Week 13 of the 2022/23 Junior National League season saw 11 of our junior teams in action across the region.
The weekly roundup will highlight the results and key performers from each weekend across the programme along with quotes from coaches about each performance. We continue the series with Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th January.
Saturday 7th January
COLBC U14 Boys White vs LDM
Result: 8-127 (L)
Coach Murray Bingham: "A difficult game against a physically strong and experienced opponent.
We had some good sequences of play that we can take away as real positives. I was pleased to see the boys kept their head up and remained receptive throughout the game."
Performer of the game: Melvin Ngwaseh
Doncaster Eagles vs COLBC U14 Boys Black
Result: 81-42 (L)
Coach Jake Shuttlewood: "A game which we knew we could contend with after an 8-point loss from the start of the season. We had a slow start with only 4 points in the first quarter but fought hard in the second half to bring the game back within fighting distance. The boys continue to drive and hit shots in transition and half-court setting but struggled against Doncaster’s tall defenders. Overall, a great game with lots of positives but multiple points for us to work on."
Performer of the game: Darchel Green
COLBC U14 Boys Gold vs Leicester Riders
Result: 57-53 (W)
Coach Ryan Weir: "In our first game since the winter break, we played Leicester our first return fixture of the year. With a previous game under our belts, we aimed to improve upon our last result. The boys got off to a flying start, with a combination of disciplined full court defence and and swift transition offence, resulting in a 22-5 score line at the end of the first. Leicester continued to push back and throughout the game slowly cut the deficit. With a close game entering the 4th Quarter, we did just enough to hold onto a 5pt victory. Not only resulting in our first win of the season but 36 point improvement from our previous game again:
Performer of the game: Luca Milner
Liverpool vs COLBC U14 Girls Gold
Result: 65-70 (W)
Coach Ben Allen: "Wow! What a way to start the new year and the second half of the season!!!
Game rust was definitely apparent as the game started! Both teams trading baskets in the early going but with us coming out on top by 1 at the close of the first period of play. With 2 of the most experienced players on the team being in foul trouble by the end of the 3rd quarter and still nothing to separate the two teams the rest of the team had to really dig deep. Great team effort by all and another tick in the W column."
Performer of the game: Zoe Nathaniel
Doncaster Eagles vs COLBC U16 Boys Black
Result: 71-63 (L)
Coach Jake Shuttlewood: "A very physical game which required the boys to step up. They took the game in their stride and made hard-nosed efforts to drive to basket while kicking for others to finish. They shows tenacious energy on defence from start to finish but unfortunately couldn’t catch up with them after a tough second quarter. A great start to the year despite the result. "
Performer of the game: Casey Lennon
COLBC U16 Girls vs Lancashire Spinners
Result: 51-34 (W)
Coach Katie Lamond: "Uncertainties and nerves are likely to occur when it's the first game back after a long break. The girls took it in their stride today, putting in an excellent team performance despite the lack of team training.
Strong offensive start today! The girls came out with brilliant fast breaks , converting early scores. Our defensive recovery was another strong point today, the girls really demonstrating the determination to get back and protect the basket.
At times, our half court rotation let us down a little, allowing spinners to remain within 10 points for most of the game. Likewise, we occasionally dropped our offensive intensity, once again allowing spinners more of a foothold.
The final quarter, however, our rotation was outstanding, both offensively and defensively. Our verbal communication, switching, and help rotation forced turnovers and key stops.
Overall, in spite of the break and low numbers , an excellent performance. Great way to start the new year."
Performer of the game: Marley Littler
COLBC U18 Boys Black vs JLC Scunthorpe Wolves
Result: 52-78 (L)
Coach Ryan Weir: "The Under 18s faced a tough test against a strong JLC side. The team consisting of Allerton High students complimented with Under 16s. Every game we play is opportunity to improve and get very valuable game repetitions, which is particularly important for those stepping into competitive basketball. We will look to build out what was a promising performance, to build good habits whilst consistently learning and improving as individuals, as well as a team."
Performer of the game: Angus Hickey
COLBA vs Trafford Magic
Result: 61-70 (L)
Coach Matt Newby: "The U18’s Academy fixture was a great opportunity for the U16’s Gold call ups to continue their development. With Norton, Utley, Njengoue and Durrant all contributing in phases of the game.
With Illness, injuries and absence affecting availability of the seniors. Seth Maloba and Akil Simpson impacted the game significantly with strong contributions from Max Stead and Philo Mensen.
All credit goes to the players who fought throughout against a talented Trafford team. It was great to see the maturity of the young cohort and the excellent example our senior players have as role models. The future of the academy programme is bright.”
Performer of the game: Seth Maloba
Saturday 8th January
Leicester Riders vs COLBC U16 Boys Gold
Result: 67-53 (L)
Coach Sam Messam: "Tough opening game for the U16 Boys away to Leicester Riders. The Turkey and Christmas pudding hadn’t quite disappeared and it showed. We were slow off the bus and found ourselves in a 13 point hole very quickly in the 1st quarter. After some stern words and a rallying call from the teams leaders, we managed to secure the 2nd quarter and win the third. Unfortunately, we just didn’t have enough, eventually losing the 4th quarter and ultimately the game.
Performer of the game: Rudee Curtis
COLBC Director Matt Newby shared his thoughts on the weekend:
"In the opening weekend of the new year, there were so many positives and It was great to see the young people within our programme enthused and enjoying the game of basketball. On the back of a massive two days of community basketball, it was great to see our Junior National League programme go live for 2023. The games of note being another win for Coach Lamond’s U16 Girls, who showed significant improvement once more as they staved off the challenges from the resurgent Lancashire Spinners.
The U18 fixture against JLC Wolves would see a number of players step up from the U16 ranks to provide a strong challenge toto the Scunthorpe outfit. Callum Conroy was a standout throughout the game!
The U14’s boys Gold team and coach Ryan Weir provided the performance of the weekend with a hard fought win against the Leicester Riders. Both sets of fans contributing to a great atmosphere at LBU Arena.
Closing the slate on Saturday the U18’s Academy faced off against Trafford Magic and the 9 point split at the close of play does not reflect the tightness of game with both teams asserting themselves at key junctures.
The young Manchester outfit were excellent in the closing stages of the game and would walk out of the gym with W. But the significance of the contribution from the players in the U16’s Gold team and future academy cohort who stepped up ,combined with very strong performances from senior Seth Maloba and underclassman Akil Simpson will be the positive take aways for the COLBC programme."
That wraps up the thirteeth edition of the Weekend Roundup - Join us next weekend for more action across the Junior National League programme.