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2023/24 National League Weekly Roundup - Week 20

The weekly roundup is back for February week 3. Check out the the scores and coaches' thoughts from week 20 of the National league season.

Week 20 saw 17 games underway across the North in the Junior & Senior National League.

Let's see how it all went down as we roundup week 20 of the 2023/24 National League season.

Saturday 24th February 2024

Tees Valley Mohawks vs COLBA

NBL Division 3 Men

Result: 82-67 (L)

Player of the game: Marcello Maffezzoli

Coach Matt Newby: "A combination of old heads and experience, along with some hard-nosed physical play would put Tees Valley Mohawks at an advantage after the first quarter with a commanding lead. There on after that, we showed a little promise, however, we were nowhere near the high standards of our stronger outings in Division 3. This was compounded by a lot of error and a lack of urgency in the posessional elements of the game. But sometimes the best responses come from such experiences."

Tees Valley Mohawks vs COLBA

U18 Men North I Conference

Result: 36-97 (W)

Players of the game: Isaac Durrant

Coach Matt Newby: "The Academy game would see a well-rounded performance from a small rotation, due to absences through injury and illness. However, the underclassmen held court in a definitive fashion with Josh Norton dominating the glass, tempered guard play from Ethan Utley and Max Stead and a stellar second half display from Isaac Durrant, would ensure an important victory against a gritty and hard working Mohawks team."

Hatfield Fliers vs COLBC U18 Men

U18 Men North I Conference

Result: 89-56 (L)

Player of the game: Laurence Bowler

Coach Alex Scott: "The boys started the game really well as they pushed it well in transition led by Sam Barraclough outlet passing and some terrific team rebounding. This all led to us going into the quarter down by just 5 points. It was the second quarter where hatfields offense exploded for almost 30 points in the quarter the boys continued to play some good offense but the split proved to be too large to overcome. However, the boys continued to fight on both sides of the ball which kept the split from getting out of hand. Overall the boys actually played some of the best looking basketball of the season as the decision making was really positive."

COLBC U16 Girls Gold vs Lancashire Spinners

U16 Girls North Conference

Result: 60-45 (W)

Player of the game: Sophie Conroy

Coach Katie Lamond: "Impressive first few quarters for the U16s Gold. The girls came out extremely strong in both aspects of the game. Striving for excellence both in offensive aspects and their defensive structure. The gold team showed incredible strength offensively. Movement and decision making being arguably one of the best it has been all season. Both strong and weak side actions allowing for open lanes and finishing opportunities. More avenues to convert came from not only clever, but physically stong pick and roll actions. Good offensive spacing, intelligent passes and exceptional finishes meant that multiple players had the opportunity to have a attempt at the basket. Intensity on defence, not only limited Spinners scoring chances, but steals and forced errors also provided good transitions break aways. COLBC having control for most of the first and second quarters.

In the third and early moments of the fourth, we took the foot of the gas. Drop in intensity and rushed offensive decisions provided Spinners with the opportunity to convert easy to baskets in transition. Spinners being a both quick and extremely competent around the rim, meant that the scoreline went from a comfortable gap to a 15 point game. The pressure naturally impacted our offensive strength. Lack of ball reversal and movement meant that the rate we coverted points also dropped.Despite the switch in momentum. The girls got back into their rhythm towards the end of the 4th. Composure and decision making improved. The girls able to finish the game both stronger and smarter to take the Win at home. Regardless of the switches in intensity, still a impressive result for the Gold group."

COLBC U16 Boys Black vs Bradford Dragons II

U16 Boys North I Conference

Result: 54-48 (W)

Player of the game: Emil Omidiran

Coach Jake Shuttlewood: "An anticipated fixture for Team Black as the last time they had faced it was close against the Dragons second team. Team Black took it right into their stride as they knew it was never going to be an easy matchup for them. The game started very slow for both sides as hard defence was clearly marked as priority to stop the opponents success. Team Black had some good moments which results in good opportunities around the basket but just didn't fall in, thankfully Alex Summers managed to rebound and putback multiple opportunities to keep Team Black in the game with only two points between the sides at the end of the first half.

Team Black continued into the second half with intensity and passion as everyone was behind them with support from Team White and Gold players too! With not much between the two sides, Kai Yuasa stepped up to convert two crucial baskets with some slick footwork to keep us in the lead and win the quarter. The last quarter was back and forth from both sides with some good defence, tough baskets and excellent three-point shooting. The Dragons came out blazing with three 3-pointers to start the quarter and gave them a one-point lead. This did not phase Briel Lipo as he drove to basket and finished four key baskets which brought Team Black some new life to close out the game. Some strong defensive efforts from Alex Summers and some quick outlets to Omar Nawrami which was finished clinically by Emil Omidiran to shut away Bradford! An overall pleasing performance for everyone involved."

COLBC U16 Boys White vs Hartlepool Huskies

U16 Boys North I Conference

Result: 51-67 (L)

Player of the game: Nate Robinson

Coach Jake Shuttlewood: "A return fixture at Allerton High School which saw Team White matched up against top of the league Hartlepool Huskies. After a bit of a tough game when we faced them away with a slow first half but a much redeemed second half, we had the goal to be far more competitive with a deeper roster and first time players, Nate Robinson.

A fiery start to the game with back and forth scores from Gabriel Radev, Oliver Brack and Sam Oldroyd at the basket. Some tough defensive plays gave us the edge as Team White battled against a taller Huskies side. The boys took every opportunity as it came and played exactly how we had practiced! However, some small errors on the rotation put us back into somewhat level terms going into the second quarter. This was quickly patched by Oliver Brack who was the main responder and beneficiary which resulted in steals and quick outlets on the fastbreak for Nate Robinson & Loukas Vrahoulakis. The second half was much the same as back and forth baskets never really gave Team White the lead but definitely showed the ability they have when they work as a team. Quick passing, sharp cuts and overall unselfish basketball made the game close. Nate Robinson was tasked at guarding the Huskies 'strongest player' and did an amazing job while dishing out some passes to a cutting Hilson Tse and Ethan Jekhine to maintain the close seven point gap. Unfortunately, Hartlepool hit some big threes in transition which closed out the game for us in the final five minutes and took the lead away from us.

I could not be more happy with the progress this team has made over the course of the year and with just two games to go, I am backing them to take them both."

Sheffield Hatters II vs COLBC U14 Girls

U14 Girls North Conference

Result: 54-65 (W)

Player of the game: Amelia Clayton

Coach Phil Cleeve: "Going into the game with only 8 players due to an unfortunate broken finger and sickness we knew it was going to be hard fought game.

We started the game trading baskets with Sheffield with Georgia Allen getting onto the scoreboard early with 4 points in the 1st minute, Unfortunately this is when we began to struggle getting a defensive rhythm and we couldn't buy a basket. Sheffield took advantage seemingly barely missing a shot they went up by 15 points in the first quarter. 24-9

City of Leeds, not deterred fought on to reclaim a win. With the 2nd quarter our focus came to rebounding and "getting hungry" for the ball the intensity rose 10 fold and Sheffield had no answer for Amelia Claytons High pressure and hustle causing many turnovers and gave the rest of the team fire in their belly to get the ball. City of Leeds didn't let them score for the 1st 6 minutes of the 2nd period. Unfortunately there was still a lid on the rim causing us to struggle to convert, Leeds couldn't get within 10 points and finished the 1st half still down 36-24.

A quick half time shooting session got us into our rhythm for the 2nd half and Natasha Kumaraswamy caught fire scoring 25 of her 27 points in the 2nd half including 2 3 pointers.

All in all it was a hard fought victory with all team members contributing positively and gained that well deserved win."

COLBC U14 Boys Gold vs Milton Keynes Breakers

U14 Boys North Premier

Result: 25-99 (L)

Player of the game: Finlay May

Coach James Quinn: "A tough and sizeable opposition arrived to LBU Arena in 2nd place MK Breakers as we looked to implement some of the incredible development from the last 5 weeks. A strong and clinical 1st quarter stunned the visitors as we came out punching and matched them on every play. As the second quarter started, we continued to break the press from the opposition to get good looks on offense, however began to back down from the challenge in our own half, allowing some skilled players to get to the basket with all too little physical deterrent. There were periods of fantastic team play and togetherness, but overall I feel we gave the opponent too easy of a ride today and much more is needed at this level to be right there with teams. This is something I know the boys will look to show they possess as we go on the road tomorrow and bounce back from a loss that will hurt a lot today."

COLBC U14 Boys Black vs COLBC U14 Boys White

U14 Boys North I Conference

Result: 25-99 (L)

Player of the game: Charlie Woodward & Pavan Doullay

Coach Alex Scott: "The boys started fairly well as we made some good offensive moves but struggled to finish them. Defensively we allowed plenty of chances as white hustled towards the rim. However Charlie Woodward protected the pain well with 4 blocks on his way to a double digit block game. The second was much better for us offensively as we started to hit our jumpers with the best example being Thomas bathers who hit back to back short corner jumpers in his first game back from injury. We also started to cut really intelligently as Harry Thompson showed his IQ as he guided cutter to the rim with his passing. Alex Newhouse really turned a corner in the this quarter as he started to drive towards aggressively and finished well around the rim for the whole game finishing with 11 points. In the third we continued this offensive output but the defensive intensity dropped as white team crashed the boards aggressively. In conclusion it was a positive game for the team as every single player got in the scoresheet on the way to well earned win."

Coach Olly Kerwin-Clegg: "Regardless of the fact that this was an inter-club fixture it certainly didn’t lower the intensity of the affair on Saturday morning.

The first quarter saw strong help side defence from the U14 White side with strong legal defence that was capped off by good rebounding by all players. This help would continue through the whole game. Later in the second quarter more of an emphasis was placed on using our transition opportunity effectively with developing good habits of looking up and being selfless. Players like Micah Brodie were willing to run hard to capitalise off these opportunities.

Moving into the second half, the first five did a fantastic job of playing with heart and hustle bolstered on by great support by their teammates. Pavan Doullay showed his character and leadership by example forcing three jump balls and making a tough and-one basket.

Our final quarter was more of the same on defence with an emphasis on making sure we had effective rotations after our help. The morning fixture was positive for the squad as they showed great support and a willingness to play for each other. We look forward to developing this selfless style in the final weeks of the season."

COLBC U12 Tournament vs York Eagles

A great day of basketball for our U12s as we took 3 teams away to York. Each team played two games against York A and B teams.

U12 York Eagles A 12 vs 34 U12 City of Leeds Gold

U12 York Eagles B 2 Vs 53 U12 City of Leeds Gold

Gold put in two strong performances to take solid wins in their games. The first game saw the team matched up against York 1 and jump out to an early lead. Determined defence helped set a platform throughout the game. On the offensive end, Gold created several open opportunities off drives to the basket and converted a portion of their opportunities. More ruthless finishing would have made for an even more decisive scoreline. Superb rebounding from John-Lewis Nwalal Mi Nyom and a shared scoring load across the team kept the scoreboard moving. Angus Bowler showed a basketball pedigree with decision making on the break, showing he knew when to release the ball ahead or advance with the dribble. Gold's second game saw them take on a younger York team. Gold continued to play the right way, using what we work on in practice as they ran away to victory.

Gold player of the day: Elliot Hanson

U12 York Eagles B 18 Vs 52 U12 City of Leeds Black

U12 York Eagles A 54 Vs 22 City of Leeds Black

Our Black team started their day with a win against the York B team. Charlie Mahon, Theo Njie and Noah Egan shared the scoring load with 8 points each as the team showed understanding of the concepts we have been working on in recent weeks. One great example of this came from Wisdom Cebekhulu's backdoor pass off the dribble to a sprinting Charlie Mahon who ran in to finish at the basket. I'm their second game of the day, Black took on York A and got off to a slow start to find themselves trailing by double digits at the end of the first quarter. As the game went on Tche Ward and Orlando Victor showed their steel as they continued to attack, creating good looks at the basket. However, transition scores and second chance points from York helped them to maintain their advantage and take the win.

Black player of the day: Orlando Victor

U12 York Eagles A 66 Vs 16 U12 City of Leeds White

U12 York Eagles B 16 Vs 18 U12 City of Leeds White

Four players in our White team suited up for their first ever game and showed great potential. In their first game of the day they faced a tough test against an older York A group. Finn Frazer and Fabio Zeqiraj took to the challenge, attacking off the dribble to get shots at the basket. The team battled throughout with Joshua Apawu hustling hard, sprinting end of end to rebound and challenge shots. However, the size, strength and quickness of York's A team showed as they created turnovers and scored in both transition and the half court to run away for a big victory. In their second game of the day our White team faced Yorks B squad and pulled off a victory. The game was tight throughout, with our White team trailing by 2 points at the half. A low scoring third quarter saw just one basket which levelled the score, setting up a tense 4th quarter. Poised play from Finn Frazer and debutant Luca Doherty helped lead the team, taking the final period 6-4. York had a final opportunity to tie, pulling up for a jumpshot on the break but Joshua Apawu secured the rebound as the final seconds ticked away. A great win for our youngest group of boys in the programme.

White player of the day: Luca Doherty

Sunday 25th February 2024

Derbyshire Arrows vs COLBC U18 Women

U18 Women North Conference

Result: 35-70 (W)

Player of the game: Ella Ryan

Coach Katie Lamond: "Another well earned win for the U18s women. This group of girls are hands down some of the best hustlers I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Continuing their impressive run with another exceptional team performance. Another game where in the first and third quarters , the opposition opted to try and limit our offensive capabilities with zone defence. However, this time not quite having the desired effect. The U18s exceptionally composed and patient from the start today. Good ball movement and clever cuts in and around the key meant that the girls were able to expose gaps in Arrows defence, allowing for good finishes around the rim, space and time for outside shots, and strong drives that often lead to points scored and/or free throw opportunities. Every COL player getting on the scoresheet today just proves not only the girls selflessness to share the ball, but the impressive efficiency of our offensive decisions.

Easily a game where the U18s women could've lost focus and intensity, COL proved their incredible discipline to keep the quality of the game and their performance to a high level. Desire to win the ball back when not in possession does not do the team justice when reflecting on the defensive organisation. Multiple Leeds jersey's sprinting back in every offensive attempt by Arrows. The work rate to keep Arrows out was beyond significant. Forever in awe of the U18s unity and work rate. As always, everyone involved showing up for each other. All incredibly important to the team result."

Team QE II vs COLBC U18 Men

U18 Men North I Conference

Result: 65-59 (L)

Player of the game: Daniel Onobrakpeya

Coach Jake Shuttlewood: ""The U18s Men's second fixture of the weekend after a close and intense game the day against second in the league the day before.

A strong start against Team QE's 3-2 zone which saw Ethan Lough, Tom Dillon and Sam Barraclough swing the ball around with pace to convert on multiple layups. Although Team Gold fought hard, QE answered back in the same manner with threes and some tough finishes. The second quarter was physically the toughest of all four as James Higgins, Matthew Firth and Jools Barton had the tough job of keeping offensive rebounds to a low for Team QE.

The second half saw Team QE hit lots of threes which made the game harder for us but the boys continued to fight as Daniel Onobrakpeya effect the game for all three levels with defensive rebounds, finishes at the rim and three point making. The last quarter had it all with Dan Conner contributing with some stellar three point shooting, defensive resiliance from James Higgins and big finishes in transition from Sam Barraclough. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to keep Team QE away as they made four three pointers and some turnovers in the final minutes kept us from getting it over the line."

St Helens Saints vs COLBC U14 Boys Gold

U14 Boys North Premier

Result: 84-60 (L)

Player of the game: Omkar Phalnikar

Coach James Quinn: "Yesterday I spoke of how the result of that game would hurt, as we knew that we let the opposition walk their way to the win. As we walked in the gym today in St Helens, the mood could not have been any different and the boys were clearly here to right some wrongs.

In another quick start we played with clinical confidence as our wings played aggressively, moving the ball and slashing to the basket with venom. We exploited the defensive mistakes to score freely in the first 15 minutes before successive mistakes took us in to the break down by an increase margin. In the second half we really came into our own, running the floor at will, and cutting the lead to ten at the end of the third. It was our own mistakes that let the margin run out to 24 at the end of the game, but we finished with a renewed confidence from what was by far and away our best performance of the season so far. Our more experienced players stepped up, while our developing players followed along with them to consistently punch as one unit, and I am so proud of this group of young men."

Tees Valley Mohawks vs COLBC U14 Boys Black

U14 Boys North I Conference

Result: 61-51 (L)

Player of the game: Stephane Mpundu

Coach Alex Scott: "Leeds started the game fairly slow as we struggled to get makes on jumpshots as the Mohawks defence sagged. However, Stephane Mpundu kept the scoreboard ticking over to keep the split close. Going into the second we came into it with a new fire as we won the quarter led by some fantastic interior defense from Oscar Mason as well as Fraser Cummings and Charlie Woodward hustling around the perimeter. They came into the third the exact same way as we came played some physical defense to cut their scoring production. We also started to drive into the paint with much more aggressiveness which led to plenty of points inside and at the charity stripe. In the 4th we did well to close the gap off some impressive scoring again from Stephane, scoring 7 points in the quarter in his way to a 18 point game but in the final minutes we were missing 2 key players due to fouling out which tees valley punished us for as they pushed the game out of reach late on."

York Eagles vs COLBC U13 Girls

U13 Girls Regional League

Result: 56-54 (L)

Player of the game: Amelia Sherwood

Coach Phil Cleeve: "Having beaten York 2 weeks ago very comfortably we went into the game feeling confident, until we saw they brought a few extra players from their u14 national league programme. Leeds started the game strong with 5 players getting onto the scoreboard early, but we were struggling to contain Yorks experienced number 6 and 11 finishing the quarter 13-12 to York. 2nd quarter was where Leeds fell apart, unable to convert some easy baskets and with Bryony containing their number 6, number 11 was still a problem, Leeds went down by as many as 13 before having to claw it back. 3rd quarter Leeds found a rhythm with captain Georgia allens leadership and defensive pressure it helped Amelia Sherwood get into a good rhythm with her scoring 8 of her 18 points in the 3rd. Ally joined the game in the 3rd following an injury during the warm up and added 2 steals and a mid range jump shot to add a little spark.

4th quarter, confidence at an all time high but still trailing by 3 points we remained focused. The team played strong and managed to be up by 3 points with 2 minutes remaining. York turned up the pressure which we weren't quite ready for, with number 11 getting an and 1 with just over a 1 minute remaining tieing the game. Amelia sherwood hit back with her signature layup, Leeds couldn't get back on a quick possession with York tieing it within the final minute.

Unable to contain number 11, she made her final 2 points of her 32 point game to put York up by 2 with 30 seconds remaining. Leeds struggled under the pressure and missed a couple of opportunities to tie the game. Heart breaking game, but great experience for everyone."

Rounding off the last weekend of February, COLBC Director Matt Newby was drawing confidence from the improvements week in week out.

"With exciting developments within our younger cohorts, credit goes to all those who travelled to the U11/U12 tournament in York, and with so many representing the club for the first time, they did so with distinction. The U14s Girls maintained their fine form and the U13s Girls had a very credible performance in regional competition and the U16 Girls Gold moved to a 13-1 record with a selfless team performance against the Spinners. The U16s Boys Black, improving all the time, took the win against Bradford and the Academy maintained their perfect record. A strong shout out to all the parents and guardians who continue to support us throughout the close of the season."

The roundup will return next week after another 13 game slate on week 21 of the National League season.

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