BASKETBALL: Titans shake off underdog tag to inflict first defeat on Giants
Northamptonshire Titans were billed as the underdogs as they took on unbeaten Manchester Giants in the U14 Boys North Premier League.
But Titans defied that status as they claimed a fantastic 79-74 success.Titans started strong with Isaiah Meadows opening the scoring which led to a five-point lead after the first quarter.Titans’ consistent defence was key and they held a seven-point advantage at the half before Giants came back to within three at the end of the third period.Going into the final quarter, Isaac Round and Harry Mitchell were paramount with excellent communication which shone throughout the rest of the team.Strong defensive play by Aiden Kabi and Robert Krasovskis also did not go unnoticed while the support of Harry Holt and Timi Olubisi helped Titans seal the victory.
Titans met Hatfield Fliers for the first time in the U16 Girls North Regional League and came out on top by a 65-49 scoreline.Titans trailed by two at the end of the first quarter but Jess Lee’s shooting proved too much for the visitors in the second and they led 32-18 at the half before going on to secure their success after an even second half.
Titans were unable to recover from a big run of points from Derby Trailblazers who went on to claim an 84-61 win in the NBL Women’s Division Two.After edging the previous game between the two this season, Titans were expecting another close game and it was all-square at 26-26 in the second quarter before Trailblazers poured in a 12-0 run.Titans had another four-minute scoreless spell in the third and, although they played until the end, the visitors’ win was sealed well before the final buzzer.
Titans got off to a rocky start and trailed 12-2 early on before eventually going down 89-81 to Reading Rockets in the U16 Boys Central Premier League.Titans stepped up and continued to perform in the second period and got back to within three points with Ben Hooper dominating Titans’ offence.Rockets took control and opened up a 15-point lead at one stage in the third before Tommie Olubidi converted foul shots to keep his team alive.But time was against them in the final period and they were left with a bit too much to do.
Titans had their first game of the season in the U14 Girls North Regional League and, after taking an early, lead they went on to seal a 77-56 victory at Leicester Warriors.
Northants Thunder suffered a nightmare of a final quarter as they were beaten 83-76 at University of Nottingham in their Division Four Midlands Conference encounter.Thunder led 71-70 with four minutes remaining but the hosts went on a 13-5 run to secure the win.In the disappointing defeat, Jason Tucker top-scored with 17 points while Richard Higgins, Jake Wyatt and Matt Yates all got into double figures, Wyatt pulling down 12 rebounds to complete a double-double.Not for the first time this season, Thunder were left to contemplate the effect of missing 11 of the 24 free throws they were awarded.
Northants Lightning went down to a disappointing 70-49 defeat to Sheffield Hatters II in the U16 Girls North Conference.Lightning never really recovered from falling 20-6 behind in the first quarter with Poppy Barnett leading the way in the game with 16 points while Lucy Needham contributed 11.
Northants Thunder had mixed fortunes in two games in the U14 Boys Midlands West Conference.They sealed a routine 108-45 win over an inexperienced Shropshire Warriors and the damage was done in the first half when, led by Tom Greenfield (44) and Dylan Dominici (19), Thunder poured in the points to lead 67-17.The following day, Thunder made the short trip to take on Oxford Hoops, a team that had narrowly beaten the Northants side earlier in the season.It was close throughout with Hoops holding a 45-39 lead at half-time.Trailing Trailing 62-68 going into the final 10 minutes, Thunder got back to with two and then trailed by just 82-81 with a minute-and-a-half to go.However, Hoops managed to extend that lead to three with 13 seconds remaining and, despite having an opportunity to tie the game, Thunder missed the three-point attempt.In the four-points loss, the scoring was led by Greenfield (34) and he was supported by Benas Maldutis (19) and Dominici (18).
Kettering Phoenix’s new third team – the Tropics – enjoyed back-to-back wins in Division Four of the Leicestershire & Rutland League.They were 95-77 victors at St Matthews All Stars with R Rotaru (37) and E Ters (15) leading the scoring.And Ters (28) and Rotaru (19) were at it again as they then enjoyed a 91-54 success over Swadlincote B.The men’s first team lost 78-74 to Leicester Riders Staff in Division One, despite the efforts of E Lepe (30) and Miguel Espada (13).But there was a win for the second team – the Suns – as they edged out Ashby Aztecs B in Division Four with Chris Garner (13) and Nick Lander (13) leading the way.Phoenix ladies also enjoyed a victory as they recorded a 45-38 success at Ashby Aztecs in the Women’s Division. Linda Krievina top-scored with 12 points.