Youngbloods under 16s are Sheffield bound, following on from last weeks win and produced another team performance to knock out Bucks Hornet in the quarter-finals and advance to National Finals-Fours on 3rd May at the EIS. Great plays in transition following good defensive hustle from the outset by Vytautas Rimkus and Jelani Watson-Gayle, led to an early 8-2 run in favour of Youngbloods. The defensive intensity remained throughout along with smart attacking play from Rayon Brown sending Youngbloods leading 20-12 at the end of the first quarter.
Youngbloods started the second quarter with a bang after a 3 point shot nailed by Shaquille Williams following an assist by Tyren Stuart gave Youngbloods their biggest lead of the game so far. Both sides began to trade baskets for the remainder of the second with Darran Henry and Joseph Adikwu deputising in the middle, sending Youngbloods into the half time break 7 points up.
Following the break, Youngbloods surged further into the lead going on a 12-0 run capped by a 3 point shot by Emmanuel Odunsi forcing Bucks to make a timeout. Following the timeout, Joel Osei and Nathaniel Moyo continued presence on the inside continued to cause problems for Bucks Hornets. However, Bucks Hornets continued to fight and aggressively attacked the basket, scoring 7points in a row to close out the third quarter, with Youngbloods keeping the lead 55-39. Bucks Hornets continued to fire early in the fourth quarter; following a timeout called by Youngbloods Coach Aaron Senior, rallied his troops to get more consistency on defence. Following the timeout, Youngbloods produced big defensive stops, holding the ball up, and remaining calm and cool under pressure converting the opportunities that were presented, closing the game out 73-62 and advancing to the England Basketball u16 National League Final Fours in Sheffield on 3rd May where they will play Ipswich in the Semi-Final Matchup.
Youngbloods Under 16s Head Coach, Aaron Senior, visibly delighted said “It was a great performance from the guys today, The boys played hard throughout and as a family unit who have shown they are right up there with the best in country, going into the final fours with some vital wins. The fans today were fantastic, and it was great to have a facility such as St Angela’s and I personally would like to thank them for being able use this facility.”