Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

`Prince' Returns with Regal Show

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

`Prince' Returns with Regal Show

Article excerpt

Byline: By Jeff King

If could have hardly have been scripted any better as the Newcastle Eagles got back to winning ways last night.

Before the game, the Eagles unveiled the return of "Prince" Charles Smith and the experienced performer turned in a regal show with a game-high 26 points.

With "Fab" Flournoy serving a one-match ban following his altercation last month with Birmingham coach Skouson Harker, the Eagles needed a hero and Smith certainly rose to the challenge on his return.

Newcastle were also boosted by the return of shooting guard Jeremy Hyatt, who although not yet at full fitness returned to the starting five to show his commitment to the cause.

Both Hyatt, who has been out for a fortnight, and Smith, who hadn't played for over three months, gave their side everything and perhaps more than was expected.

Not that the contributions of the other Eagles should be overlooked as the whole team showed a welcome return to form to put themselves back in the title hunt.

England international Drew Sullivan was only a point behind Smith in an excellent performance and point-guard TJ Walker led his side admirably on the court to compensate for Flournoy's absence.

After receiving a great welcome-home ovation from the crowd, it was Smith who gave the Eagles the first lead of the game with a trademark three-point basket that set the scene for the rest of his night.

Smith had seven points by the end of the quarter, as did Walker, and with the Eagles posting a 9-0 run in the middle of the period, they were able to take a seven-point advantage into the second 10 minutes.

They increased that with a blistering 6-0 start before the Towers hit back with a 9-2 run of their own.

The sides then traded baskets before Towers finished the half the stronger, closing the gap to two before a John Bryant dunk gave the Eagles a four-point interval lead at 46-42. …

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