Newham Youngbloods Under 16 Boys returned to league action on Saturday as they faced the short trip away to play Barking and Dagenham Thunder in the Basketball England Under 16 Premier Division.
Youngbloods won the tip off and went on the offensive end first but failed to convert their first chance of the game, gifting Barking and Dagenham the first points through sloppy defence. The two teams committed turnover after turnover after neither side managed to establish themselves early on despite Richmond Ariyo and Jonathan Odur managing to get to the free throw line, forcing Coach Aaron Senior to call a timeout trying to rally his team into executing their style of play. Termon Serrant responded following the timeout with a strong drive to the basket before Ariyo knocked down the short jump shot as he shortly converted again, as youngbloods began to exert their offensive prowess into the game. Ariyo and Serrant continued to get to the basket at will converting the next 8 points of the game as Odur and Shequell Roberts managing to inflict further damage on the offensive end giving Youngbloods a 17-12 first quarter lead.
Devante Abana-Odita started proceeding in the second quarter along with David Olupitan knocking down a shot from beyond the arc as Newham managed to started to take ahold of the game with Menelik Stanley converting a strong put back. Ariyo continued his attacking offensive threat as he converted another drive to the basket establishing a double digit lead midway through the second period. A run of 10-2 points closed the second quarter as Emmanuel Eze controlled the boards along with Abana-Odita giving Newham Youngbloods the initiative heading into the halftime break with a 42-18 lead.
A fast start from the Newham side as Abana-Odita, Serrant and Odur linked up well helping Newham go on a 19-3 run with Richmond Ariyo again starring showing an in an out game converting his shots from short and mid range and getting to the free throw line with ease forcing fouls from Thunder. Stanley and Eze continued to build on the performance from their team as the visiting side capped a 26-6 quarter going into the final stanza with a 68-24.
Odur and Eze started the final quarter as the third quarter starting to break down the Thunder defence at will converting the next 9 points together before Abana-Odita joined the scoring party with a near dunk and foul following a nice pass from Serrant. Odur scored 11 points this quarter as the home side failed to contain him, the visiting side competed proceedings with a confident 3 point shot from Menelik Stanley and David Olupitans fast break score seeing Youngbloods within 1 point of a ton, as the game came to a close with Youngbloods winning 99-37 performance.
Head Coach Aaron Senior said “We started really slow today, however as time went on, we read the game brilliantly defensively, and we will continue to build upon our performances.”