U14 Premier Boys complete Weekend Local Double

Saturday 20th January 2018
Baltic Stars vs Youngbloods Lions

An eagerly anticipated game between teams based in Newham took place today at School 21 and it did not disappoint. Baltic is known for their great shooting and physicality. Lions were the visitors and are looking continue their winning start to the year.

It was a cagey affair to start as both teams struggled to connect on both ends. It was the lions that got the ball rolling with Jayden driving hard to the basket for and1. Both teams then traded baskets throughout the quarter making it 18-18.

Baltic would then caught fire in the second quarter nailing five 3-point shots to open the gap. The home side had the momentum as they continued to capitalize on the Lions poor performance. After a time-out and a change in strategy, Lions started reducing the gap lead by Sultan and Marc, but the home side would edge it going into the break 41 – 38.

Controversial decisions changed the course of the game in favour of the home side at the third as the Lions found themselves down by 10 points with 5 min to go. A shift in rotation kicked the Lionintoto third gear as they went rampant on the home side scoring 12 unanswered points to edged the quarter 10 – 17.

The best performance came the last quarter as captain Marc showed great leadership in continuing the charge much to the delight of the supporters. More aggressive play came from Ben as he bulldozed his way to the basket on several occasions. But it was the defensive effort that steered home the victory for the lions, reducing the home side to only 5 points the fourth quarter. The final score 56 – 80, a well deserved win after a slow start for the Lions.

Sunday 21st January 2018
Youngbloods Lions vs Baltic Stars

The second encounter in successive days would see the Lions and Baltic go head to head again but this time at St. Bonaventure’s school.  If the first game was anything thing to go by, then this game will prove to be a cracker. Baltic arrived early and was looking poised and ready for the rematch. Lions were playing in their familiar yellow kit and yellow socks.

Lions won the tip and straight away burst into the lead as Demi drove in for an easy lay-up.  The defensive effort from Jayden and Marc proved pivotal at the early stages making it difficult for Baltic. Marc was instrumental getting some and-ones and assisting Ben (who finished with 14pts 15 rebounds and 3 blocks) to some baskets. The visitors were stunned and could not stop the immense pressure from the Lions who raced into a 27 – 13 lead.

Ben continued his brilliant start showing his array of post moves and scoring much to the delight of the home crowd. More came as Marc hit a 3 point shot halfway through backed by Jhani driving strong to the basket for an and-one. Sultan had a slow start but later came to life, dominating the boards on both ends.  Multiple fast breaks and defensive pressure held the visitor at bay to end the half 55 – 28.

Marc took charge of the third quarter going coast to coast with some acrobatic lay-ups and was backed by Demi being more aggressive and grabbingb12 offensive rebound to follow his 13 points, 4 assists and 3 blocks. The surprise performer came from Luca who nailed two 3’s and added 3 steals and 6 assists.  An excellent defensive quarter as the Lions only limited the visitors to 7 points and extending the lead 81-35.

With the game beyond the reach of Baltic, Coach Stephen decided to rotate the bench in the final quarter. This gave the visitors breathing space and they took advantage scoring 10 unanswered points and going on to win the quarter 18 – 22.  But the gap was too much for them as the Lions cruised to victory 99 – 57. A spirited performance by the lions and a well-deserved win.