U14 Girls: Much improved Blazer girls claim first win of the season

 

For the second week in a row the U14 Blazer girls found themselves at the Clarence Wiggins Sports Hall, this time against Stockport Lapwings. Following last week’s game against Sheffield Hatters the young Blazer girls were eager to make amends and put in a much improved performance.

The game started with Kerys controlling the tip and the Blazers having three opportunities to open the scoring without success. The full court defensive pressure being applied by the Blazers resulted in numerous early steals which led to easy scores for Daisy, Neve & Kerys who combined for a 14-1 scoring run and a commanding early lead. Both teams then exchanged points until Meggie, Tash & Neve strung a 9-1 scoring burst together to end the quarter with the Blazers up 29-12. Defensively the Blazer girls were applying high levels of pressure which although was forcing turnovers it was also putting a number of players into early foul trouble.

 

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The second quarter started with the Lapwings scoring first before another 10-0 scoring run for the Blazers, which included scores for all 5 players on the court extended the Blazer lead to 39-14 and a Lapwings timeout to regroup. Following a two-minute period where both teams exchanged empty possessions the Blazer girls again picked up the intensity on the defensive end holding the Lapwings to only 6 points in the remainder of the quarter whilst on the offensive end the Blazers were scoring freely with Lolly, Meggie & Tash making easy layups and taking the home team into the locker room with a 58-22 lead.

To start the third quarter on the front foot the starting five returned to the court and immediately made their presence known as defensively the Lapwings struggled to find any productive looks at the basket whilst on the offensive end Neve, Tash & Meg L combined for a 15-1 four-minute passage of play and with that the starters returned to the bench where they would remain for the rest of the game. The depth of the Blazer girls squad was evident as the change in personnel didn’t change the momentum as Annelise & Meggie combined for the last 8 points of the quarter and a commanding 81-26 lead heading into the fourth.

The final quarter started at a much slower pace to the three periods before it and it took until the second minute for Anna to find Meggie under the basket for an uncontested layup. The remainder of the game saw both teams battle hard and exchange baskets. As time ticked down Lolly scored the last points of the game which capped off a fine all-round team performance and a 93-37 win for the Blazers.

Coaches comments:

‘Since last week’s game we have worked hard to address the inefficiencies that led to our poor performance against Sheffield. We definitely settled into the game quicker today and as a result we were competitive straight from the opening tip’.

‘A number of players grabbed the opportunity to play extended minutes with both hands and this will be of great benefit to us as our season advances’

‘Very proud of each and every player today. Let’s hope for the same tomorrow away against Tameside Royals Juniors’.

Derby Scorers:

Neve Marvill 25, Meggie Silina 15, Kerys Mather 14, Tash Barker 11, Annelise Rowntree 10, Lauren Issatt 6, Daisy Shepherd 6, Megan Poulter 4, Megan Lovatt 2.


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U14 Girls grind out second win of the weekend

For the first time this season the U14 Blazer girls faced an away game in Greater Manchester against Tameside Royals Juniors. This was the second game of the weekend for the Blazer girls following a comfortable home win against Stockport Lapwings yesterday.

In similar fashion to the previous to encounters the game started with the Blazers controlling the opening tip and having numerous opportunities to score which went begging before back to back layups from Kerys got the scoreboard ticking over. Following a Royals score the next four minutes of play saw turnovers for both teams as neither the home or away team could find any rhythm to their play. Neve ended the drought from the free throw line before another Kerys layup opened up an 2-9 lead for the Blazers. The remainder of the quarter we be remembered as ‘missed shot madness’ as no fewer than 15 opportunities were missed whilst at the other end the Royals got themselves back into the game. At the quarter break the Blazers held a slim 10-12 advantage.

The second quarter started like the first with both teams now missing opportunities to score in transition. On the 3-minute mark Kerys and Neve ignited a 0-12 scoring run for the Blazers which included the first points of the season for Anna who found space and nailed a 10ft jump shot. A Royals time-out followed which only momentarily stopped the Blazer momentum as Katie J & Tash combined for 13 points of a 5-15 scoring burst that gave the Blazer girls a 19-43 half time advantage.

As the second half resumed Daisy opened the scoring with a well taken layup of a Neve pass. Following an exchange of free-throw scores Tash & Megan L strung together a 0-6 scoring run which included a very nice sequence of passing and a short corner jump shot. Unfortunately, the intensity that the girls were able to show yesterday wasn’t there and the Royals were able to capitalise on the lack of aggression being applied and ended the quarter strong to trail 31-59 heading into the fourth.

The final quarter started with both teams exchanging points before Neve, Anna and the player of the day Katie J put the game beyond any reasonable doubt as they found easy baskets to extend the lead to 35-72 with just three minutes to play. As the clock ticked down Megan L was able to round of the Blazer scoring and with it a 39-76 win for the U14 Blazer girls.

Coaches comments:

‘The performance wasn’t what we wanted, however we did enough at the pivotal moments to win the game and for that I can’t be unhappy. Great teams find a way to stay competitive even when things aren’t going right, we did that today!

‘Again, we missed a wide number of easy scoring opportunities today which only goes to prove to me how good we could be when they start dropping. We are doing so many good things to get into the positions to score and in time I am sure we will be rewarded’

‘We must now rest and prepare for what will be a hard battle next week against Nottingham Wildcats’

Derby Scorers:

Neve Marvill 17, Katie Januszewska 15, Kerys Mather 12, Tash Barker 11, Megan Lovatt 8, Anna Marvill 6, Daisy Shepherd 4, Meggie Silina 3