U16 Crusaders Defeat Westminster to Advance

Newham Youngbloods Crusaders were in action against Westminster Warriors as Newham travelled away to Willesden Green with both teams looking to book their place in the next round of the Basketball England National Cup. After an initial delay, Youngbloods won the tip and took advantage early as Menelik Stanley converted with a strong drive to the basket, and Westminster replied instantly. Richmond Ariyo continued to acert himself at this level, and a strong rebound and foul helped him to the free throw line as he converted from the line before netting another. David Olupitan looked to continue his good form, and just like his teammate Ariyo, took advantage of the gap as he was fouled attacking the basket converting both from the charity stripe.

A foul called on Termon Serrant by the referee, and quickly followed by a technical foul to the Youngbloods coach for remonstrating about the call, saw him adjudged with a technical foul, gifting a free point to the Warriors. This however sparked Youngbloods to life as they went on a run of 21-2 run through attacking fast break play initiated by Serrant whilst Devante Abana-Odita started to control the boards with strong finished at the rim quickly followed by Gabriel Sanni as he knocked down a shot from the short corner with the second quarter capped of by Titas Zydelis as he scored from deep giving Youngbloods the lead 28-7 at the end of the first.

Newham started the brighter of the two sides in the second quarter and they continued to exert their dominance on the game, Emmanuel Eze was introduced to play and quickly found the basket following a strong rebound and he quickly followed this with another. They kept building on their lead, as Westminster failed to get a foothold into the game, as Youngbloods won the second quarter 19-7 and lead going into the halftime break 47-14.

Youngbloods looked to continue their fast first half performance, however frustrations set in for both sides as they failed to convert the easiest of chances. Two three’s from Serrant along with strong attacking play from Ariyo and Sanni ensured Youngbloods remained on top going into the fourth quarter with a 62-24 lead. it was now Olupitan’s turn to knock the shot down from beyond the arc as he nailed two in the last quarter along with Sanni’s continued attacking play proved Newham’s dominance in the game with Zydelis knocking down both free throws to close out a strong away win for Youngbloods 93-41 to advance to the National Cup Third round where the winner of NASSA and Hackney White Heat awaits.

Head Coach Aaron Senior said “This continued on from our great play last week against Ipswich, great team performance and we are getting better each game, we have to keep working hard, there is a lot to play for this season”