U14 Girls: Blazers girls show fight and determination against unbeaten Tameside Royals
The 2015-16 season will go down in history as the first time a girl’s team from Derby have competed in the National League. It has been a truly groundbreaking year that has seen all players improve and a solid foundation established for future years. For the final game of the season the Blazer’s girls welcomed unbeaten league winners Tameside to the Clarence Wiggins Sports Hall for what would be a tough battle but one the girls were ready for.
As the game began, it was Derby who registered first on the score sheet as Miya & Lucy Smith both made 1 from 2 from the free-throw line to give Derby an early 2-0 lead. As expected, Tameside adopted a full court press, which unfortunately for the Blazers resulted in a 0-8 scoring run before Darcie stopped the Royals’ momentum with an excellently taken lay-up.
With the score at 4-8 Tameside were able to again force a number of Derby turnovers which wasn’t helped by a number of sloppy passes as the away team scored 16 straight points to open a 4-24 lead and although Neve was able to score a well taken jump-shot before the quarter break the Blazers were on the wrong end of a 6-24 score line.
The break in play unfortunately didn’t stop the away team’s momentum as a 0-7 start to the quarter resulted in another Blazer timeout, a reaction was needed otherwise the game was going to be out of sight before half time. As the game resumed finally the Blazer girls fight back started as Izzy, Darcie, Neve & Miya combined for 11-2 momentum shifter and when Paige & Miya scored back to back lay-ups to end the first half the Blazers were right back in the game only trailing 21-34.
For the most part, the third quarter was a closely run affair, with both teams answering each other’s shot misses and makes. Scores for Phoebe, Neve and four Miya points keep the Blazers in the game at the eight-minute mark as the score line read 29-41 to the visitors. A drop in energy and intensity for the Blazer girls allowed Tameside to score the last 9 points of the quarter and with it a 29-50 advantage heading into the fourth.
The final ten minutes of the Blazers’ season was a story of two scoring runs as Tameside’s shots were dropping and the Blazer lay-ups were unfortunately not. Despite this, the Blazer’s girls can take heart and enthusiasm from the fact that against the best in the division they never game up and their fight was rewarded as Daisy, Lucy Shelhammer and Neve rounded of the scoring and with it a 40-70 final score, which is an improvement on the score from the last time they faced Tameside.
“Despite the result today I feel that we finished our first season with a number of positives that we can now build on during the summer. This is only the end of the beginning and we now have a solid foundation that will support growth in future years.
“We have all been part of something groundbreaking for Basketball in Derby so please feel as proud as I am, but for now? Onwards and Upwards!”
Miya Kelly 16, Neve Marvill 8, Darcie Ashley 5, Izzy Chetwynd 2, Paige Ferguson 2, Phoebe Colton 2, Lucy Shelhammer 2, Daisy Sheppard 2, Lucy Smith 1