The weekly roundup is back for February week 1. Check out the the scores and coaches' thoughts from week 17 of the National league season.
Week 17 saw 13 games underway across the North in the Junior National League.
This weekend we return home in NBL Division 3 for the final home game of the season as we host Sheffield Elite at LBU Arena. Get your tickets now by clicking HERE and enter the code LASTHOMEGAME for 50% off tickets.
Let's see how it all went down as we roundup week 17 of the 2023/24 National League season.
Saturday 3rd February 2024
COLBA vs COLBA II
U18 Men North I Conference
Players of the game: Isaac Durrant & Casey Lennon
Coach Matt Newby: "The Academy fixture against our COLBC U16 Gold would turn out to be a welcome test to the fair with the COLBA II showing significant development in the last few weeks. Once the Academy first found rhythm there was an opportunity to score in transition, and we generated a split that would be maintained for the rest of the game. Player of the game would be Isaac Durrant, with a well-rounded stat line and improved court vision, providing his teammates with a number of highlight assists. Perhaps the most pleasing thing of the day was the potential Academy recruits for 2024, showing their passion and desire for the game."
Coach Sam Messam: "Doubleheader this weekend, as Saturday we were at home to the Academy. Improvement showed and our second game was definitely distance travelled, so we competed and we stayed in the game for 40 minutes. I was very pleased with the players as a whole and the standout player on Saturday was Casey for his leadership and offensive decision making - Excellent game for him."
COLBC U18 Men vs Doncaster Eagles
U18 Men North I Conference
Result: 50-63 (L)
Players of the game: Tom Dillon
Coach Alex Scott: "It was good start to the game as we stretched out to 8:0 lead however Doncaster quickly dropped into the zone and despite some really good offense we were struggling to hit our open shots especially from outsides. This let Doncaster take the lead back in the first that we continued to chase throughout the game The shotmaking was not at our usual standard which caused us significant problems as the defence dropped. However our defense was still at a good level, led by James Higgins, who was almost in double digit blocks, kept the game in reach. Entering the 4th we faced a 15 point deceit. This was worked back to just 6 within 2 minutes as Doncaster struggled to even get a shot off and Tom Dillion exploded especially offensively with 7 points in the quarter to finish off his 12 point game. However, we didn’t quite get over the hump as Doncaster took the game. In conclusion I believe the boys did show some great decision making in the game and on another day it may have ended in a W. Lots to learn from the game going forward as we look to improve even more."
COLBC U16 Girls Black vs Encon Derbyshire Arrows
U16 Girls North Conference
Result: 24-68 (L)
Player of the game: Maggie Newby
Coach Katie Lamond: "Significant improvement from our last match up against Derbyshire Arrows. Despite knowing the challenge of facing such an experienced team, the girls kept hustling throughout the entire game.
Our offensive movement was brilliant! The girls making a real effort to apply what we have learned in practice, making great offensive reads and movements to basket. Just unfortunately not able to truly capitalise from them. Likewise, the girls made the correct decisions in term's of when to drive or shoot, along with when to move the ball. Strong attacking drives from N0.10 Riecela Freimute! Who showed a brilliant all round performance.
Overall, a big improvement on the offensive end.
Some outstanding defensive performances from Captain Naihm Martin and N0.6 Lucy Mills. Always pressuring and being physical nuisance for the opposition. Incredible effort to win possession back. Their energy and desire being a big influence in the teams performance. Big help and transition recovery from multiple COLB players caused many opposition turnovers. Those willing to put their bodies on the line had a massive impact in the game.
Half court defensive rotation a little slow at times, lack of communication and absence of boxing out were probably the main aspects of this game which needed improvement. However the girls should feel proud of the amount they have improved over the course of the season so far. I know I am"
COLBC U16 Boys Black vs Bradford Dragons
U16 Boys North I Conference
Result: 42-68 (L)
Player of the game: Harry Firth
Coach Jake Shuttlewood: "A large team effort for Team Black against a strong Bradford side.
Both teams wanting to win this one after the last game was a close affair which we managed to come away with the win. However, this weekend was different. A what seemed new, Bradford squad started the game against us very strong with some inside pressure on the boards as we struggled to keep them from having second chance possessions. We managed to scrape together some chances at the basket with some swift moves from Briel Lipo and knockdown midrange shots from Ethan Rawson kept us tightly contested in the first half. Bradford seemed to never miss a beat which left us scrambling half way through the third quarter. After a timeout, we managed to get back into the game with some solid defensive stops and adjustments on certain personnel. Although we took a hard loss which was not what wanted, the game taught us about a different style of play which we had not yet faced this season. I look forward to making the adjustments in practice and moving forward!”
COLBC U14 Girls vs Stockport Lapwings
U14 Girls North Conference
Result: 64-58 (W)
Player of the game: Natasha Kuramaswamy
Coach Greta Stout: "It was a very anticipated game for the U14 girls on Saturday against Stockport having won the game couple of weeks ago in the last quarter. The girls knew that it won’t be an easy game and every second on the court will count. The girls have started strong, driving to the basket finishing the layups or finding an open player for a pass. At times we have struggled to convert our shots into the points while Stockport providing great help defence. Despite that we have still managed to win the first quarter by 5 points with the girls pushing the ball up the court. Reciele is becoming a very important part of the team and gaining confidence has collected 4 points in the first quarter which helped COLB advance the lead.
In the second quarter the girls have battled out and found themselves turning the ball over playing a fast paced basketball on offence while trying to break Stockport’s defence. The opponents couldn’t stop Elizabeth and Natasha’s powerful drives to the basket and Amelia Clayton’s amazing defence on the ball helped us still be in the lead at a half time.
In the third quarter Stockport have picked up their full court press and were doing a great job on getting second chances on offence and boxing the girls out on defence. We saw our lead slipping away and that made us rush with passes and shot selection.
We were down going into the fourth quarter, but the girls were ready to fight for every loose ball and they came out strong showing their passion and dedication for the game. It was such a proud moment for me as a coach seeing the girls wanting to win tremendously. They have stepped up on defence. Sophie was getting blocks and steals which we have converted into points on offence. Georgia was pushing the ball up the court trying to find the open teammates and that made the opponents to tire out. The girls played very maturely in the last quarter. Once we have gained the lead the girls knew that they need to connect their passes and have done a great job playing 5 out, spacing out and allowing for Natasha and Elizabeth to have some good drives to the basket. During the last game the girls have struggled breaking the Stockport’s full court press so Phil and I have worked on passing, spacing and location on the court to advance the ball down the court to break the press. There is still some work to improve but we as coaches were pleased with girls’ decisions during the high intensity press which Stockport has provided unexpectedly throughout the game. We have ended winning by 6 points. The girls have left everything on the floor, it was the most exciting game for me as a coach to date seeing the fire in their eyes wanting to win. Immensely proud of all the U14 girls!"
COLBC U14 Boys Black vs Teesside Lions
U14 Boys North I Conference
Result: 58-66 (L)
Player of the game: Fraser Cummings
Coach Alex Scott: "What a game the boys played there hearts out in this game. The defence was impeccable right from the off as active hands forced turnovers which led to points at the other end this was best exemplified by Fraser Cummings who had his season high of 16 points leading all scorers. However, this was not the only way we got our points as we moved ball exceptionally in the half court to get open jumpshots and layups. The boys did so well to finish these especially the jumpshots that were knocked down at very good clip. Teeside were strong though and went into the 4th with a 37:56 lead which was then followed by an inspiring comeback as the game ended with an 8 point loss with Fraser yet again at the forefront of both sides of the ball followed by Dylan Storey and Stephane Mpundu on the offensive side. This lead to very tense end to the game. Despite what the score may suggest this game was a massive win for the team as the reverse fixture ended in a 54 point loss which really shows the development of this young side and the exciting prospects they all are."
COLBC U14 Boys White vs LDM
U14 Boys North I Conference
Result: 27-125 (L)
Player of the game: Gerry Alfares
Coach Olly Kerwin-Clegg: "A midday tip saw our inner city rivals arrive to headingley with a physical presence and intent to be aggressive. After a shaky first quarter in which we gave away unfortunate fouls. We improved throughout the game. Jack Sowerby did a good job with a challenging matchup and pavan doullay provided some much needed rebounding and more disciplined help defence. On the offensive side of the ball there was some encouraging selflessness with good sharing of the basketball and bravery with our drives to the basket.
Gerry Alfares looked more comfortable with the ball in his hands and did well to find cutting players throughout the game. Whilst not the result we wanted our U14 White team fought for one another in a physical battle."
Bradford Dragons vs COLBC U13 Boys
U13 Boys Regional League
Result: 68-39 (L)
Player of the game: Liam Brostoff-Jordan
Coach Jake Shuttlewood: "My first game with this group was one to remember! With a depleted squad with most of the players playing in other games that day, it was always going to be a tough game. Bradford had a strong squad which was filled with young Aspire level talent. This did not phase any of the young COLBC players as they looked to start the game aggressively, even emphasised by Oliver Browes with some encouraging words.
The game started evenly matched as COLBC U13s chased every rebound, loose ball and second chance opportunity. The boys fought hard with some really nice transition baskets from Liam Brostoff-Jordan and some great ‘dishes’ into open cutting players from Teeyon Mintus. I was largely impressed with the quality of defence in the first half although it was hindered by Bradfords quick transition scoring.
Throughout the first half we looked great and even outstanding at times, the third quarter really hurt us in the end with a lower numbered squad which meant some tired legs that led to some offensive rebounds given up and missing in transition baskets.
Regardless of the result, the boys showed real class against a good team which will stand them good position for improving in their national league games and the rest of the regional games!”
Sunday 4th February 2024
Newcastle Eagles vs COLBC U16 Boys Gold
U16 Boys North Premier
Result: 73-59 (L)
Player of the game: Callum Conroy
Coach Sam Messam: We went under the care of the Angel of the north as we travelled up to Newcastle and our previous game against Newcastle was a difficult undertaking as we lost by 50. This time we got off to a really good start on a 7-0 run to force them into a timeout. I was exceptionally happy with our effort, decision making and our problem-solving. We played exceptionally well as a team against the very long and athletic Newcastle team with 4 GB players. In the second quarter we were hit defensively as we allowed way too many easy baskets. However, we won the second half but unfortunately we couldn’t close the gap enough and lost by 14. The combination of Casey and Callum led us through, and the two of them controlled the back court, demonstrated leadership and really got after it. All in all a very pleasing weekend as we look ahead to Saturday’s Home fixture against Sheffield.
Hartlepool Huskies vs COLBC U16 Boys White
U16 Boys North I Conference
Result: 73-44 (L)
Player of the game: David Magiera
Coach Jake Shuttlewood: "A trip up to the North East in Hartlepool for Team White and their longest trip to date! The boys were ready to go after a week full of training. A smaller rostered but yet excitable Team White got to the races against a well known and strong Hartlepool side. The boys started a bit shaky, maybe displaying some nerves in their first long-distance away fixture which put the boys down a significant deficit in the first quarter. After a few adjustments were made and some timeouts were had on the parts of the game we could affect at that moment in time, they never stepped down from the challenge and really took up the opportunity. A large part of this was seen from Naby Bangoura and David Magiera who took to scoring at the rim with some flashy finishes and athletic outbacks. The game finished very well while Team White managed to win the last quarter by 8 points. For me, regardless of the result that showed determination and resilience to finish the game with this head held high. I’m proud of how the group has come on over the last 5 months and I’m sure I’ll see the same leap in development over the next 5!”
COLBC U14 Girls vs Mersey Mavericks
U14 Girls North Conference
Result: 69-56 (W)
Player of the game: Elizabeth Asonmwonriri
Coach Phil Cleeve: "After a tough win the day before the girls came into the game in high spirits.
After starting the game with high pressure defence we finished the 1st quarter up by 11 points with a solid team effort with everybody contributing. We went into the 2nd quarter looking to contain their main player number 30, Elizabeth face guarded number 30 for nearly the entire quarter resulting in 30 only taking 2 tough shots and missing both the entire quarter, Mersey struggled to stop our transition offence helping COLBC go up by 23 at the half. After the half Mersey made some changes of their own, showing how much they wanted it, they shocked COLBC with some physical defence causing turnovers and collecting numerous offensive rebounds bringing them back into the game. End of the 3rd we were only up by 9. Going back to our primary focus, we Elizabeth contained 30 in the 4th and georgia pressured their point guard forcing turnovers helped up maintain the win. We are excited to visit Mersey next Saturday for our rematch."
Scarborough Seahawks vs COLBC U12 Boys Gold
U12 Boys Regional League
Result: 56-71 (W)
Player of the game: Nima Arielli-Celbicic
Coach Dave Sailsbury: "A team performance from U12 Gold this week to take the win away at Scarborough. We have emphasised spacing over recent weeks and that aspect of our game was much improved, opening up space for drives. However, we struggled to convert in the early going and at times were too eager to drive rather than find an even bigger advantage with an early or extra pass. Despite this Gold took the first quarter 8-15 and maintained the lead going into the half after a helter skelter 2nd. The game was decided in the third, as our excellent pressure defence helped us get out on the break for easy scores and our improved team play and finishing helped us score in the half court too. Scarborough attempted to make a push in the final quarter but we were always in control of the game and finished with a solid 56-71 victory. A pleasing win in which every one of our players scored at least 4 points, our spacing was improved and several of our players put our help defense principles into practice. One more step as our youngsters continue to improve."
Rounding off the fifth weekend of 2024, COLBC Director Matt Newby was feeling buoyed by the clear development being shown across the programme:
"It was a super positive weekend for the younger categories in our program, who have showed fantastic development of the last six months. The U14 Girls maintained their fine form with two wins, while the U12 boys were firing on all cylinders, capturing another victory and significantly, the U14 Boys Black team under, young Coach and Academy product Alex Scott, closed the gap from up in Teesside in the reverse fixture. The gym continues to be full of parents, families and friends every weekend, and we are really thankful for the support.
It would be great to see as many club members as possible down at LBU Arena this weekend as our Division 3 side take to the floor for the last home game of the campaign."
You can secure your tickets now, for the final NBL Division 3 Home Game of the season, against Sheffield Elite this Saturday in a 4pm tip-off at LBU Arena. Click the link below now and enter the code LASTHOMEGAME for 50% off tickets.
The roundup will return next week after another 14 game slate on week 18 of the National League season.