Youngbloods Under 16 Boys began their Playoff run in the Second Round this weekend after finishing top of the South Premier Division in the Regular Season with an 18 win and 1 loss record. Hertfordshire Warriors came looking to cause an upset against the top placed Southern team.
A fast paced start to the game, Hertfordshire Warriors converted on their chances in the early stages building an 8-3 lead. Joel Osei and Nathan Moyo started to gain control in the post and converted their chances early on, combined with a strong drive to the basket and converted free throw by Jelani Watson-Gayle after he was fouled giving Youngbloods their first lead of the game 12-8.
The Warriors continue to fight and hit a shot from beyond the arc and a rebound giving them 5 points in quick succession forcing Coach Aaron Senior to take a time out to rally his team and to increase the intensity offensively and defensively. This was reward with 7 quick points in succession after Jonathan Ragasa’s drive to the basket was converted successfully plus a confident converted shot from downtown for Rayon Brown and a dunk on a fast break from Nathan Moyo seized the initiative back for the home side as they brought the first quarter to a close ahead by 10 points 30-20.
Youngbloods continued their great defence into the second quarter as they held Hertfordshire Warriors to 2 points in seven minutes of play. With Mark Sotto converting from the line after being fouled on drive to the basket and Aaron Martin starting to find form converting two back to back chances. Alfie Murray came into play and had an immediate effect as he fought for and dominated a rebound for the ball and put back in for 2 points as Youngbloods went on a 15-2 run. Youngbloods kept this intensity despite the rotations to show the depth of the team at hand as they kept Hertfordshire to scoring only 7 points this quarter to Newham’s 21 as the quarter was brough to a close from an Ify Chuks score; Newham Youngbloods leading at half time 51-27.
Youngbloods continued the third much like they started the Second Quarter, despite Hertfordshire once again scoring the first point of the quarter. Newham had another run of 15 points as shots from deep were converted by Martin, Waston-Gayle and Ragasa. Hertfordshire tried desperately to end the drought in scoring and eventually they were rewarded as they got fouled whilst in the act of shooting and converted a chance from the free-throw line; However with Youngbloods Sotto closing out the quarter for the home side with a mid-range jump shot as his side went into the final quarter with a commanding and unassailable 35 point lead, 70-35.
Chuks started off the scoring early on from close range with Newham still keeping their intensity on defense especially in the early stages as they went for a quick 8 points midway through the fourth quarter. Patrick Murethi then took his chance and hit a shot from beyond the 3pt line to send the crowd in raptures. As Newham continued working until the final buzzer as Oscar Turner‘s defence vastly improved this half showed. A confident performance from the Home side heading in to the quarter-final stages next week with a 92-53 final score. They will now face Newcastle Eagles next weekend at Home for a place in the Basketball England National Final Fours.
Head Coach Aaron Senior said “This was a confident performance from us as a whole team, a collective, we worked hard and believed in the system. We look forward to the next round and continuing the journey we have had this year”
Next Week – We need your Support!
Saturday 18th April 2015 – 12PM Tip-Off @ St Angela’s
Come down and support your Youngbloods Under 16 Boys as they face Newcastle Eagles in the Playoff Quarter-Finals.[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” class=”” width=””]