Newham Youngblood’s Under 16s returned to action this weekend as they travelled away to London United Harefield Academy in Middlesex looking to finish 2015 on a positive note following their win against Peckham Pride.
Harefield won the tip off and scored the opening points of the game, quickly countered at the other end of the floor by Laja Ogidan as Newham scored their first points of the game, Termon Serrant quickly followed suit as he opened his account early on with a penetrating drive to the basket. Titas Zydelis added in from close range before adding another three points as he knocked down a jump shot from beyond the arc giving Youngblood’s and early 9 to 4-point lead midway through the first. David OIupitan followed suit as he knocked down a trey ball of his own as Youngblood’s began to set their mark on the game early on. A run of 12 points to Harefield’s 4 as Serrant joined in with the three-point party and Ogidan again causing problems for the home side from close range as Newham closed out the first quarter 21-11.
Devante Abana-Odita put the first quarter frustration behind him as he scored the first points of the second quarter followed by Alex Distras who also joined the parade of three point shots scored by the visitors as Newham raced to a 15-point lead. London United fired back with 2 back to back three balls with Jonathan Odur break the run with a fast break score. A foul by Newham gave London United two threes which they converted to shorten the visitors lead to 11 points midway through the second period as Distras again came up clutch and converted from deep beyond the arc to restore a great lead for the Newham side. Abana-Odita converted following a rebound at the end of the quarter to Youngblood’s an 8 point lead heading in to the half time break, 35-27.
Youngblood’s defence collapsed early on as London United found their groove coming out with high intensity from the beginning of the third as they had a run of 10 points to take their first lead of the game since the opening stages, as this forced Coach Aaron Senior to take a time out to regroup his players. Great patient play exhibited by Guards Distras and Serrant enabled easy scores from Abana-Odita on the inside as he scored the next six points for the visitors. Harefield again managed to go on a run which lead to a tied game with four minutes to play in the third stanza. A strong drive to the basket by David OIupitan forced Harefield to foul as he cooly converted both shots from the charity stripe, which was again quickly followed up by strong inside play from Abana-Odita. Abana-Odita and OIupitan would combine to score the next 10 points for the Newham team as OIupitan ended proceedings for the third quarter with another three point shot nailed from deep. Youngblood’s going into the final quarter with a 9-point lead, 45-54.
Zydelis got proceedings under way for the away side yet again as the two sides traded baskets for half of the final period before Youngbloods ramped up a gear again as Ogidan playing full of confidence after his game winning score against Peckham in the previous game converted the basket and and-1. Olupitan then camp up trumps with another three point shot to restore Newham’s lead to 9 points, as great defence from Shequell Roberts lead to many easy baskets for his team as Menelik Stanley scored in transition before great team play again gave a Olupitan a successful shot from downtown. Ogidan and Stanley wrapped up proceedings for the visiting side with 4 straight points before the final Buzzer as Newham Youngblood’s finished with a win in their final game of 2015, 60-74.
“Happy to finish 2015 on a Positive Note, after many battles so far this year we are now entering the second half of the season full of confidence and a lot to play for in 2016, we shot the ball extremely well today and our ball movement was much improved.” said Head Coach Aaron Senior