BASKETBALL: Titans boys wrap up the title with big win
Northamptonshire Titans secured the U14 Boys Midlands West Conference title with two games still to play after a dominant 113-43 win against Worcester Bears.
Just two points separated the teams after seven minutes but a change of tactics in the second period saw Titans go on a 25-0 run and they opened up a 34-point lead by half-time.
The celebrations began after Titans had won the final quarter 27-10 but, although they are now league champions, the team will need to maintain their focus against Coventry this weekend if they are to maintain their unbeaten record and give themselves a favourable route through play-offs.
Titans top scorers: Isaac Round 29, Sean Rawlins 21, Harry Mitchell 17, Oskar Knight 14, Ben Hooper 12.
Titans Women enjoyed an excellent weekend as a double-header of matches brought with it two victories.
They began their busy 24 hours with a trip to Worcester Wolves and Sasha Thompson was on form as she dominated Titans’ first-quarter scoring, well supported by Hannah Bird.
But Titans struggled as Wolves switched to a zone, preventing Titans from driving to the basket, and the hosts took a 43-35 lead into half-time.
Wolves led by 10 at one stage but Titans captain Esme Kinghorn exploited gaps on the baseline and rebounded well and helped her team back to within a point.
The lead changed hands several times within the last two minutes but a mistake from Titans who were just one point down, sent Wolves to the line with just eight seconds remaining.
Making one of two shots, Wolves had to defend to finish with a win.
But Thompson got her hands on the ball and drove to the basket under extreme pressure and her quality shone through as she made a lay-up in the dying seconds to make the score 69-69.
The game went into overtime and Bird showed maturity beyond her years as she controlled the play while Paige Seaton hit a three to the bottom of the net.
And Titans defended until the end to secure a 76-73 success.
Titans top scorers: Thompson 22 Seaton 13, Paige Vyse 11.
A day later, Titans were back in action against Mansfield Giants with both teams fighting for the last play-off position.
The first quarter ended level at 25-25 and, after trailing in the second, Thompson and Paige Vyse got them back on track before Vyse followed with three back-to-back three-pointers.
They trailed by one at that stage and that was still the case after the third with Giants holding a 59-58 advantage.
But Georgia Collins found her rhythm in the final period and hit four three-pointers in a row and Thompson was sent to the line twice, scoring four from four.
Seaton also stepped up
and scored five from six from the line in the final two minutes while Hayley Swann and Bid pulled down rebounds to help give Titans an 85-77 win.
Titans top scorers: Vyse 22, Collins 16, Thompson 12, Seaton 12.
Northamptonshire Titans maintained their unbeaten record in U16 Girls North Conference with a fine 111-63 success at local rivals Northants Lightning.
Titans made a strong start as Emma Wickham opened the scoring and with leading scorer Lauren Dabbs in great form, they immediately pulled away and halted any Lightning score for the first five minutes of the game.
Lightning did pull the score back to 21-14 at the end of the first but Titans kept a steady lead through the second quarter and with strong penetration to the basket, they forced Lightning into foul trouble and held a 51-32 advantage at the half.
With a more physical game, tensions began to rise, however a change in defensive style saw Titans take full control of the game with Dabbs, Wickham and Tegan Millar scoring at will to give them an 80-48 lead going into the final period.
Ella McCahill-Brown seized her opportunity in the fourth, causing problems on the break and increasing her own points tally.
Titans finished the game strongly and took a comfortable win in which five players hit double figures.
Titans top scorers: Dabbs 32, Millar 20, Wickham 17, Hannah Bird 14, McCahill-Brown 12.
Titans entered a team in the U15 Central Venue League at Northampton School for Boys on.
Although the Titans line-up was made up mainly of under-13 boys, they went unbeaten during the event with the players working well as a unit at both ends of the floor.
The Central Venue Leagues have provided valuable competitive opportunities for those aiming to compete in the U14 National League competition next season.