U14 Girls: Strong second half gives the Blazers a big win in Leicester
Following a tough game against league leaders Manchester Mystics last week the young Blazer girls travelled to local rivals Leicester Warriors for a game that marks the half way point in the season. The task ahead of them included matching up with a number of players who had represented the East Midlands in the summer alongside four of the Blazer girls.
The game began with both teams playing a high tempo ‘end to end’ style of basketball which although resulted in a number of empty possessions allowed the Blazers to take an early 2-6 lead through scores from Kerys, Neve and Katie J who played for the Warriors last season. On the offensive end of the floor the Blazers were finding great opportunities to score but couldn’t take full advantage, on the defensive end the Warriors were starting to find success by driving to the hoop and scoring or attracting contact. With two minutes left in the quarter Neve, Katie J and Megan Lovatt combined for a 3-12 scoring and ensured that the Blazers would take a 14-23 lead into the first quarter break.
The first three minutes of the second quarter saw both teams exchange scores as defensively both teams couldn’t stop the scoreboard ticking over. A time-out to ignite the Blazer defence was needed and as the girls returned to the court an increase in energy was clearly evident as a two-minute spell of play resulted in Neve, Tash, Daisy and Kerys combining for 12 straight points and more impressively the Blazer girls contained the Warriors in their own half only allowing them into the front court once. As the second quarter ended Annelise scored the final points of the quarter and the Blazers took a 30-53 lead into the half time break but more importantly they had all the momentum.
The half time talk concentrated on improvements on the defensive end, however nobody could have expected the improvement that followed. Through the whole of the 3rd quarter the Blazer defensive was nothing short of perfect as the only score they conceded was a solitary free throw. Great defence leads to easy offense and Daisy, Neve, Anna, Tash, Katie J, Meg Lovatt, Meg Poulter and Lolly all registered well taken layups as the transition game killed off any chance of a Warriors comeback. At the end of the quarter the score line read 31-80.
With the result of the game not in doubt the final quarter saw minutes for all players and despite the different line ups on the floor the result defensively was the same. The level of pressure the Blazers were applying resulted in transition scores for Lolly, Anna and Megan Lovatt. The Warriors needed a field goal to re-ignite their offense and they had to wait until three minutes from the end of the game to get it. Unfortunately, that was there first and last field goal of the second half. Megan Lovatt rounded off the scoring for the Blazers to cap a fantastic second half performance and with it a big 36-101 win which surely should send a message to the rest of the league.
‘It took some time for us to settle into the game today but when we found our form we didn’t look back’
‘We were ruthlessly efficient on the defensive end of the floor, restricting our opponents to just one field goal in the whole of the second half’.
‘A true all round team performance from all the players, coaching team and parents. We need to carry this form into Sheffield next week’
Neve Marvill 28, Megan Lovatt 17, Kerys Mather 15, Katie Januszewska 11, Daisy Sheppard 6, Anna Marvill 6, Annelise Rowntree 4, Lauren Issatt 4, Tash Barker 4, Megjie Silinca 4, Megan Poulter 2,