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2023/24 JNL Weekly Roundup - Week 2

The weekly roundup is back! Check out the the scores and coaches' thoughts from week 2 of the new Junior National league season.

Another busy week of action took place down at LBU Arena this weekend as week 2 of the Junior National League season got underway.

Several coaches and players took to the court for the first time this season, with lots taking to the court for the first time in a competitive game.

Let's see how it all went down as we roundup week 2 of the 2023/24 JNL season.

Saturday 7th October 2023

Tees Valley Mohawks vs COLBC U18 Men

U18 Men North I Conference

Result: 59-60 (W)

Player of the game: Ethan Lough

Coach Matt Newby: "A solid contribution from all players in a gritty road win. The game today was a hard-fought victory. The COLBC boys were down 17 with 5 mins to go, reducing the deficit to 7 with 2 mins left, and finally taking the lead 30 seconds to go and one final defensive phase secured the victory.

There were several key performances of note: Ethan Lough was outstanding from behind the arc, Sam Barraclough showed strong leadership and consistent intensity, whilst Toby Wilkins and Tom Dllion contributed with deflections, rebounding and strong on-ball defence."

Teesside Lions vs COLBC U16 Girls Gold

U16 Girls North Conference

Result: 24-91 (W)

Player of the game: Zoe Nathaniel

Coach Ryan Weir: " The U16s Gold opened their season in style with an impressive win over a developing Teeside Lions group. With a number of players missing, the girls maintained a high-tempo style of play whilst staying out of foul trouble and limiting the opponents' transition opportunities. With a game full of positives and lessons to be learned, we look forward to getting back on the practice floor, to improve and to come back stronger in our next outing."

Liverpool vs COLBC U16 Girls Black

U16 Girls North Conference

Result: 114-19 (L)

Player of the game: Niamh Martin

Coach Katie Lamond: "Tough game on the road today. The girls fought hard against a well-formed and experienced Liverpool side. Full credit to the team! Regardless of the result, the girls never stepped working. We were aggressive from the go, fighting for rebounds and hustling on defence.

When the energy dipped, it didn't take long for the girls to find their intensity again. When on form, the girls created really well for themselves, passing and moving, creating offensive options. Unfortunately, on the flip side, often we turned the ball over, providing Liverpool with an offensive break. There are lots of things to take away from this game, both positive and to improve on. I have no doubt the girls will come back from this stronger and ready to perform.

From our post-game reflection with the team, I am impressed by the girls' ability to still find positives in their performance today, despite the challenging opposition. On to the next!"

COLBC U16 Boys Black vs Barnsley Metros

U16 Boys North I Conference

Result: 67-81 (L)

Player of the game: Freddy Lutu

Coach Jake Shuttlewood: "An agonising defeat in a game that saw the boys battle through all four quarters. A strong outing of big defensive plays from Freddy Lutu and Emil Omidiran gave us a boost that kept us pushing in the game. We struggled to keep the tall Barnsley side away from the offensive boards which started to separate the two teams but this didn’t stop the fight! We finished the game winning the last quarter which is a massive achievement for the team. I’m happy to see the steady growth of the players individually and as a team with some great performances all around.”

COLBC U14 Boys Gold vs City Of Birmingham Rockets

U16 Boys North Premier

Result: 41-72 (L)

Player of the game: Divonte Binitie

Coach Ryan Weir: "For many, their first experience of Premier Basketball, with some experiencing organised basketball for the first time. With a difficult first quarter plagued with foul trouble and turnovers, the boys dug deep to close an early deficit with a spell of impressive basketball. Led by an impressive defensive performance from second year U14 Finlay May, and all around performance by Divonte Binitie in his first organised basketball game. Ultimately, the foul trouble, turnovers and experience from City of Birmingham was too much for the boys to overcome. With a very exciting group, learning many lessons from a promising first outing, we have lots to improve on and are ready to get back on the practice floor to continue to improve every day."

COLBC U14 Boys Black vs East Durham Lions

U14 Boys North 1 Conference

Result: 38-47 (L)

Player of the game: Stephane Mpundu

Coach Alex McCulloch: "The team showed some real promise in this game as we played some of our best basketball. Everyone played as team to create some great open shots using aggressive drives and selfless passes. They also did well to contain a physically good lions team in the entire by playing some good help side defence. The key moving forward will be consistency as despite it being a tight game all the way through the Lions we’re able to go on run which proved insurmountable. Nevertheless, this game was really positive and we hope to replicate the first 3 quarters in future play."

COLBC U14 Boys White vs York Eagles

U14 Boys Regional League

Result: 34-77 (L)

Player of the game: Gerry Alfares

Coach Olly Kerwin-Clegg: "A hard fought game in which the side showed their resilience and character. A much improved outing from last week, the boys looked strong in their transition offence and help-side defence, both points of emphasis from the prior weeks training.

We’ll look to continue on this rate of improvement and build on our strengths moving forward."

COLBC U12 Boys Black vs COLBC U13 Girls

Intra-Squad Tournament

Result: 17-50 (W)

Player of the game: Jessica Woodward

Coach Greta Stout: "This was the first game together for our U13 girls team and they showed great energy and togetherness to run the floor and find the open player with some great passing. The encouragement that they gave one another was amazing to see and there was great communication both on the floor and from the bench. Today was an incredibly positive experience for the girls."

COLBC U12 Boys Gold vs COLBC U13 Girls

Intra-Squad Tournament

Result: 31-24

Player of the game: Matthew Swift

Coach Dave Sailsbury: The second game of the day for the girls was the first game for many of our U12 boys gold, whilst others were chomping at the bit to get back in the action after last season. This game started out with a tight first 7 minutes, with the first quarter finishing tied at 4-4. The second quarter also remained close, with Amelia Sherwood and Matthew Swift exchanging baskets and providing a spark for their respective teams. The third quarter proved decisive, with the girls tiring in their second game of the day and the boys turning up their defensive intensity. Blake Wright's excellent on-ball defense, forcing his opponent to turn several times disrupted the flow for the girls and created opportunities on the break. The girls stuck with it and Amelia Clayton pulled out the fancy footwork, scoring after a step-through that left her defender wondering where she went. Troy Martin closed out the quarter for the boys leaving them up by 7 going into the 4th. The two teams continued to play hard, cancelling each other out 6-6 in the final quarter to leave the boys with the win."

COLBC U12 Boys Gold vs COLBC U12 Boys Black

Intra-Squad Tournament

Result: 42-15

Player of the game: Angus Bowler

Coach Dave Sailsbury: "After a tough start against a formidable U13 girls team, our U12 Black can be proud of a determined showing in this one. Right out of the gate Geron Cheung put them ahead after good team play from Oliver Purdon-Owen and Noah Egan found him open under the bucket. For Gold, Angus Bowler sensed that his team needed a performance from him in this one and his 4 first quarter points meant that Gold went into the break with a 6-3 lead.

Black continued to fight in the second quarter, playing the Gold group tight through the opening minutes. Wilson Cebukhulu and Orlando Victor played with poise throughout, showing the skills that they've been working on in recent weeks. However, with strong defense and scoring on the break the Gold group gradually gained the upper hand as the half ended. Again the third quarter was decisive, with Angus Bowler continuing to provide a spark for the Gold group and further contributions from Kon Kollas and Alfie Bootle.

U12 Black refused to give up with spirited performances from Stanley Welford and Joshua Apawu. Noah Egan picked up a sore ankle after coming down on it following a great drive to the basket and we all wish him well. After a short break in play the Gold group closed it out, with fast break scores to finish the day."

Sunday 8th October 2023

York Eagles vs COLBC U16 Boys Gold

U16 Boys North Premier

Result: 68-45 (L)

Player of the game: Callum Conroy

Coach Jake Shuttlewood: “A tough outing against an experienced York Eagles side. The boys showed a great first quarter with some impressive shooting and inside finishes which gave them a small deficit to catch. We struggled to get back into the game after some lapses on the defensive end which ultimately carried on throughout, until the 3rd quarter. The boys kept fighting in a fast paced fourth quarter with back to back scores and end to end play but it wasn’t enough to get them back into the game. We continued to show glimpses of good play which is exciting, and we will look to replicate that in training for the future games.”

Rounding off the second weekend of the new Junior National League season, COLBC Director Matt Newby was excited by the obvious improvements shown in just one week:

"In a busy weekend that would see a number of teams start their campaign, and others get off the mark in terms of their win/loss column, it was once again pleasing to see our young players engaged in so much activity. Of note, the U16 Girls Gold team claimed a victory in the North East against the Teesside Lions and the U18 Men claimed their first victory the campaign against Tees Valley. Multiple teams played out close affairs including the U16 Boys Black and U14 Boys Black against Barnsley Metros & East Durham Lions respectively.

The highlight of the weekend was the Intra-Squad tournament between our U12 Boys Black & Gold and U13 Girls, in an exciting round robin, in which the youngest categories of our programme got to showcase their skills in preparation for their respective regional competitions this season.

We’d like to thank all our parent/guardians for their positive support on game day, and their continued investment in the programme.

We will return to action next weekend at LBU Arena with seven home and away - Including the club's return to the Men's Senior National League ranks in Division 3. Lots of exciting news to be announced in the next couple of day and we cant wait... Have a great week!

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