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2023/24 National League Weekly Roundup - Week 14

The weekly roundup is back for January week 2. Check out the the scores and coaches' thoughts from week 14 of the National league season.



Week 14 saw 15 games underway across the North in the Senior & 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 13th January 2024


Calderdale Explorers vs COLBA

NBL Division 3 Men North

Result: 70-76 (W)

Player of the game: Max Stead

Coach Matt Newby: "In what seem to be a tightening lower and middle order in Division 3, the game against Calderdale was never going to be a 'gimme', and our blended cohort of COLBA players and Leeds Beckett University students showed one of their best team performance of the year. With composed and productive guard play from Adam Dickens and Luke Garner setting the tempo, and Dan Bevan & Morgan Bamford returning to the floor from long injuries to bolster our lineup on the interior, Dre McCalla sparked high returns on defense. The performance of note on the evening was 16 year old underclassmen Max Stead, who gave an MVP performance, carrying the scoring load in the 3rd quarter, while also showing real maturity in terms of his guard 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


COLBC U18 Men vs COLBA I

U18 Men North I Conference

Result: 44-95

Players of the game: Daniel Onobrakpeya & Angus Hickey

Coach Ryan Weir: "The Gold squad got off to blistering start early in the first quarter. Playing with pace, forcing turnovers and controlling the game. Following some foul trouble COLBA showed their quality and took control of the match and didn’t look back. Despite an excellent individual run by Daniel Onabrakpeya, this was merely consolation as COLBA closed out the game with a comfortable margin."


Coach Matt Newby: "In a really mature performance from our underclassmen, the Academy boys tempered a hot start from our COLBC U18 Men. Of note, Josh Norton using his physicality to get to the basket, dynamic transition play from Max Stead, and a highly efficient display from Isaac Durrant. It was great to see the younger element of the Academy flourishing with increased opportunity and time on the floor. Angus Hickey was the standout performer in a bounce back game from a tough outing in the CBL on Wednesday, which I'm sure he'll draw confidence from."


Liverpool vs COLBC U16 Girls Gold

U16 Girls North Conference

Result: 55-68 (W)

Player of the game: Victory Uzomah

Coach Katie Lamond: "Pivotal game today. A match up between two extremely strong and efficient sides. Both teams in positive league positions. Both teams in good winning momentum. A win crucial to both sides. Tensions always high when we match up with Liverpool! A team who are tactically impressive, quick and well organised when running the floor. Liverpool forced us into a defensive scramble early on in the game with their ability to break away early, along with baseline and sideline movements. The opposition within the first and third quarters making the most of the hybrid zone regulation, showing their ability to successfully run a 2 - 3 zone, limiting our ability to convert points, keeping the game extremely close.

When out of the zone however, the U16s GOLD capitalised immediately. Increase of offensive movement providing much more scoring opportunities. Brilliant pick and roll actions creating the space to not only drive and finish, but to offer up scoring opportunities for the player on the roll. Driving with intent often resulting in points and/fouls awarded. N0.9 captian Victory Uzomah once again proving that we are yet to find a person on the planet who can prevent her from getting through to the basket. Her attitude and positivity not only infectious, but crucial in keeping the team composed and focused.

Final quarter the girls really demonstrated the strength of their demeanour and mentality. Recognising their offensive advantage in a man set up, but also having accountability on defence. All players on the same page with a synced desire and determination to keep the lead. Active effort to rebound, being physically competitive, along with producing smart decisions, taking time to assess options down the floor. Providing players with the opportunity to show their individual finishing proficiency, in key moments of the game. The team did an exceptional job at keeping control in a difficult and pressurised environment, with noise and crowd levels at a all time high. We said at the start of the game that if we don't lose our heads, we will not lose this game. The girls more than delivered on that today. Another performance to be proud of.."


Trafford Magic vs COLBC U16 Boys Gold

U16 Boys North Premier

Result: 63-61 (L)

Player of the game: Curtis Gwata

Coach Sam Messam: "CoL U16 Gold travelled west over the Pennines to sunny Manchester to face the Trafford Magic in a bottom of the table clash. On paper the teams matched up well and the game promised to be a close one. The CoL got off to a good start in a bid to build some momentum. However, a strong home team stacked with England talent and a large spectator base proved difficult to overcome. Each of the four quarters were closely contested with different players from each team contributing to an exciting contest. The CoLs Curtis Gwata proved to be somewhat of a handful for the home side as he ‘rocked’ his defender several times to get to the basket. His dazzling play was matched by the toughness of Rudee Curtis who played much bigger than his listed size, controlling the boards and adding to the away side’s points total. With 9 seconds to go, the Trafford Magic had possession and a 1-point lead as they progressed the ball up the floor. The CoL elected to foul the guard and send him to the line. The home side point guard missed the first and made the second. Coach Messam called timeout with 4 seconds to go. The CoL came out of the break with a play in hand. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be, and as the final whistle went, the home side managed to hold on to a 63 - 61 win."


COLBC U16 Boys Black vs Tees Valley Mohawks

U16 Boys North I Conference

Result: 56-85 (L)

Player of the game: Freddy Lutu

Coach Jake Shuttlewood: ""Another game for the Black team which saw another reverse fixture for the U16s which again looked to improve from the last time they had played against the Mohawks side. With some added players and new developments in the team, we looked to challenge the Mohawks with some added shooting ability from Josh Gatsi, Victory Ukah and Freddy Lutu. We did exactly that when faced against their 2-3 zone and shot the lights out to keep us tight though the first five minutes. But after a Mohawks timeout to fix some of their problems we struggled against their intensity which forced us to turn the ball over which gave them a 19 point lead. Once again, Team Black responded in the right manner and fought across the 2nd quarter with more shooting, solid defensive grouping and blistering pace in transition allowed us to have a 28-11 winning quarter to close the distance to 33-39. With the high spirits of the first half, the boys looks to continue this over the course of the second half, however struggled against Tees Valley Mohawks zone press and zone defence which created some unforced errors and again created the deficit we had once closed. Regardless of the result, Team Black really showed the improvements they have made over the last 3 months since the last time they had faced and look to develop their skills and knowledge of the game so that these situations are quickly resolved. I continued to look forward to our next game against York Eagles II."


COLBC U16 Boys White vs Calderdale Explorers

U16 Boys North I Conference

Result: 35-58 (L)

Player of the game: Naby Bangoura

Coach Jake Shuttlewood: "The U16s White took on the reverse fixture of this game with a vengeance to do better than they had last time after a 80 points defeat at Calderdale. The squad got off to a strong start and took it to the Explorers with lots of strong-drives to the basket resulting in small dishes to teammates to covert the plays, this became a back and forth affair which resulted at the end of the first quarter very close as neither team could pull away from one another. The second quarter was also tightly contested with some physical and athletic plays by Naby Bangoura and good pressure defence from Loukas Vrahoulakis which gave us a needed push at the end of the first half to stay within the game. Unfortunately, the momentum did not carry on over into the second half with some defensive miscommunications which led to offensive rebounds and lots of second chance opportunities which gave quite the climb to start the fourth. However, Team White continued to push for a closer game and managed to keep the game within a 1/4 of what it was previously which shows great improvement since the last time we played."


COLBC U14 Boys Gold vs Leicester Riders

U14 Boys North Premier

Result: 35-83 (L)

Player of the game: Zac Francis-Keevash

Coach Ryan Weir: "In our return fixture against Leicester Riders, we focussed on the defensive side of the ball. With an emphasis on defensive intensity, applying pressure and being active off the ball, COLBC started strong. Despite a great start forcing turnovers and playing with pace, execution was our downfall. Great shots were consistently created on offence with players such as Finlay May, Isaac Grant, James Bell and Toby Dennis providing a balance between creating their own shot and creating for others. Off the bench Zac Francis-Keevash had his best game of the year providing an instant impact with 6 straight points and applying pressure on the Riders guards. Judah DeGraft Aidoo made his season debut and brought a much needed spark off the bench, creating multiple turnovers and running the floor to capitalise in transition. In a much improved performance, the top tier of our U14s program continues to impress with their development. The hunger and willingness to learn is showing on the floor week by week.


Doncaster Eagles vs COLBC U14 Boys Black

U14 Boys North I Conference

Result: 97-28 (L)

Player of the game: Kobe Wilkinson

Coach Alex Scott: "This game was a very interesting game against top of the league Doncaster. We started fantastically matching Doncaster’s physicality despite a significant size mismatch. This was best demonstrated by Zain Ahmed terrific defensive effort and rebounding. The quarter also saw some great offensive play but we struggled to finish at the level that we aspire to. The second quarter Doncaster started to come out firing as they upped the intensity which saw their lead grow. However I couldn’t have been more proud how the boys answered after the half as they then started to match the eagles’ intensity notably by Oscar Mason, who had a very strong rebounding. They also got back to our hood offensive play lead by Dylan Storey and Kobe Wilkinson, who caught fire in the 4th creating for himself and others. Overall despite the big loss the players learnt a lot about themselves today and we hope we can continue the growth that was demonstrated in this game."


COLBC U14 Boys White vs Teesside Lions

U14 Boys North I Conference

Result: 36-100 (L)

Player of the game: Noah Jones

Coach Olly Kerwin-Clegg: "The first home game after a winter break unfortunately saw a slow start to the game with credit going to a strong Teeside Side being able to execute transition well.

Leeds however, were able to slowly build into the game by coming out with a great assertiveness in the second frame. Noah Jones did a good job of hustling for loose balls and changing the deficit on the defensive glass, whilst Micah Brodie had multiple strong drives to the hoop which saw resulted in trips to the line. The second half would see more of the same with the first five players setting a strong tone re-entering the game. Whilst working to improve their half-court defence including better help side and rotations.The final segment of the game would typify the character of the squad as every player who touched the floor gave supreme effort something everyone can be proud of."


COLBC U13 Boys vs Barnsley Leaders

U13 Boys Regional League

Result:

Player of the game: Fraser Cummings

Coach Ryan Weir: "In another Regional League match up for our U13s, the squad looked to remain undefeated this season. Against a young and developing Leaders squad, COLBC showed their quality and experience, creating turnovers from on ball pressure and converting in transition. Archie Locke, Sonny Jordan and Oliver Browes showcased their growing skill sets and basketball IQ with some excellent guard play. Charlie Woodward and Fraser Cumming also both impressed with their energy and effort defensively and in transition. With Fraser Cummings, racking up points off of his defensive pressure. COLBC stay undefeated in Regional Play, with another game to come next week."


Sunday 14th January 2024


East Durham Lions vs COLBA II

U18 Men North I Conference

Result: 91-76 (L)

Player of the game: Rudee Curtis

Coach Jake Shuttlewood: "The third reverse fixture for the U16s tiers of COLBC this weekend with this one being away in Durham against the Lions. Although, a depleted squad of the consequence of their other away game against Trafford Magic on Saturday which had some players out injured, the boys still managed to pull together for a tightly contested matchup. Team Gold started fantastically with 2 quick threes from Rudee Curtis and Curtis Gwata along with some tough physical layups from Casey Lennon and Efe Dolunay to put us up twelve to zero which forced Durham to take their first timeout. After the timeout, Durham converted into a zone which threw us off course a little bit and held us to twelve points in the last three minutes. From then on out, it was an extremely close matchup as the boys never let the deficit get bigger than ten over the four quarters until the last five minutes. Although, we struggled to against Durhams taller and stronger lineup, we still managed to play our brand of basketball with some good defensive plays to create early pushes in transition. Unfortunately, the short lineup and depth of the team struggled against Durhams much deeper squad which ultimately effected us later in the game. Even with a lineup lacking, Team Gold still competed and gave the best account of themselves. Most of the games this year in the U18s Conference league will be played at home which will give us the advantage to finish the season strong!"


COLBC U12 Boys Gold vs York Eagles

U12 Boys Regional League

Result: 58-13 (W)

Player of the game: Kon Kollas

Coach Dave Sailsbury: "A solid performance from our U12 Gold group to pick up the win against York. Our boys came out determined in the first quarter, excellent on ball defence and ball pressure led to transition points to open the game. John-Lewis Nwalal Mi Nyom did an excellent job crashing the boards on both ends, securing extra possessions in his first game for the club.

In the second quarter, the solid defence continued and our boys attacked the basket with purpose. Whilst we struggled to consistently convert on our first attempt, Kon Kollas dominated the offensive glass and poured in 10 second quarter points sending us into the half with a scoreline of 31-4. York made a run in the third, but we held them off and continued to score at a steady pace through the final two quarters. We finished with 11 players on the scoresheet and having dominated defensively to close out a disciplined win.


COLBC U12 Boys Black vs York Eagles

U12 Boys Regional League

Result: 36-41 (L)

Player of the game: Orlando Victor

Coach Dave Sailsbury: "Our U12 Black put in another improved performance this week. The two teams matched each other in the first quarter at 8-8.

In the second the game remained tight. Orlando Victor kept our scoring ticking over, attacking the basket to draw fouls and concert 3 of 4 from the line. However, York took the edge into the break with a 3 point lead for the Eagles. York took control of the game in the third, outrebounding our boys and getting to the basket a little too easily. However, scoring from Charlie Mahon and Orlando Victor ensured the game remained close going into the 4th. York built on their lead at the beginning of the final period, stretching it out as far as 12. Our boys continued to compete though and our full court pressure and scoring from Charlie Mahon and Geron Cheung in the final 3 minutes brought us back within 3 which under a minute remaining. However, we had left our run too late and York weathered the storm to take a 5 point victory.

Lots of positives for team Black who continue to get better each week."


Rounding off the second weekend of 2024, COLBC Director Matt Newby was feeling excited about the second half of the year:


"With a bumper 15 game schedule this weekend, the second half of the season picked up pace immediately. The U16 Girls maintained their fine form with an important win over lead contenders Liverpool, while our fledgling U12 players under the watchful eye of Coach Dave Sailsbury, showed significant improvement both in there individual games and their understanding of team play. One win for the U12 Gold and a close fought affair for our U12 Black showed the hard work that has been put in on the court. Our U13 boys continue to show promise at the regional level which will be great preparation for their future in the Junior National League."


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 10 game slate on week 16 of the National League season.

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