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2023/24 National League Weekly Roundup - Week 8

The weekly roundup is back! Check out the the scores and coaches' thoughts from week 8 of the National league season.

Week 8 saw ten games get underway across the North in the Junior National League.


Let's see how it all went down as we roundup week 8 of the 2023/24 National League season.


Saturday 18th November 2023


COLBA vs Tees Valley Mohawks

U18 Men North I Conference

Result: 74-40 (W)

Player of the game: Akil Simpson

Coach Matt Newby: "Genuinely a game of two halves and Tees Valley did a fantastic job of staying in the game with their robust 3-2 zone. I felt we again got impact and input from different players and different units. Of note was the tenacity of Sean Engbison and Ethan Utley making the very best of their minutes. Another steady performance from lead guard Max Stead and another stat-filler from Akil Simpson. We also saw Harry Njengoue elevated in the rotation and got a higher rotation in those increased minutes. Akil Simpson’s high standards continue to lead us through the games in the U18 conference."


COLBC U18 Men vs Team QE II

U18 Men North I Conference

Result: 64-55 (W)

Player of the game: Daniel Onobrakpeya

Coach Alex Scott: "The U18 Men started very strong us this game as they built a 10 point lead in just the first 5 minutes with some clinical team play in the half court led by Sam Barraclough. However QE settled into the game after this and they brought it back to a close game by the end of quarter. The next quarter was tense, but strong drive game from Daniel Onobrakpeya helped us extend our lead to 4 going into the half. Following the half QE started to press which Sam and Ethan broke down fantastically and when the time came Dan Connor also showed his basketball IQ to break down to press then pass to Daniel Onobrakpeya who continued his offensive output from the previous quarter. His defence also stood out in this quarter as he pressed the ball continuously to force many turnovers which helped us get into a strong transition game. In the final period we managed to hold our lead as Tom Dillon really started to get into his game getting plenty of open layups to keep the scoreboard ticking over. A great win for the boys!"


COLBC U16 Boys Gold vs Milton Keynes Breakers

U16 Boys North Premier

Result: 45-85 (L)

Player of the game: Callum Conroy

Coach Sam Messam: "U16 Gold welcomed the Milton Keynes Breakers into LBU arena for their fifth fixture of the season. The home side got off to great start on the shoulders of Callum Conroy with a deep 3pt basket. In fact, he would go on to score the first five points of the game in an impressive opening five minutes. The ball movement was efficient for the home side as they looked to build on their good start. However, MKB showed their depth and talent as they continued to push and fight their way back into the game. The score was tight throughout the first three quarters in a closely contested affair before MKB finally broke free, utilising their height to take charge and widen the gap. The City Of Leeds fought hard in a bid to stay with them but eventually fell to a strong and competitive team."


Bradford Dragons II vs COLBC U16 Boys Black

U16 Boys North I Conference

Result: 49-63 (W)

Player of the game: Max Jablonski

Coach Jake Shuttlewood: "A short trip across to Bradford for the second time this season as we face the Dragons second tier of their respective program. A slow start to the game after defining ourselves through defensive stops which contributed to quick transition scores, however our lack of focus gave Bradford some confidence at the end of the first half. We soon regrouped to start the 3rd quarter with another bundle of defensive plays and hustle plays to keep Bradford away from returning back into the game. We showed some better teamwork in the half-court in comparison to other games which was a delight to see after working on this over the last few weeks which transferred into some energy from the bench to continue to improve our lead. This group continues to improve week by week with everyone continuing to contribute to the teams efforts. I cant wait to see the continued growth into next weeks practices and game."


Milton Keynes Breakers vs COLBC U14 Boys Gold

U14 Boys North Premier

Result: 40-100 (L)

Player of the game: Isaac Grant

Coach Ryan Weir: "Longest trip of the season for us started at a blistering pace with end to end action from the tip. With both teams pressing, and smothering the ball handler, transition was a priority. We started well slowing the opposition but we stifled by the level of physicality allowed. Our ball handlers were pushed off course, bumped and grabbed as we tried to initiate half court offence. Despite a discussion with officials, Breakers were allowed to continue in this fashion and we were unable to execute the offence as intended. In a game that should’ve been competitive we worked hard to show our class and all players responded well showing their resilience. Understand some tough circumstances, the boys adjusted and had some great spells of basketball. Credit to Finlay May, Omkar Phalinkar, Sonny Jordan, and Maks Puzynski who carried out most of the ball handling duties and worked extremely hard to take care of the basketball and made smart decisions on the ball. Standout performer Isaac Grant stepped up to the level of physicality and had his best game to date. Grant showed poise and patience under pressure, displaying his ball handling skills and ability to facilitate. His balanced approach between scoring and playmaking allowed us to settle into a good rhythm as he carved up the defence at times. This group is rapidly improving and deserved the opportunity to show their ability, with a two week gap in the schedule we will look to come back having progressed even further and show our class."


COLBC U14 Boys Black vs COLBC U14 Boys White

U14 Boys North I Conference

Result: 53-35

Player of the game: Micah Brodie & Oscar Mason

Coach Olly Kerwin-Clegg: "The first inter-Club National League Game of the season saw a high paced affair in which the U14 White made a strong effort to implement their style early.

The first quarter saw a high energy defensive effort rewarded by the creation of transition opportunities converted by players such as Liam Brostoff-Jordan and Micah Brodie. While some of the defence throughout the first half could be described as over eager with 2 players coming into foul trouble, the effort and application by all cannot be faulted. In particular our help side defence was recognisably stronger and these possessions ended with confident rebounds.

The second half saw the U14 Black side pull away with some good spells of selfless basketball, however the U14 White team refused to drop their heads and looked to give the ball up early and drive when they had an advantage. Leading to players like Pavan Doullay having multiple trips to the Line. Overall a performance to be proud of as the U14 White team continue to buy in and improve upon their hard working culture."


Coach Alex Scott: "The team started well as they built up a 10 point lead early however this didn’t last long as the white team stuck back and made it 4 point game by the end of the quarter. This then continued as they kept it close through the 2nd, however the team then came out strong in the second half as the scoring improved but the defence was still inconsistent as our offence carried us in this quarter. The defence then improved through to the 4th where we stretched the lead out to finish with the victory"


COLBC U13 Girls vs Encon Derbyshire Arrows

U13 Girls Regional League

Result: 51-57 (L)

Player of the game: Hannes Au

Coach Olly Kerwin-Clegg: "A tight contest throughout saw many of the girls get their first Game of the Season against an organised and physical Derby side.

Though out the whole game the girls kept the Derbyshire lead within single digits displaying a strong resilience on both the defensive end alongside a good understanding of their offensive system. Many of the more experienced girls showed strong resolve in the final quarter with assertive drives and mature decision making cutting the lead to only 3 for Derby. Unfortunately the girls were not able to tip the game in our favour but they left it all out on the floor a performance to certainly be proud of."


LDM vs COLBC U12 Boys Gold

U12 Boys Regional League

Result: 53-41 (L)

Player of the game: Elliot Hanson

Coach Dave Sailsbury: "Despite the loss this was a good performance from our boys who made improvements on last week's game. This was closely fought against our cross city rivals in what was a war of a game with physicality from both teams.

The game started out tight, with Matthew Swift and Kon Kollas keeping the game close over the first 5 minutes. However, later in the 1st LDM were able to pick up points off second chances and from the free throws which gave them an early lead whilst Angus Bowler was forced to leave the game after receiving a heavy blow to the ribs.

LDM continued to build their lead early in the third but our boys battled back with Fin Capewell and Elliot Hanson sparking a run that brought the deficit back down to 10 going into the half.

The third was a tight quarter in which neither team scored in the first 4 minutes. Nima and Xavier Lucius played excellent on ball defence but we weren't able to convert turnovers into points at the other end. However Tyler Raven stepped in, in his first game back, getting to the line as we took the quarter 9-8, leaving a 9 point deficit going into the fourth.

We continued to battle and brought the game back within 5 in the final period but LDM came up with some crucial loose balls and offensive boards in the final period to stretch their lead out at the end of the game.

Overall a good performance from the team who fought throughout If the boys play like this in future games we will do fine over the rest of the season."


Sunday 19th November 2023


Lancashire Spinners vs COLBC U16 Girls Gold

U16 Girls North Conference

Result: 38-54 (W)

Player of the game: Sophie Conroy

Coach Ryan Weir: "We started off strongly in our transition offence putting up eight early points. However, with a shaky start defensively, we took time to regroup and refocus as a unit. With our defence readjusted, thanks to the full court on ball defence of Francesca Iodice, who is proving to be one of the best perimeter defenders in the league, we went into half time with an advantage. With adjustments at the half, we set out to exploit the mismatches and advantages to be gained out of the pick and roll between Sophie Conroy and Zoe Nathaniel. The two ran the action to much success with the pair making great decisions and capitalising on the advantages provided by Spinners switching ball screen coverage. Poised and precise execution both offensively and defensively were key to our group stretching the lead to comfortable gap with great play from Sophie Conroy and Victory Uzomah in the 4th Quarter."


Manchester Mystics III vs COLBC U16 Girls Black

U16 Girls North Conference

Result: 77-43 (L)

Player of the game: Sophie Ramshaw

Coach Matt Newby: "The U16 Black showed an incredibly resilient attitude in a game where they played against a well-drilled and hard nosed Manchester Mystics. The girls were very much in the game in the first quarter and worked hard to close the distance at the half. There were more purple patches throughout the game where young and developing players showed significant learning in real time. The girls were an absolute pleasure to coach and their industry from tip to close of play was exceptional."


Rounding off the eighth weekend of the National League season, COLBC Director Matt Newby was feeling buoyed by the weekend's results:


"With teams dispersed throughout the North and North West, all challenging their potential, it was pleasing to see a number of results come back over the weekend. Of note, the U16 Girls Gold claiming a win against Lancashire Spinners, while the U16 Boys Black coming out win top against local side Bradford Dragons, and the U18 Men claimed another win in the conference against Team QE of York. On top of this our U13 Girls began their regional campaign with a close fought loss against Derbyshire. All in all it’s been a really positive week for the club."


We return to NBL Division 3 action next Saturday 25th November against the Charnwood Riders. You can grab your tickets now here - https://www.cityofleedsbasketballfoundation.com/tickets


The roundup will return next week after a 10 game slate on week 9 of the National League season.

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