Youngbloods Under 16 travelled away to sunny Southampton on Saturday looking to continue their recent good form winning 5 straight games in the Basketball England Premier South Division as they squared up against Solent Kestrels. Solent won the tip-off and went on the attack scoring the first two points of the game instantaneously, Youngbloods hit a quick response as Devante Abana-Odita converted the basket as he was fouled, quickly followed by a score from Richmond Ariyo as the visiting side looked to establish a lead early on. Abana-Odita and Emmanuel Eze were dominant on the inside with both fouled early on and earning their points from the Charity Stripe. The Kestrels were responding point for point before Youngbloods were able to begin build a lead following a deep 2 point score from Termon Serrant. Solent were to have the last say in the first quarter as a Defensive Lapse allowed a successful shot from 3pts by Solent giving Youngbloods a 1 point lead heading into the second period.
Laja Ogidan and Jonathan Odur netted the first 6 points of the game for the visiting side as they began to pull away early on, with Abana-Odita a massive threat on the inside for Newham before Solent managed to score 4 points straight to bring the game within 3 points. Termon Serrant had plans of his own as he hit a shot from downtown sparking the home side to life as Alex Distras followed from his teammates example and hit a shot from deep giving the Newham side a 10 point advantage midway through the second quarter, and advantage they continued to hold on to heading into the halftime break thanks to great defensive efforts from Titas Zydelis and Ogidan. Newham Youngbloods up 41-32 at halftime.
A sluggish start from both sides after the halftime break ensued with possession after possession before successful scores as Menelik Stanley established himself in the game with 2 scores on the fast break with David Olupitan and Abana-Odita alternating on the scoring front as Youngbloods defence continued to frustrate the home side giving Youngbloods full control with 3 minutes remaining in the third period as they launched a run of 12 unanswered points triggered by a three point shot from beyond the arc by Distras, an strong Eze inside post play. Quickly followed by another three from Serrant as Ariyo capped the 23-12 third quarter performance to give Youngbloods a game high lead of 20 points.
Solent started the fourth period fighting and started the quicker of the two sides, as Youngbloods began to become lethargic on the defensive end allowing uncontested shot and second chance opportunities. The two sides traded baskets as Shequell Roberts grabbed the last basket for the visiting side before the final buzzer sounded with Youngbloods winning by a 13 point margin with a Final Score 61-74
“We were slow to start today, but the middle periods were fantastic from us defensively, it is always hard to travel away, however we learn a lot about ourselves as a team through these games” noted Head Coach Aaron Senior