Let's start with the girls on Sunday and a great win vs City of Birmingham.
Coach Christie reports: "The girls had a brilliant match against Birmingham Rockets. We played a full match and won 67 to 35. This was an U16 game. Aibh Robinson played an amazing high scoring match and solid play but Sobiah and Willow helped us maintain our strong lead after half time. Kaya Harry gave her best match yet with strong dribble penetration and defensive quickness. Athina always gives a spark of quickness on the court. Betsy showed her skills with her take it to the hoop dribbles and one strong 3 pointer. Misty Lothamer has a personal high scoring game, she and Nora ElSafai played with strong defensive intensity.
All players contributed to the score! The best part of the match is seeing how much fun our girls have together and their kindness to get to know the other team and take silly photos with them.
As well as Coach Christie, Coach Haley and Team Manager Bimla accompanied the girls to Gloucester. We’d love to see more supporters to come out and see how well our girls play!"
There were 2 home games for our U14 and U16 National League teams.
The U14s played their first home game in a few weeks hoping to get back to winning ways after the narrow defeat on the last outing. The team were encouraged to start well and with some good team play along with Harry cutting through the Hackney defence at will, the team went into a 33-14 lead at the end of the first. Hackney began to improve and were much more competitive throughout the rest of the game. All boys came on and contributed with Dan and Lorenzo hitting threes. Nico impressed with his finishing at the basket and rebounds with one of the best baskets of the game coming from a lovely inside bounce pass from Tom.
We continued to slowly stretch the lead as Hackney tested our defence near the basket. The end result was a pleasing 95-67 win. We now have a weekend off before a tough trip to unbeaten Bracknell Cobras the following weekend, so focus in training is going to be important as we approach that game.
Despite beating the Blackhawks once already this season the U16s game was always going to be tough because the Blackhawks were playing for their pride. The Eagles came out strong making fast break lay-ups and and scoring well. The Blackhawks sat in a zone to try and suppress the Eagles; however, they were unable stop the ball movement and inside-out play. The 1st quarter ended with the Eagles winning 22-8. An easy win seemed to be on the cards but, as mentioned earlier, the Blackhawks were playing for their pride.
The second quarter saw a reversal of roles as the Blackhawks showed their defensive and offensive prowess. The Eagles on-ball defence was not working well and this allowed the Blackhawks back into the game. A great last second buzzer beater by Joe C helped save the Eagle’s blushes! At the half the score was 35-23.
The 3rd quarter saw the Blackhawks continue their resurgence and they were constantly putting the Eagles under pressure. The Eagles were tentative and becoming nervous whilst the Blackhawks were building momentum. The Blackhawks were able to break down the Eagles zone and, combined with some absent refereeing, the game was still in the balance at the end of the 3rd quarter with the score now 47-37.
The Eagles needed to dig deep in the 4th and simply play better. Ruben Collins responded well to the pressure by attacking the basket more and he also played some tough defence, collecting some really important rebounds. Sam Cheshire showed a cool head after some physical duress and this helped calm the Eagles.The Eagles won this quarter 20-17 and it was great for Alex to score an exciting lay-up. Final score 67-54.
This was sub-par shooting performance by the Eagles but they did show their maturity to play hard under pressure and they came away with an important win. This bodes well for the rest of season with the Eagles now sitting in second place in the league. Farnborough will be a tough test next Sat and boys need to be ready to play another tough game.