Let's start in Tip Off order, shall we?
Our U14s travelled to Northampton for a friendly vs Northampton Thunder. Thanks to Coach Andy for the report:
"The headline score says Thunder won 100-3, however, the Eagles played well in patches and with better finishing and decision making the score would have been closer.
To put the game into context, Thunder should be playing in the Premier, and Eagles gave debuts to two players, one of whom had never played a competitive game before. Thunder are a team who have played together for the last 3 seasons whilst the Eagles is a mix of last season's U14 and U12s.
There were plenty of decent passages of play by the Eagles, with Harvey a constant threat. Joanes on debut did not look overawed and was always looking to attack the basket. Lorenzo chipped in with a couple of 3s and Jason was a constant menace when driving with the ball. The other players all added value to the performance, but with two weeks to go before the first league game, there is room for improvement by all players if we are to compete."
The U16s tipped off at home at 2.00pm and Coach Steve lets us know what occurred:
"This was a tough first game against an experienced and big Bucks Hornets team. The game started well as Harry Milbank (top scorer) was on form on the offensive end. The Eagles won the first quarter! In the second the Eagles had the opportunity to take over the game but their outside shooting kept letting them down. It was easy for the Hornets to foul, put us on the line and then get the ball back with no penalty and this continued throughout the game. This is an area the Eagles must improve upon. The Eagles kept failing to gain an advantage at important times in the game.
However, there were some huge positives for the Eagles. Alex got going in the second half on the offensive and was impressive on the boards. Dom showed his toughness on defence taking an excellent charge. Hugo was composed in his first National League game and it was great to see him score - Congratulations Hugo!French came off the bench due illness and had an excellent second half. He scored well amd his strength and grit helped the Eagles stay on the Hornets heels. Oli C brought intensity, defence and ran the offence making some wonderful assists. Unfortunately, he was fouled out in the 4th along with Vinay. Nico was solid on the boards and dealt well with playing against some big Hornets. He was composed on offence and took some good shots. Lyran was also playing his first NL game and made some explosive fast breaks in the 4th quarter and took some amazing rebounds. Well done Lyran. Vinay was all over the court once again and led the team as Captain for the first time.
The 2 important lessons from his game were that the Eagle’s must learn not to foul as much and improve their free throws. We lost by 16 points and missed 17 points from the line! However, this is our development season and with much to learn, wins are just down the road."
Meanwhile the U18s were in actions vs Reading Rockets. Here Coach Chris talks us through the game:
On Sat we travelled to Reading for what turned out to be a game against some familiar faces.
We started well, executing well on offence with Harry Sellick scoring the first points of the game for the second week running. Our man to man defence also looked very solid in the first quarter with and mistakes covered by (top scorer) Joe’s incredible blocking skills - a theme that continued through the match. Dillon, who had an excellent game, and Joe also got going in the first quarter and we led 13-10 going in to the 2nd.
Rockets came out with pressure early in the second and we struggled to score for the first few mins and were punished on the break and from some good shooting by the Rockets. After a time out we got going again with Dillon scoring 6 in the quarter and getting to the free throw line. By now we were blowing a bit and managing court time as best we could, with a few players out. There was a danger of heads going down but Sam and Harry L came down to the bench and gave us the lift we needed! The third started like the second with our zone not working very well, quick change and we were going again but by now we had taken too much damage. In the fourth we were playing for pride and the spirit of the team was hugely impressive, heads up and a fantastic team spirit showed off some of the Fusion offence basketball we have been working on, leading to some easy buckets for Ben.
All in all we lost because we didn’t have enough players due to injuries and technicalities in a game we should have won. We struggled from the free throw line and jump shooting again, so plenty to focus on but so much to be proud of. Playing with 7 guys, one of whom wasn't 100% and winning 2 quarters against an athletic 12 man team from Reading bodes well for the season and we can be confident of a reversal in the return leg"
And finally, the U12s and Catch Stuart tells us of their day:
"Started at 9am with shuttles, drills & skills. Then games at 4pm, a 1st “real” game for many. Great welcome from the Eagles to Brookes as we took them under our wing and showed what a wonderful club we have, very proud of every single player showing true Eagle spirit on and off the court."