The weekly roundup is back after the Christmas break! Check out the the scores and coaches' thoughts from week 13 of the National league season.
Week 13 saw 14 games underway across the North in the Junior National League.
Let's see how it all went down as we return for 2024 and roundup week 13 of the 2023/24 National League season.
Saturday 6th January 2024
COLBA vs Spen Vally Vipers
U18 Men North I Conference
Result: 129-26 (W)
Player of the game: James Sagar
Coach Matt Newby: "In the opening game of the post-Christmas schedule, the boys showed real class in a game against a young and developing Spen Valley side. This was an opportunity to afford us to look at different areas of our rotation, and give some of our younger players well-needed minutes. Of note, James Sagar had his best performance of his season, testimony to his individual work ethic and dedication to the programme. We saw mature performance from Ethan Utley and Isaac Durrant and a positive return in extended minutes for Kevin Melcinskij. There were glimpses of some nice basketball from our visitors but the boys finished off on a definitive fashion, with some exciting transition basketball. We look forward to one of the biggest games of the season this Wednesday against St Peter's in the CBL."
COLBA II vs Bradford Dragons
U18 Men North I Conference
Result: 59-101 (L)
Player of the game: Alfie Donohue
Coach Sam Messam: "U16 Gold welcomed the Bradford Dragons u18 squad into the arena for a conference home fixture. The visual was a David and Goliath remake as the visiting Dragons towered over the home side. This said, the CoL loaded their sling shots and put forward their best efforts in a bid to learn and grow from the exchange. The start of the game was slow for both sides, with several missed attempts, uncharacteristic turnovers, and a less than normal pace of play. The CoL hung on to a 10pt deficit as they chipped away at the visiting Yorkshire team with moments of brilliance at both ends of the floor. In fact, there was a renewed sense of confidence following several stops, a couple of scores, and a resulting timeout from the visitors. The CoL had managed a successful slingshot to the arm of the Dragon and had gained some momentum.
The second half belonged to the visitors as they asserted their height and strength at both ends of the floor. They would emerge victorious with a convincing win, but paused to recognise the efforts of the home side Owls."
COLBC U18 Men vs Tees Valley Mohawks
U18 Men North I Conference
Result: 54-63 (L)
Player of the game: Daniel Onobrakpeya
Coach James Quinn: "In the first game back after the Christmas break, the U18 Men were slow out of the traps against a gritty Tees Valley side, who came to play making some big shots in the first half to take a 15 point lead in to the break. The boys implemented a change in game plan immediately in the second half to push the Mohawks right back with two strong runs on the back on Sam Barraclough and Ethan Lough's outside shooting. Laurence Bowler and Daniel Onobrakpeya were given specific defensive assignments at half-time, and all credit to them as this solid defensive commitment brought the split back to just 3 at the start of the final quarter. The game remained close until 3 minutes to go when some missed defensive rotations and foul trouble allowed the Mohawks to close out the game. I would like to again give a nod to Daniel Onobrakpeya for his discipline on defense over a long stretch of the game, which rallied the charge of his teammates. Lots os positives in the first time back on the floor in 2024."
COLBC U18 Women vs Bromsgrove Bears
U18 Girls North Conference
Result: 49-38 (W)
Player of the game: Abigail Stewart
Coach Katie Lamond: "A game with shifting intensities to welcome the U18s to the new year. Momentum was a tricky one to keep. However the U18s managed to keep their focus enough to maintain the lead throughout the game. Offensive rotation was a early positive in our game. Although we struggled a little with the oppositions structure, the girls did an impeccable job of finding the correct spaces, free players and movement according to driving players. They had a lot a great looks from following the drive and clocking appropriately.
Spacing in our transition break, along with player desire to run ahead of the ball provided many offensive opportunities. Offensive rebounds allowed us multiple possessions! This was a big discussion at the beginning of the game, and the girls went out immediately with the intent to have as much possession and control as possible. The desire to rebound defensively was also present, however lack of physical intervention withing the rebounds meant that Bears managed to convert second chances.
As always, the U18s demonstrated their defence strength, especially within help rotation. Strong management in half court situations meant that the girls kept Bears below 13 points across 3 entire quarters. The impulse to protect the basket was also present within transition elements. Not many moments, if any, when Bears had a uncontested attempt on basket.
Unfortunately not able to keep complete control in the 4th. Bromsgrove found their shooting efficiency from not only outside the key, but from the 3. Impacting our momentum for the final few moments of the game. However, overall still a positive start for the U18s women."
COLBC U16 Boys Gold vs York Eagles
U16 Boys North Premier
Result: 67-78 (L)
Player of the game: Casey Lennon
Coach Sam Messam: "First game after the Christmas break and the Turkey and stuffing dinner was visible for both teams. The home side struggled to get into the game early, missing several lay ups and free throws. The visiting Eagles weren’t exactly soaring but did manage to get on a few more of their attempts, resulting in an early lead. The CoL continued to battle throughout the first half but could not put the ball in the basket. The second half started much the same way, resulting in a 18 point deficit and two consecutive timeouts by Coach Messam. Down but not out, the home side Owls rallied on the back of some great individual defence to tie the game up and force the now flightless Eagles into a timeout. The game was now a tight nit affair as the CoL took the lead. Not to be denied, the York side fought back, retaking the lead on the back of some strong inside moves. The CoL tried to mount one final run, but injury, foul trouble, and the residual taste of Christmas pudding ended any chance of staying with the visitors, and with 3 minutes remaining, the Eagle took control of the game."
Barnsley Metros vs COLBC U16 Boys Black
U16 Boys North I Conference
Result: 30-81 (L)
Player of the game: Freddy Lutu
Coach Jake Shuttlewood: "An anticipated game coming in after a well-deserved Christmas and New years break against a side which was closely matched the last time we had played. The 'Christmas Rust' was visible but quickly shaken off to which the boys battled to only be down after the first quarter by three points after a quick transition play by Freddy Lutu. The boys continued to play the same aggressive defence and sharing offence over the course of the next ten minutes but saw a mostly one sided affair as Barnsley took control of the game. However, this did not take away from the boys spirit as they continued to cheer and attack looking for opportunities with some good teamwork. A coupling of a couple of strong plays which showed what the rest of the season could bring is exciting and I can't wait to finish the season strong as the group grows."
COLBC U16 Girls Gold vs Teesside Lions
U16 Girls North Conference
Result: 72-37 (W)
Player of the game: Aimee Robinson
Coach Katie Lamond: "Tricky start to the new year for the U16s Gold. Teeside came out with strong intentions, putting on a powerful offensive drive, converting early points to keep the first quarter a close battle. We had a hard time finding our rhythm, the intention to push the ball and attack ever present, however a little miscommunication from a team perspective, not quite being on the same page with our movement and rotations. Second quarter onwards was a different story! The team found their energy and unity. The intensity increased, the girls recognising early offensive advantages and capitalising from them. Players using their physicality and height to really make the most offensive opportunities. Our desire to defend also stepped up as the game progressed, the girls performing at a higher quality. Less reaching and better individual positioning meant that the U16s were more equipped to handle drives, cutting them off before it became a potential opportunity for the opposition. Intention to help and being more proactive in our roatation not only preventing the opposition from scoring, but meant that Gold kept the correct intensity and motivation to keep their focus.
Offensive breaks and running wide in transition lead to some really nice passes and finishes. Showing their impressive vision, clocking efficiency and finishing abilities. Despite the motivation difficulties in the beginning, the girls did a brilliant job finding their spirit and matched intensity to see out what is another strong result for the U16 girls."
COLBC U16 Girls Black vs Liverpool
U16 Girls North Conference
Result: 21-89 (L)
Player of the game: Jasmine Muir
Coach Katie Lamond: "Liverpool being an extremely tough and physical opponent, the team understood the challenge and effort needed to keep up with the level of the opposition. The U16s Girls Black did an excellent job in the first quarter to not only match the intensity and pace of the game, but to also provide a physical challenge of their own.
Scoring first, the Black team showed their desire to push the ball up the court, aiming to convert before Liverpool were able to structure their defence. Our fast break was a big positive aspect of our performance! Multiple options and opportunities, Elizabeth Asonmwonri and Lucy Mills showing brilliant vision and passing efficiency to find the runners and free players.
Movement , especially in the first quarter was also a good feature of our game. The girls active trying to find the space off the ball, along with looking for free option's once receiving the ball. A few moments where the team could've been a little more individual, looking to attack themselves rather than passing to another, our selflessness occasionally limiting our offensive opportunities- however positive in the aspect that the team want to share the ball.
Unfortunately, the team unable to keep hold of the intensity that they had in the first, lack of motion and moments of hesitation meant that Liverpool were able to capitalise offensively. Liverpool demonstrating their experience and physical capabilities, putting on another dominant scoring performance. Although a tough result! The black team converted more baskets and defensively knocked 30 points off in comparison to the previous clash with Liverpool, representing the amount of individual improvement and the increasing level of team cohesion."
COB Rockets vs COLBC U14 Boys Gold
U14 Boys North Premier
Result: 47-95 (L)
Player of the game: Rafi Abrantes
Coach Ryan Weir: "In our first game of 2024, we had a journey to Birmingham to face the Rockets. Unfortunately, a slow start against a strong press led to strong first quarter for the home side. Despite falling behind, we responded strongly with great contributions from Rafi Abrantes and Sonny Jordan. Abrantes brought a huge boost of energy off the bench, hustling and securing many offensive rebounds. Jordan, whose improvement throughout the season has been steady and impressive, came in and controlled the pace, setting up the offence and creating opportunities for teammates. The second half saw Isaac Grant creating at will cutting up the COBR defence with some great individual play. James Bell had one of his best games of the season, fighting hard on the boards and playing comfortably around the basket and in transition. On the whole this group continues to improve week by week, their dedication to the game is showing on the floor and will serve them well as they look to finish the season strong."
York Eagles vs COLBC U14 Boys White
U14 Boys North I Conference
Result: 48-38 (L)
Player of the game: Yahia Otify
Coach Olly Kerwin-Clegg: "A very positive return to gameplay from the U14 White with a short handed squad to York. The game started with a strong defensive performance, our opening 5 made a consistent effort to limit a York team to one offensive possession by placing an emphasis on rebounding; Jack Sowerby would typify this effort not only in the quarter but throughout the whole game. Moving into the Second frame our offence struggled in points with a few unforced errors. However, when emphasis was placed on moving the ball more open drives appeared. which Yahia Otify and Pavan Doullay capitalised on.
Despite being only down one point at the start of the second half a strong start to the third quarter through good transition offence led to a 5 point lead. Unfortunately through some tough Shot Making by York our opposition took their lead back into our last period.
The final quarter saw the boys make an admirable effort to try and retake the lead alas this did not happen. Irregardless of this the squad has shown a great development from our reverse fixture in October and this is something all the players should be proud of. This is a positive result which provides a competitive appetite to return to training with."
LDM vs COLBC U12 Boys Black
U12 Boys Regional League
Result: 65-39 (L)
Player of the game: Charlie Mahon
Coach Dave Sailsbury: "A start to the new year with positives for our U12 Black with some good moments through the game despite having not trained since before Christmas.
Orlando Victor opened the games scoring and the teams exchanged buckets in the early going with LDM converting more of their opportunities at the rim to take a 4 point lead into the quarter break. A strong start to the second was sparked by Charlie Mahon as he ran in 6 of his 8 points off drives to the basket. However, the last five minutes of the half saw LDM begin to draw away as we gave up several 3 second violations, turnovers and rebounds.
The third quarter was a high scoring affair as our squad put up 18 points. Alfie Gurney had 6 points in the quarter including a highlight play, stopping his defender with a behind the back dribble to protect the ball before crossing over and exploding back to the basket for the layup. Whilst our offence was a high point, we littered the quarter with defensive errors and poor rebounding which was exploited by LDM who finished off a 29 point quarter to take a big lead into the fourth. Both teams slowed their scoring in the final period as the boys played hard to end the game. A solid start to the year with some foundations to build from for this young group, including a first ever game for Jenson Hammill. Looking forward to the development of this group through 2024!"
Sunday 7th January 2024
COLBC U18 Women vs Derby Trailblazers
U18 Women North Conference
Result: 71-69 (W)
Player of the game: Sophie Conroy
Coach Katie Lamond: "Previous match up resulted in a one point defeat in overtime - it's safe to say that everyone was beyond ready for today's clash.
Trailblazers came out fighting, as expected. Fast in transition and determined to drive hard to basket, going on a offensive run and taking the early lead without reply. Although present in our defensive transition, the slight delay in rotation lead to small gaps , which trailblazers were able to exploit. Derbyshire N.10 I.Trueman causing issues with her ability to find impossible routes to the basket, often converting individual points or assists on multiple occasions. The help required to manage N.10 meant that less bodies were available to physically prevent rebounds, causing trailblazers second chance baskets.
One major positive of the U18s team is their innate ability to fight , hustle and raise the bar. Always. From the beginning of the second quarter, the girls immediately made the correct adjustments. Incredible individual defensive attitudes along with tightening up on help rotations, limited the gaps, physically prevented drives. Quick responses from being in a help position to then immediately boxing out meant that the girls kept more control and possession, along with reducing the amount of scoring opportunities for the opposition. Clever decisions and movement on the attacking end made for some brilliant offensive opportunities. Both movement on and off the ball lead to openings for outside shooting options, along with spaces to drive. Reading and communicating when Derby shifted their defensive organisation, reacting brilliantly and immediately as a team. Key scores in transitional breaks kept the U18s in good momentum, keeping control in a tense and physically challenging game.
Honestly, an outstanding effort today. I'm not sure the report will do the U18s justice. The entire team showed their superiority and excelled in their composure to take the win. I cannot express how proud I am of every single player. All played a significant part in the win.
One phenomenal team performance."
COLBC U14 Girls vs Hartlepool Huskies
U14 Girls North Conference
Result: 62-42 (W)
Player of the game: Sophie Ramshaw
Coach Greta Stout: "It was a much anticipated game having had a few weeks break over Christmas and it was pleasing to see the appetite that the girls had to get back together on court. Strong teamwork was evident from the tip off with the girls working hard to find scoring opportunities on offense throughout the game. A strong first quarter, keeping our opponents to just 2 points showed the girls quickly picked up where they had left off before Christmas.
It was great to witness some of our younger players, Georgia Allen and Amelia Sherwood standing out in the first quarter, showing some great defensive plays and converting a number of them into points on the board. We started the second quarter strongly with Maggie Newby demonstrating some great drives and knocking down each of her free-throws to keep the scoreboard ticking over. The team were moving the ball well and managed to find some open shots but we struggled on defence, trying to stop Hartlepool’s No.7 driving to the basket as they managed to reduce our lead going into half-time.
In the second half, we were more vocal and physical on defence which enabled us to take further control of the game whilst we attained numerous offensive rebounds, unfortunately we didn’t manage to fully capitalise to maximise our lead. The girls showed signs of movement both on and off the ball which we will be looking to further develop throughout the year ahead. Sophie Ramshaw took advantage of some scoring opportunities in the final quarter with Bryony Taylor assisting with some intelligent passes. The team ended the match with a 20 point win, a genuinely positive start to 2024 and on which we can further develop."
East Durham Lions vs COLBC U14 Boys Black
U14 Boys North I Conference
Result: 57-33 (L)
Player of the game: Dylan Morgan
Coach Alex Scott: "Todays game was hard fought against Durham and the score really isn’t a true reflection of how the boys played. In the first 5 minutes we struggled to get the scoreboard ticking over as we got fouled on a drives but shot a low percentage from foul line. This changed as the second 5 came in as they brought terrific defensive intensity lead by Charlie Woodward and Zain Ahmed. This defence translated in some good Tarantino buckets. This unit also started to find the flow of the offence with Dylan Morgan leading the way with his aggressive drives. The boys continued this good strong defence throughout playing excellent help side and rotating well off collapses. In the 3rd are offensive exploded for as players did fantastically to cut and drive aggressively to collapse the defence which was followed by pass and even an extra pass which was rewarded with many makes especially from Archie Locke who hit 3 jump shots including 2 back to back triples. One massive improvement from before Christmas was the rebounding by the boys as they conceded minimal defensive rebounds and even grabbed a few offensive ones which were rare before the break. However the game was decided at the line when we struggled massively missing almost 20 free throws which contrasted heavily with Durham’s great success from line in game where many fouls were called. Nevertheless the game was very positive and we hope to replicate the performance for our upcoming games."
Rounding off the first weekend of 2024, COLBC Director Matt Newby was feeling great to be back on the court.
"It was exciting to return to the floor this weekend with both our community basketball sessions and Junior National league campaigns restarting in 2024. The Girls programme started where they left off in December with multiple wins across the age categories; of note Sunday's U18 Women fixture against the Derby Trailblazers which came down to a one possession game that was closed out with composure and control. The U16 Girls also picked up a win, joined by the U14 Girls who picked up another win in Conference play, showing that they are still on the up. The U14 Boys White showed significant improvement as the reverse of their schedule started against York, which is credit to the hard work of the coaches and players. The U12 Boys Black had a positive outing against LDM and despite the scoreline, Coach Sailsbury and his young developing team showed their increased level of understanding for the game, with improved outputs in individual play."
Looking ahead to next weekend, we return for our first home fixture of 2024 in NBL Division 3 Men on Saturday 20th January at 4PM against Team Sunderland. To thank you all for your support so far this season, please take advantage of the offer of a free ticket for this game and lend your support to our Academy boys as we look to start the new year strong.
Enter the code 2024D3 at checkout to claim your ticket for free now - https://www.cityofleedsbasketballfoundation.com/event-details/division-3-men-vs-team-sunderland
The roundup will return next week after another 14 game slate on week 14 of the National League season.