Titans fight back to secure a comfortable success

Action from Titans 77-28 victory over Sheffield Sharks in the U14 boys North Premier
Action from Titans 77-28 victory over Sheffield Sharks in the U14 boys North Premier

Northamptonshire Titans fought back from losing the first quarter to claim a big 85-45 victory at Nottingham Wildcats in U14 Girls North Regional.

Titans included newcomer Leisha Burgess in their side but the hosts started the strong and led 17-12 after the first quarter.

Titans focused on their passing and moving as they increased the intensity in the second and they went into the lead at 34-25.

And good defensive play throughout the third and fourth quarters opened up options to the offence as they sealed a well-deserved win.

Burgess led the scoring with 24 points while the support came from captain Imogene Williams (18) and Abi Smith (15).

Titans U14 boys had a full squad for their home North Premier match against a young Sheffield Sharks side.

The hosts took control and opened up a 28-9 advantage in the first quarter and they kept the momentum going, allowing their coach to rotate each player on the bench.

Titans eventually secured a 77-28 victory which moved them up to fourth place in their first season in the top division.

Titans travelled to U16 Boys Central Premier leaders West Herts Warriors and eventually fell to a 107-74 defeat.

A high-scoring opening quarter ensued as both teams’ offence flowed with Warriors’ three-point shots finding the basket while Titans’ inside game meant they were trailing by only six at the end of the first.

The second quarter proved to be the defining period as Warriors employed a zone defence and it did the trick as Titans could only manage 9 points throughout this period.

Titans responded in the third, but it was in the fourth that they upped their efforts and were rewarded with their best spell of the game.

Titans ladies had home advantage against Division Two leaders Myerscough College but were eventually edged out 80-73.

Titans found the going tough at the beginning but they responded through Paige Vyse and Sascha Thompson as they pulled themselves back into the game.

The visitors stunned Titans with an 8-0 run at the beginning of the second but the home side’s resolve shone through as they stepped up the defence and executed their transition game, although they still trailed 43-33 at half-time.

In the third, both teams’ defence stifled one another’s offence, but it was a stern run at the beginning of the fourth that put the game out of reach of Titans even though a strong finish got the home crowd on their feet.

Thompson led the scoring with 14 points while support came from G Collins (13) and L Milne (13).

Titans were well-represented in the Under-13 Central Venue League tournament at Northampton School for Boys.

Seventeen boys from Titans’ thriving programme for youngsters were spread across three teams with all players showing good effort throughout the series of games.

At the end of the event, Jack Shears was presented with a special award for his excellent leadership.

Any players interested in joining the Titans Junior programme can contact pete@nebctitans.co.uk

Titans, meanwhile, have been invited to takeover the Basketball England Instagram page over this weekend when they have a triple header at Weavers Leisure Centre on Saturday, starting at midday.

Northants Thunder got back to winning ways in dramatic circumstances as they snatched a 96-89 success at Warwickshire Hawks in Division Four (Midlands Conference).

After a close run first quarter, Thunder broke the game open with 25-7 charge over the first six minutes of the second.

Leading 51-31, Thunder were then guilty of trying to play with the same abandon when the home side strengthened their line-up and Hawks took the final four minutes of the quarter 13-4 to close the gap to 44-55 at half time.

For six minutes of the third quarter Thunder were able to control the game and maintain their 10-point advantage before things literally fell apart and Hawks embarked on an 11-0 run to take a 68-67 lead at the end of the period.

Thunder had found themselves in this position in several recent games and at the start of the final quarter their confidence was at rock bottom.

Hawks sensed victory and they opened up an 82-73 lead midway through the quarter.

Thunder coach John Collins needed a miracle and he switched his team to a half-court trapping zone and suddenly his players were able to regain control of the game.

An 11-6 run, with Jacob Holt scoring eight of those points, got the score back to 88-84 and in the last two minutes of play, they outscored their opponents 12-1 to take the game.

Holt scored 26 points and completed a double-double with 13 rebounds, Jason Tucker was just one rebound off a triple double, scoring 15 points, dishing out 11 assists and pulling down nine rebounds.

Good support came from Matt Yates with nine points, all of them in the last two minutes of the game while Coach Collins was full of praise for rookie Hayden Alcindor who was pressed into service and came up with 15 points.

Northants Thunder returned to action after four weeks without a fixture but their preparation was hindered due to injury, illness and commitment to other sports as they travelled to West Bromwich Albion with an under-strength squad.

And they paid the price as they were beaten 70-37 in the Under-16 Boys Midlands West Conference.

Three pointers from Ally Solazzo and Ashley Kitchen sparked some momentum in Thunder’s offensive performance with the team confidently coping with West Brom’s full court press.

Thunder were struggling on the boards which saw the home side convert consecutive second chance shots to take a 17-8 lead after the first quarter.

Thunder showed more confidence in the second, attacking the basket with more energy leading to back-to-back scores for Cameron Leighton in the paint.

However, they were guilty of making some poor decisions in the broken floor and the hosts took a 43-24 lead into half-time.

A low scoring third quarter saw a poor offensive performance from Thunder and Albion led 52-28 going into the last 10 minutes of play.

With the game out of reach, Thunder were guilty of poor execution in the final quarter as they were able to score just nine points as they slipped to a heavy defeat.

They were led by Ashley Kitchen, with 15 points, supported by nine from Cameron Leighton.