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2023/24 National League Weekly Roundup - Week 18

The weekly roundup is back for February week 2. Check out the the scores and coaches' thoughts from week 18 of the National league season.

Week 18 saw 13 games underway across the North in the Junior & Senior National League.

Let's see how it all went down as we roundup week 18 of the 2023/24 National League season.

Saturday 10th February 2024

COLBA vs Sheffield Elite

NBL Division 3 Men

Result: 73-82 (L)

Player of the game: Morgan Bamford

Coach Matt Newby: "In a highly anticipated game against Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Elite, we came out firing with outputs from across the starting lineup and first rotation. The first quarter would probably see some of the best basketball from this unit so far this season. Sheffield adjusted and tempered out half court offence with a robust zone defence, which hurt us. Initially in the third and fourth and our transition offence couldn’t get going, which afforded Sheffield the opportunity to take advantage. In a game that should have been down to the final possessions, we were unfortunately found short on the night. However, the purple patches are becoming more frequent and there is a stronger sense of connectivity going into the games which will close out the season."

COLBA vs Doncaster Eagles

U18 Men North I Conference

Result: 104-46 (W)

Players of the game: Josh Norton

Coach Matt Newby: "Against a much improved Doncaster side, we started hot but this was tempered very quickly with Doncaster coming out win top in early possessional elements of the game and showing a lot of grit throughout. We made some adjustments early in the second which afforded us some higher output, but it was the third and fourth quarters where we put our stamp on the game. There were some strong showings from Sean Engbison, Josh Norton and Marcello Maffezzoli, which is pleasing as we approach the business end of the season.”

COLBA II vs Hatfield Fliers

U18 Men North I Conference

Result: 72-54 (W)

Player of the game: Callum Conroy

Coach Jake Shuttlewood "The second game of the day for the U16 Boys Gold as they played in the U18s Conference league for a back-to-back return fixture against Hatfield. On what was a intense game back in November with a smaller roster due to injuries and illness, the boys looked to take revenge on the 13-point defeat from last time.

The boys kept the momentum from the previous game with intense defence leading to some great ball movement to create open shots for Nako Mokete, Rudee Curtis, Reuben McDowell-Belford and Alfie Donohue to give us the lead in the first quarter. Hatfield came back stronger and certainly did not want to give up the game yet which came with strong drives to the basket which left resulted in lots of fouls and free-throws for Hatfield. The half was ending to be tied up until Musa Mayet strongly drove to the basket resulting in two free-throws to put us up by two.

The second-half was the most impressive by far for Team Gold, some words which told Team Gold how to beat Hatfields quick switching defence allowed the boys to beat Hatfields. The adjusting took some time but some smart drives to kick outs into space and slick passes inside to cutting teammates was too much for Hatfield to handle. Callum Conroy hit a dagger three to shake Hatfield and Rudee Curtis's sharpshooting from three and Nako Mokete's defence sealed the game shut tight. A weekend to remember for the team, a real testament to how they can play together when they are selfless and work as a team."

COLBC U16 Boys Gold vs Sheffield Elite

U16 Boys North Premier

Result: 64-37 (W)

Player of the game: David Ionita

Coach Sam Messam: "Following several strong performances that didn’t quite finish in a win, the CoL crossed the line in a convincing victory over local rivals Sheffield Elite. It was a sweet return win for the home side. A win constructed of effective team work, individual excellence, and a steely conviction to overcome the opposition. The charge was led by an impressive backcourt performance from Callum C, Casey L, Rudee C. Chairman of the boards - Ivan A chipped in, providing 2nd and 3rd chance opportunities."

Mersey Mavericks vs COLBC U14 Girls

U14 Girls North Conference

Result: 46-81 (W)

Player of the game: Martha Kennerley

Coach Phil Cleeve: "With a depleted team due to the u13s playing at the same time we travelled away to Mersey having played the reverse fixture last week and we knew what we had to do; control the boards, pressure the ball and get out on transition. Very strong start with Erin Donleys defensive presence causing several misses and picking up 5 rebounds and 3 blocks in the first 5 mins got us to a flying start finishing the quarter 21-6. Mersey upped their defensive pressure slowing us down but soem great transition from the girls and fantastic finishes from the likes of Bryony Taylor and Martha Kennerley kept us up by 19 points going in the half. Mersey had no answer for our defensive pressure which led us to our 35 point victory

Captain Natasha Kumaraswamy led her team by example with 20 points, and did a great job as always controlling the floor."

Manchester Giants vs COLBC U14 Boys Gold

U14 Boys North Premier

Result: 92-22 (L)

Player of the game: Omkar Phalnikar

Coach James Quinn: "In a tough away outing to Manchester, the U14 Gold looked to implement the learning from a fantastic week of practice as we look to grow over the remaining games of the season. The scoreline does not reflect the performance of the group in this game, as lots of skilled and intelligent play certainly gave us the possessions to be in this one, however our shot percentage meant that we remained agonisingly off the scoring pace throughout. Having spent time in practice this week looking at breaking the press, we were given plenty of opportunity to test it out in this one, and the boys did fantastically, breaking the press time after time for 30 minutes. Defensively, we were committed and fought hard throughout, however the height in the land of the Giants meant that we gave up a lot of points on the offensive boards. a frustrating day like this shows you who has the character to fight through adversity, and I am delighted to working with this group of young men for the rest of the season."

Rotherhame Hawks COLBC U14 Boys Black

U14 Boys North I Conference

Result: 68-45 (L)

Player of the game: Archie Locke

Coach Alex Scott: "It was slow start in Rotherham on Saturday as we struggled to get into flow offensively which led to many transition buckets from Rotherham. This offensive flow vastly improved in the 2nd and 3rd quarter as we started to get some buckets in the half court led mainly by guard Archie Locke who showed a very high basketball iq in his play. However, Rotherham did well to punish us for a lack of intensity on the boards as they hustled into a lot of buckets. Jakub Zurowski was shining light on this though as he did well once he had settled into what was his debut for the club. The 4th was slightly disappointing as Rotherham put another 8 points into the lead which made the split look worse than we perhaps deserved however it does act as a learning opportunity for this young team to play till the very end and make the most out of all their minutes on the floor."

Grimsby Phoenix vs COLBC U14 Boys White

U14 Boys North I Conference

Result: 101-35 (L)

Player of the game: Liam Brostoff-Jordan

Coach Olly Kerwin-Clegg: "A game that epitomised the phrase a ‘game of two halves’ as the City of Leeds white had an unfortunate slow start. After timeouts and adjustments the second half was a great example of what this team is about. Fantastic transition defence was played by all players and active hands led to a healthy amount of steals namely for Liam Brostoff-Jordan and Pavan Doullay. We also became much more organised in our half court offence which allowed us to make strong drives to the bucket, even when these shots didn’t fall players such as Noah Jones and Sam Gresser were there to put back the offensive rebounds despite the physical disadvantage. Our final quarter saw some nice offensive possessions with good ball movement.

A game which showed the quality this squad has our focus is renewed into tapping into this ability right from the tip and keeping it consistent."

COLBC U13 Girls vs York Eagles

U13 Girls Regional League

Result: 68-10 (W)

Player of the game: Amelia Sherwood

Coach Greta Stout: "It was a brilliant game for U13s on Saturday despite having only 7 players due to U14s having another game on the road on the same day. The girls were focused from the start of the game. Jessica Woodward again demonstrated her positive leadership, from organising the team and player positions during the pre-game warm-up to supporting our less experienced players throughout the game, some of whom were playing the first game in their basketball careers. We started the first quarter very strongly, managing to get some great steals, communicating well on defence, and running the floor wide which helped us to convert many fast break points. By working together and bringing such a positive energy on defence particularly by Georgia Allen we managed to stop York from scoring in the first 10 minutes of the game. Moyowa Itse scored 6 consecutive points by collecting offensive rebounds in the first quarter, a fantastic effort with it being her first basketball game. It was great also to see Ariana Kaur-Kyriazi making several confident drives all the way to the basket early in the game. Given the lead we had been able to build, it was a great opportunity for us to work on spacing on offence and to focus on movement making sure we connect our passes which allowed us to get some drives to the basket and convert them into points. Amelia Sherwood once again demonstrated her growing confidence and great shot selection collecting 18 points throughout the game. It was nice to see our young girls enjoying the basketball game and getting another solid win for COLB!"

Sunday 11th February 2024

Teesside Lions vs COLBC U18 Men

U18 Men North I Conference

Result: 76-74 (L)

Player of the game: Daniel Onabrakpeya

Coach Alex Scott: "A very tight game against Teeside. The boys started slow offensively with us struggling to finish on some good offensive moves. However we clawed it back led by some great defence by Gordan Chan who finished on the other end well. This spurred some good play in the second half with Sam Barraclough giving some truly elite passes to his teammates to keep the scoreboard ticking. In the second half we repeated this pattern and improved our help side defence which had previously led to points at the line. Going to the 4th we trailed by 7. During this quarter Daniel Onobrakpeya for 8 points in the quarter leading him to finish with 20 points for the game. This kept us in it as we were down by 5 with less than minute to go when Ethan Lough hit a massive shot to take it to a 2 point game. We then played some great defence to get a stop defensively and ran it train put could not connect. However, we did manage to get the ball on the baseline from a Teeside fumble, with 5 seconds left . Unfortunately we were not able to connect on either of game winning g shot attempts but the boys did well to get the right shots for the game. The game was very positive especially defensively but we will look in future to be more composed in the future on the offensive side of the ball."

East Durham Lions vs COLBC U16 Boys Black

U16 Boys North Premier

Result: 81-50 (L)

Player of the game: Omar Nawrani

Coach Jake Shuttlewood: "Team Black took the return fixture up to the North East in Durham for revenge after losing by 1 at home only a month ago. The boys sensed the importance of this game and took it right into their stride while keeping composed and focused. Both sides in the game struggled to find a footing for the first four minutes leaving it scoreless as East Durhams zone-defence took some adjusting too. After a timeout to explain how we can beat it, we managed to get some points on the board. Unfortunately, the first quarter ended in Durhams favour but this did certainly not stop Team Black from getting back into the game in the second quarter. Team Black traded baskets with Durham the whole quarter and just managed to get a one-point win in the second quarter which everyone hope to get back into the game!

Unfortunately, the third quarter was much the same as the first when playing against Durhams zone-defence. However, nearer the end of the third quarter the boys swung the ball around near perfectly and created some great oppurtunities to score but just could not convert on the shot or the layup. Alex Summers had some great offensive rebounding with 3 'and-one' layups matched with Omar Nawrami's quick decision to split the defence through the middle multiple times and create his own shots or for others. The fourth quarter was our best with some agile cuts, nifty finishes and great catch-and-shoot oppurtunites matched with some good transition oppurtunities from Kai Yuasa and Emil Omidiran. The boys took the fourth quarter by 4 points in the end! Although we did not win the game, the boys still fought over the course of the four quarters and managed to win two of them. I'm happy with the progress the boys have made and look forward to learning more in practice after half-term!"

Spen Valley Vipers vs COLBC U16 Boys White

U16 Boys Regional League

Result: 68-70 (W)

Player of the game: Noah Brevitt

Coach Katie Lamond: "Incredible hustle from the boys today. Throughout every quarter, all players gave their absolute all. Everyone willing to fight for the ball, physically battle to the basket and run the floor. The whole team having an impact in the game. Close game from the start. Both teams very quick in transition. Early drives and individual attacking performances provided early points for COL. The boys showed off their attacking brilliance through athleticism and complex finishes. The willingness to grab loose balls and fight for steals aided us in keeping a strong, positive intensity, along with allowing a small breakaway within the scoreline. Some big individual defensive performances kept Vipers from easy layups, keeping the score in our favour.

Vipers being equally aggressive, meant that in moments of panic and rushed play, along with lack of offensive movement, the opposition were able to go on scoring runs, taking away our breathing room , keeping the game exceptionally close. Physically long and stong, Vipers often having the advantage in roubound situations. Adding more pressure to the game.

When the team found their patience and composure, they showed some exceptional team play. Both the team offensive and defence stepped up significantly. That patience, matched with the infectious desire to fight for the game, meant that they were able to battle through to retake the lead , and further win the game! Fabulous result for the White team. Brilliant energy and aspiration from start to end. Thankful to the boys for being exceptionally respectful and responsive the entire time. It was a pleasure to be a part of the unit today. Thankyou for having me! Fully deserving of the result.

Rounding off the sixh weekend of 2024, COLBC Director Matt Newby was delighted with a vcery successful weekend for the programme:

"Over the weekend, LBU Arena was a hive of activity, most notably, the U16 Boys Gold would register back to back wins under Coach Messam and Coach Shuttlewood respectively, having shown significant growth in recent weeks alongside a heightened effort on defence being couple with a efficient offensive output. The U14 Girls continued their fine form away and our fledgling U13 Girls showed out against local rivals York. There was a big win for the U16 Boys White against Spen Valley, showing their development over the year. All in all, a super positive weekend for the programme.”

The roundup will return next week after another 14 game slate on week 19 of the National League season.

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