BASKETBALL: Isaac inspires Titans to play-off win
Isaac Round scored an exceptional 51 points as he led NEBC Titans into the second round of the U14 Boys North Premier League play-offs.
Titans had home advantage against Merseyside Mavericks for their opening play-off game and they held a 10-point advantage at half-time.
They battled to put points on the board in the third period with Round providing key assists and points while Aldo Memoli found his rhythm in the paint, producing strong post moves to keep the 10-point lead in tact.
With three minutes of the third left and Titans in foul trouble, Mavericks pushed a strong scoring run to create a two-point game.
But Titans responded quickly at the start of the fourth and they pushed on to eventually seal a 103-85 victory with the outstanding Round being supported by Memoli (14) and Harry Mitchell (12).
Titans made the trip to the capital to take on Southwark Pride in round one of the U16 Girls National League play-offs but came up just short as they were beaten 63-46.
A 6-0 run for Pride gave them a four-point lead at the end of the first period.
The second saw Pride execute their fast break as they hit Titans for 8-0 run and but the visitors regrouped and got back in the game with some strong defence.
The third quarter was Titans’ best with Tegan Opongtim and Jess Lee scoring freely and it meant they trailed by nine going into the final period. However, disaster hit as Opongtim picked up her fifth foul in the first minute and Titans were unable to close the gap.
Titans U12 Boys finished with a 100 per cent record and were confirmed champions of the Central England Central Venue League.
The squad took on teams from some of the big cities including Birmingham, Coventry and Leicester but they were never overawed by the opposition they faced.
Coach Mike Round said: “We’ve made really good progress during the year and this group of boys has proved that it has the potential to do very well in the coming years.”
Three teams from Northants Basketball Club were in play-off action and all exited at the first hurdle.
Huish Taunton Tigers arrived with just seven players to take on Northants Thunder in the Men’s Division Four play-offs.
But Tigers jumped into a 24-6 lead before three-pointers from Jason Tucker and Sam Mennell got the hosts back to 24-15 at the end of the first quarter.
Thunder were outscored 26-21 in the second but they battled back in the third period and closed the gap to 67-62 going into the last.
But they were affected by a plethora of foul calls against them and Tigers moved into an 80-67 lead.
But Taunton kept their noses in front before a Tucker three-pointer gave Thunder one last hope but the visitors were able to hold on for a 90-86 win.
Johnny Yates and Sam Mennell led the Thunder scoring with 17 and 15 points respectively.
Northants Lightning suffered a shock 53-52 loss at the hands of Norfolk Iceni Demons in the Under-14 Girls play-offs.
They trailed 42-38 at half-time but, led by eight points from Zoe Ormshaw and an Oti Ata put back, Lightning were able to go 48-43 up before Demons’ 10-0 charge put them in the lead 53-48.
Scores from Fiona Arthur and Gee Joksaite reduced the deficit to 52-53 and a stop gave Lightning one last chance but Arthur’s shot fell short and it was Demons who advanced.
As a reward for their achievements, Northants Lightning Too faced a long journey to face Newcastle Eagles in their Under-13 play-off game. But they were well beaten 79-35, despite winning the second quarter 12-10.
Kettering Phoenix won the Leicestershire Central Venue Women’s League after a 62-40 victory over second-placed Leicester Cannons.
Phoenix were stunned by 12 very quick points in under two minutes and they trailed 20-10 at he end of the first quarter.
This forced them into a change of tactics, which resulted in Cannons scoring just 20 more points in the rest of the game.
Phoenix were able to turn the tide and eventually took the lead at the end of the third quarter.
They went on to win by 22 points with Courtney Gray (14) and Melissa Rochet (14) leading the scoring.
The team passed on their thanks to sponsors Brooke Meadow and GL Profiles as without their support the team would have folded last summer.
The club have recently started a junior girls section and anyone interested in joining should email to [email protected]