All away games for our teams this weekend as trips to Shenfield, Docklands and Reading were ahead for our teams, as the Under 12s team played their first fixture in the CBL League.
Saturday 20th December 2014
Under 13 Boys
Brentwood Fire II 52 Youngbloods 102
Under 14 Boys
NASSA 79 Youngbloods 66
A vibrant Youngbloods team traveled down the road to face NASSA for the second time this season. The first encounter saw NASSA dominate the Acers by 50 points. This Acers team has shown resilient and steady improvement since that meeting.
The game started with NASSA on the front foot putting pressure on the Youngbloods guards that forced early turnovers. Great Igbimwoanhia started proceeding for the Acers scoring off a fast break. It was not the best of quarters for the Acers who turned the ball over 10 times but managed to stay within 8, quarter score 19-11.
Things picked up in the second quarter as the Acers mounted their assault on NASSA out scoring the home side with Simon Torres leading the charge hitting 5 of his game high 20 points. Simon was influential in lifting the team back by Domiykas Pavilonis making it a 16-20 quarter in favour of the Acers.
A dramatic third quarter would see the Acers loose their composure as NASSA pilled up the pressure. More turnovers followed by missed lay-ups would be the difference. Missed Free-Throws had never been an issue for the Acers who on the day only scored 11/27 from the line. NASSA had the momentum and were proving difficult to break despite last quarter serge by Acers.
Under 16 Boys
Reading Rockets 39 Youngbloods 83
Under 16 Youngbloods Boys travelled to Reading on Saturday to play the Reading Rockets for the second time this season with the Rockets looking to avenge their previous defeat by the hands of Youngbloods earlier on in the season in Newham.
Youngbloods won the tip-off and drove straight to the basket, missing the opening shot of the game swell as the next three, the game started off slow for both sides before Ify Chuks broke the deadlock for the visiting side getting fouled in the act of shooting and splitting the two free throws to get a point on the board for Newham. The two sides began to trade baskets, and scores remained close heading into the final minutes of the game as the quarter was closed out by a Joel Osei strong rebound and put back in which he was fouled and converted from the free throw line for a 3 point play to give the Youngbloods the 4 point lead heading into the first quarter break.
The visiting side knew they could perform better, and as the defensive intensity increased in the second period so did the pace of their offence scoring many baskets in transition as well as punishing the Rockets from beyond the arc with threes from Mark Sotto and Jonathan Ragasa with Youngbloods continuing their onslaught of fast breaks as Rayon Brown attacked the basket strong and was fouled converting both free-throws in the process giving Youngbloods a second quarter win 26-7, going in at half time with a 19-42 half time lead.
Newham began to experiment a variety of combinations to start the third quarter as the continue to build upon their lead with great looks from Brown and Jelani Watson-Gayle finding Ragasa for a brace of successful shots from downtown as Youngbloods closed out the third quarter 10-25, end of quarter score 29-67. The fourth quarter began much of the same as Watson-Gayle found his way to the basket and was fouled converting both shots from the charity stripe and this was swiftly followed by the same from Oscar Turner as he rebounded strong. Youngbloods held out til the end of the quarter as a layup from Osei completed the game giving Youngbloods the game 83-39.
U16s Head Coach Aaron Senior said “We performed as expected and continue to refine our team game despite the low number of players available to us this weekend. The seven players worked hard as a team all scoring 5 or more points and to ensure we finished 2014 on top of the South Premier Division with an 11 Win and 0 Loss record. However, we still have a lot of work to do, and we are heading in the right direction.”
Under 18 Men
Reading Rockets 66 Youngbloods 86
The U18 Men also travelled to Reading for their last game of 2014. Youngbloods due to illness, injury and players away for the holidays, Youngbloods only had 7 players, so 4 Under 16 Players played up as a result. Reading won the opening tip off and got the game started with the first points of the game. Youngbloods answered back with a quick two and then Youngbloods decided to try out a new defence they had been doing at training, this caused problems for Reading and allowed Youngbloods to gain a 10 point lead.
Reading did their own defensive changes to confuse the East London team, but Coach Caroline Charles was quick to inform her boys on how to handle what was happening on court. This time out proved useful and the East London boys went on court and destroyed the Reading defence, and began scoring at will.
In the last quarter, there was a rush of baskets from Reading, but Youngbloods was so far ahead, there was no chance that the team was not returning to Newham without the win as the sealed the game with an 86-66 performance.
Sunday 21st December 2014
Eastside Eagles 30 Youngbloods 52
Youngbloods began their Under 12 season in style on the weekend at St Angelas Ursuline as they beat Eastside Eagles 52 – 30. With many taking part in their first competitive club fixture, the excitement and nerves were with both sets of teams, with onlooking supporters waiting for the match up to begin. At tip off, both sides missed their first opening exchanges as Neave Gregoire-Clarke setting the tone with his blistering pace and aggression to attack the basket converting his drives to the basket for a successful layup. However the Eagles players were producing the same battle as the two sides traded baskets and continued to do so.
As Coach Jardel Kerr continued to rotate his bench, Oliver Thompson and Matthew Abdul continued to set the tone that Gregorie-Clarke set by dominating the boards and converting their chances as momentum started to go Youngbloods way. Tristien Tenido came into play and scored from his attempt from deep. Eastside Eagles never gave up and battled towards the end as a layup from Calvin Gitiba sealed the game as Youngbloods came away with a 52-30 win in their first Under 12s CBL game of the season.