BASKETBALL: Titans wrap up second place
Northamptonshire Titans secured second place in the U16 Boys North Premier with a comfortable 88-50 victory at City of Birmingham Rockets.
Titans made the trip knowing only a win would do and they went to work straight away with Diarra Layne’s drives to the basket causing difficulty for the CoB team.
Jamal Jack turned up the heat on the offensive boards, converting back-to-back baskets, and was supported well by the change of pace from Jude Carmichael to give Titans a 50-21 half-time lead.
Titans’ captain Sam Grant stood firm at the defensive end and with the vision of Ben Nailer’s passing, Titans bossed the game from start to finish.
With the result in no doubt, Titans were all able to enjoy good court minutes with all players making the scoresheet and they can now look forward to the play-offs.
Titans top scorers: Carmichael 20, Grant 15, Layne 11.
Titans maintained their unbeaten record in the U16 Girls North Conference as the champions enjoyed two wins over the weekend.
Their first match was against a physical Manchester Mystics II team and Titans started well with Tegan Miller and Kenny Hamilton finding success close to the basket while Lucy Virag got in on the action.
Titans took a firm grip as they kept the visitors scoreless for six minutes while scoring 11 points themselves and Lauren Dabbs was in fine form right up until the buzzer as Titans won 84-53.
Less than 24 hours later, Titans were hosting Stockport Lapwings and they trailed at one stage before a timeout and Lauren Dabbs’ quick five points restored their lead.
Dabbs continued to dominate the scoring early on and, when Stockport contained her, India Evans stepped up with a six-point run of her own.
The second half saw Titans back to their best with great ball movement and their free-flowing basketball trademark which resulted in them securing the 83-47 victory.
Titans hosted Leicester Warriors in their last U14 Girls Midlands Conference match of the season and finished on a high note with a 62-31 victory.
Imogene Williams opened the scoring and Titans led by 16 points at the end of the first quarter while the next two periods were low scoring as the younger players were given significant minutes.
The fourth quarter was set with the main body of next year’s team with 10-year-old Tolani Akarnmu scored her first basket of the season, Cerise Williams drove to the basket with confidence and Abi Smith’s mature shot selection gave promise to Titans’ future.
The coaching staff finished the game with a senior line-up as four out of five played their final U14 game as they move up an age group and they saw the game out strong with an 11-0 scoring run.
Titans top scorers: Ella McCahill Brown 20, Williams 16.
Titans U16 Purple suffered a narrow 92-86 defeat at Shropshire Warriors in their final game of their first-ever season together in the Midlands West Conference.
Titans trailed 24-18 after the first quarter and they managed to stay with the hosts in the second thanks to scoring of Dinari Williams-Brown, Ben Hooper and Isaac Round who racked up 24 points between them.
Warriors did push further ahead in the third quarter but the fourth period was Titans’ best as the scoring trio of Williams-Brown, Hooper and Round helped them win it 26-21, although it wasn’t enough to overhaul the hosts.
Titans top scorers: Hooper 35, Round 24, Williams-Brown 19.
Titans significantly improved their chances of making the semi-finals of the Bucks U12s League by winning both of their games in Aylesbury.
Although the team didn’t play particularly well against Triple Threat Basketball or AGS Hornets, they managed to grind out a couple of positive results.
The first game against Triple Threat saw them claim a fairly straightforward 42-23 win but Hornets provided a tougher test.
Titans were unable to score in open play in the first quarter against and were 12-10 down at half-time.
However, they held their opponents scoreless in the third quarter, and took a 16-12 lead into the final period before hanging on for a 21-16 success.
Titans will seal a semi-final place if they can win their final league games against Triple Threat Basketball.
Kettering Phoenix men claimed a big 77-41 win over Melton Kings in Division One of the Leicestershire & Rutland League.
E Lepe (26) and Eduards Helisek (19) led the scoring in the impressive win.
There wasn’t so much joy for the men’s second team as the Kettering Suns went down 92-43 at Wellingborough in Northants Division Two with John Clarke (14) being their top scorer.
Kettering Phoenix have received funding to try to develop a new walking basketball team.
The new sport is suitable for all, irrespective of gender, age, size, ability or impairment.
The sessions begin on Sunday, April 8 between 6pm and 7.30pm at the Southfield School sports centre in Kettering and the first four are free.
For more information email to [email protected]
Under-15 results: Kettering Phoenix A 45 Northants Titans B 14, Kettering Phoenix A 13 Northampton Titans 2, Kettering Phoenix A 16 Northants Thunder 8, Kettering Phoenix A 41 Northampton Condas 11, Kettering Phoenix B 36 Northants Titans B 26, Kettering Phoenix B 28 Northampton Titans 18, Kettering Phoenix B 22 Northants Thunder 21, Kettering Phoenix B 27 Northampton Condas 10.