Newham Youngbloods Under 16 Boys looking to continue their recent excellent form to make it 4 straight win in the Basketball England Under 16 Boys Premier South competition against Reading Rockets in a historically close match-up between the two sides.
Youngbloods won the tip off and got of to a blistering start at Termon Serrant hit a shot from downtown to open up proceedings following good ball movement early on from the home team. This was quickly followed by another score and Rockets able to get onto the scoring board too. Devante Abana-Odita and Richmond Ariyo however had their own plans as they attacked the basket one after the other completing their baskets to go on a run of 8 straight points as Youngbloods took an early 11-2 lead within the first three minutes of play forcing the Rockets to take a time out. Following the timeout, Rockets were able to score quickly, however the introduction of Jonathan Odur into play saw instant results as he converted from close range. Serrant hit another nail biting three point shot as Youngbloods seemed to be in cruise control early on with spectacular ball movement stretching out the Reading defence early on as Odur, Abana-Odita and Ariyo continued to cause havoc for the visiting side, getting to the basket, attacking at will and getting fouled in the process. Serrant continued in fine shooting form as he hit a shot from deep with two minutes remaining in the first period before Reading hit a three point shot, yet again Serrant had plans of his own and replied instantly with his own three-ball to spark a run of 15 points without reply as Shequell Roberts and Laja Ogidan joined in the party to give Youngbloods a massive 41-13 opening quarter lead.
Odur started off the first quarter just as teammate Serrant did in the first opening up proceedings early on, however Youngbloods could not get settled defensively for the first 5 minutes of the second quarter and Reading Rockets took full advantage of this going on a 9-0 forcing Youngbloods Coach Aaron Senior to take a timeout and talk it out. David Olupitan came into play and immediately made an impact, driving to the basket and get fouled on the fast break, converting one of the free-throws, before netting a 3 point shot from deep to give Youngbloods some composure yet again. Olupitan again converted the three ball from beyond the arc with Gabriel Sanni helping to build upon the lead established in the first quarter giving Youngbloods a 54-24 point lead going into the halftime break.
Reading Rockets came out of the half time the brighter of the two sides, following an inital 4 points scored by the home side. Reading went on a run of 6 points as they began to frustrate Newham who began to pick up fouls early on getting into foul trouble within the first 5 minutes of the third period. Youngbloods frustrations to build and Reading took full advantage despite scores from Menelik Stanley late on, reading were able to reduce Newham Youngbloods lead to only 17 points.
Youngbloods started the fourth quarter much like the first, scoring almost at will, with Serrant yet again leading the charge. Ogidan began to show his ability to get to the rack, as Alex Distras found him on multiple occasions, with smart post play giving Ogidan 9 fourth quarter points as well as helping his side go on a 19-0 run throughout the fourth quarter with reading finally breaking their scoring deadlock in the last minute of play. Odur and Sanni completed the rout for the Home Side as they won the final quarter 25-3, finish the game with a 91-52 scoreline.
Head Coach Aaron Senior “The quick and punishing start from us was a joy to behold, Termon Serrant lead from the front and as a coach you couldn’t ask for a better start from your team than that, however we became complacent in the middle periods and ahead of an important weekend next week we must ensure we build upon this performance, it was impressive indeed”