BASKETBALL: Titans take the first step towards second spot
Northamptonshire Titans took the first step towards securing second place in the U16 Boys North Premier with a comfortable 103-60 victory over Cheshire Phoenix.
Despite a long break from action, Titans went on a 21-0 run led by scores from Sam Grant and Taiwo Hamilton and they won the first quarter 27-7.
Jude Carmichael turned up the head as Titans’ perimeter shooting dominated and Ollie Dominque was defiant getting to the basket.
Grant continued to impress and, with Ben Nailer’s distribution, Titans stayed in control of the fixture.
Titans top scorers: Grant 20, Carmichael 17, Dominque 15, Hamilton 14, Cirtautas 10.
Titans Purple were edged out 69-59 by Worcester Wolves in the U16 Boys Midlands West Conference.
Despite the loss, it showed the improvement of the team after Wolves had won the first meeting by a 95-33 scoreline.
The scoring of Dinari Williams-Brown and Ben Hooper kept Titans within reach as the trailed 34-25 at half-time but the third quarter was their undoing as Wolves went on a 16-0 run, halted by Isaac Round and Williams-Brown.
But Round turned up the heat in the fourth and helped bring the deficit down to 10 before the end.
Titans top scorers: Williams-Brown 20, Round 14, Hooper 13.
Titans claimed a 102-35 victory over Oxford City Hoops in the U14 Boys Midlands West Conference.
Titans’ tough defence limited Hoppes to just five baskets from the field in the first half while they amassed 48 points of their own.
The win means Titans are edging closer towards securing a post-season play-off spot.
Titans top scorers: Isaac Round 20, Benji Leesing 12 and Ben Hooper 12.
Titans under-13 boys team competed against older players in the U15 Central Venue League at Northampton School for Boys.
Titans edged out local rivals Northants Thunder in their first game but it was a tougher affair against a taller Kettering team in the next encounter.
Titans were also in action in the Bucks U12 League and claimed two wins.
Under league rules, as Titans were not able to field 10 players, they had to start 10-0 down in each game but they beat South Bucks Comets 36-20 with the final quarter being the key as they added 13 points without conceding.
They then faced a Luton team who had beaten them 42-24 earlier in the season but Titans gained revenge as, despite leading by just one point with two minutes to go, scores from Dimitris Makrakis and Ethan Round led them to a 32-27 victory.
Northamptonshire Titans enjoyed a superb weekend as they claimed two wins from a double-header in the U14 Girls Midlands Conference.
First up was a short trip to take on local rivals Northants Lightning and Titans went out strong in the first quarter and they found the basket with ease with Abi Smith in exceptional form.
Titans continued their enthusiastic team performance throughout the second half to secure a 65-57 success.
That was followed by a home game with Bucks Hornets 24 hours later and, despite an excellent work-rate, Titans initially struggeld to contain Hornets’ talented captain before a controlled defensive effort from Alex Bello changed that.
They trailed 37-33 at half-time but Alise Zvidra found confidence in the third quarter as she made several steals and put herself on the scoresheet.
Bello continued to work hard as Hornets struggled to stop Titans’ scoring trio of Ella McCahill-Brown, Imogene Williams and Luca Virag.
Hornets’ four points in the fourth, compared to their own 20 as they wrapped up a 74-53 success.
A young Titans women’s team were up against title-chasing Worcester Wolves and eventually slipped to an 88-71 loss in Division Two.
Paige Vyse struck early while Esme Kinghorn and Sascha Thompson were instrumental in the Titans defence as they trailed 21-20 after the first quarter.
Their downfall came at the start of the third when Wolves put together runs of 7-0 and 10-0 but Titans battled until the end with Lauren Dabbs finding her fom and Molly O’Leary hitting from range.
Titans top scorers: Thompson 14, Kinghorn 14, Vyse 10.