U14s Girls: Gutsy Blazers fight hard against Royals
Following a tough game against local rivals Nottingham Wildcats last week the U14 Blazer girls faced another home game this time against Tameside Royals, a team that last year made the final 4 at the U14 age group.
The game started with multiple turnovers as both teams struggled to settle into the game, it was the visitors who register on the score sheet first before a solitary free throw from Katie J got the Blazers offense started. The next four minutes saw two scoring runs, first the Royals strung a 0-6 burst together before Kerys, Katie J and Neve levelled the scores at 8-8 and a time-out from the visitors. The pause in play did the trick for the Royals as they finished the quarter on a 4-14 scoring run which included a half way heave as the Blazers found themselves on the wrong end of a 12-24 first quarter score line.
Determined to fight their way back into the game it was the Blazers who edged the opening exchanges of the 2nd quarter as Neve, Kerys, Tash & Katie J all found easy scores to reduce the areas to 19-28. Unfortunately for the Blazers a number of errors allowed the Royals to score 6 straight points to re-establish their double digit lead. A big finish to the quarter was needed and with the Royals tiring quick break baskets for Neve, Kerys & Megan L ensured that the Blazers would go into the break with the momentum and the opportunity to overturn the 29-44 disadvantage in the second half.
A big third quarter was needed for the young Blazer girls, the quarter started with both teams exchanging scores and at the 3-minute mark the score line read 33-49 to the Royals. Then the fight back began, excellent team defence which included Kerys taking a charge held the visitors scoreless for 3-minutes whilst on the offensive end Neve, Kerys & Katie J combined for 9 points and with that the Royals lead was slashed to just 7 points. Unfortunately, the momentum was broken and the game swung again in the advantage of the Royals as they ended the quarter by outscoring the Blazers 4-12 and their double digit lead was restored.
The game to this point had seen the momentum shift wildly from team to team and the 4th quarter didn’t change this pattern as first the Royals scored 6 unanswered points before the Blazers then went on a 13-2 burst and with less than 4 minutes in the game remaining they were still firmly in contention with the score 58-71. The remaining minutes of the game can be summarised as follows, the ball didn’t want to go through the hoop for the home team and on the other end everything found a way of rolling in. Despite the 2-16 finish and the final score reading 60-87 the Blazer girls can hold their heads high as they fought like warriors for the whole game.
‘If you take out the last three minutes of the first and fourth quarters the score would have been 54-55. Playing well for 34 minutes is great however it goes to prove that basketball is a 40-minute game and if we switch off, even for a few minutes then the better teams will hurt us’.
‘Through our first five games of the season I have seen such a progression in the girls individually and as a team. I firmly believe that we have taken a big step forward today and next week’s game against Leeds could be very interesting indeed’.
Kerys Mather 18, Neve Marvill 16, Megan Lovatt 9, Katie Januszewska 7, Tash Barker 6, Annelise Rountree 4