. But intelligent play from Steven Gayle, Davis and Shawn Myers ensured it was the boys from the Northgate who finished the stronger.
The outstanding Gayle (21) led the points scoring for the Jets with Myers (17) and Davis (14) following up.
The winners of next Sunday’s second leg will play Newcastle Eagles in the final after they won 96-91 at Everton Tigers to secure an overall 185-176 aggregate success.
The play-off chasing Jets return to BBL action this evening at lowly Essex Pirates (7.30pm).