Youngbloods Lions play their first home game of the season at St Bonaventure’s. Their opponents were Brighton Cougars who travelled from the south coast of England and have had a promising start to the season winning two of their first four games.
Youngbloods Lions got off to a flying start winning the tip and charging into a 25 – 0 lead after 6 min. Sultan was instrumental during this period scoring 10 of his game-high 28 points, this was backed by Demi and Marc bulldozing through the Cougars defence and proving too much for the visitors. A 5 on 5 off rotation would see the Lions continue their brilliant start as Big Ben dominant inside presence helped to finish the quarter 31-5.
More of the same in the second with Luca getting in on the action scoring with ease and assisting Jayden to big 3 points shot midway through. Defensive stops and Offensive Rebounds was the key in the later stages followed by swift passing resulting in Alfe hitting his second 3 point buzzer of the season to end the half 60 – 9.
With the game more or less sealed, Coach Stephen decided to try new tactics both on offense and defense going into the third quarter. This will see Big Ben showcasing his array post moves helping him to a season-high 14 points. Captain Marc was inspirational leading the team with assists and steals and hitting a 3-point shot much to the delight of the record crowd. More came with excellent offence resulting in Jahni hitting a sweet midrange shot. With the lead spiralling out of their reach, Brighton showed grit and resilience and was determined to give a good account of themselves and scored a few baskets in the quarter to end 83-13.
Although Youngbloods lions took their foot off the paddle, the highlight of the game came with 3 min into the last quarter as Sultan stole the ball and raced down the court to a one hand dunk, much to the amazement of the visitors and the supporting crowd, his first ever dunk in a game. Luca nailed a deep 3 point shot to seal the deal in what was a great game from a neutral perspective despite the scoreline, final score 109 – 19.
Next week is away to Solent, a much stiffer opponent and a club rich in history of the sport. Bring on the Vuvuzelas.
Coach Stephen Onireti said, “ The team played well but there is always room for improvements, next week will be a true test to see what the boys are made off”.