Jnr. NBL Final Fours 2019 - Saturday Recap

Under 14 Girls

Live Stats – Manchester Mystics 58 v 39 Richmond Knights

Live Stats – Ipswich 90 v 61 London Youngblood Lioness Cubs

Manchester Mystics 58 v 39 Richmond Knights

Some stingy Manchester defence held Richmond to just 12 1st half points as the home town Mystics stamped their ticket to Sunday’s Under 14 Girls Playoff Final.

Richmond have enjoyed a solid season but shot just 22% (17-76) from the floor during a game when their offence was never really allowed to get into gear. Manchester had no such trouble though as captain Olivia Forster put up a big double-double of 17 points and 16 rebounds.

With Saffron Murphy (11 points, two rebounds, three assists) and Emily Taylor (10 points, four rebounds, four steals) providing ample Manchester support, the North West side led this one from start to finish. Katie Cox top scored for Richmond with 10 points to go with seven rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block.

Ipswich 90 v 61 London Youngblood Lioness Cubs

Incredibly, four separate players all recorded a double-double performance for Ipswich as they swept aside London Youngblood Lioness Cubs for a spot in tomorrow’s Final.

Yasmin Edwards (26 points, 10 rebounds, four steals), Hannah Gray (17 points, 14 rebounds, 7 steals), Eva Asemota (16 points, 24 rebounds, five assists) and Olivia Manning (14 points, 16 rebounds) all managed to contribute heavily to the Ipswich cause, pushing them over the line despite a huge 32 point, 20 rebound dub-dub from London’s Fatmata Janneh.

The win was a shot across the bows of tomorrow’s opponents Manchester as the Youngblood’s were beaten finalists last year and went 15-1 in the regular season. Still, Ipswich enjoyed an unbeaten regular season of their own for a reason and they’re now just 1 game away from a perfect campaign.

Under 14 Boys

Live Stats – Manchester Magic 84 v 61 London Youngblood Lions

Live Stats - London United 68 v 44 Baltic Stars London

Manchester Magic 84 v 61 London Youngblood Lions

An 11-0 run in the first half helped erase a slow start for the Magic and set them up for what proved to be a comfortable victory against London Youngblood Lions.

With Manchester enjoying plenty of home support and London bringing a strong travelling contingent, the back hall was rocking for this one as the Lions moved out to an 8-0 lead to start the game. Manchester finally kicked their offence into life to get themselves back into things though, building momentum to lead 36-30 at the half.

Manchester scored 48 of their points in the remaining two quarter and London simply couldn’t keep up. Bradley May top scored for Manchester with 20 points, adding a monster 20 rebounds, six assists and four steals for good measure. Thomas Kelly also enjoyed a strong outing as he scored 17 to go with seven boards. Noah Myers and Ben Reid-Akinmoladun both had 15 for the Lions in reply.

London United 68 v 44 Baltic Stars London

A slow start doomed Baltic Stars in their Under 14 Playoff Semi Final as they scored just six points in the game’s opening 10 minutes. That head start was too much to overcome as their opponents would eventually lead this one post to post to secure a comfortable win.

It certainly wasn’t a game for the offensive enthusiast as both teams combined to go 4-36 from beyond the arc, but United had more than enough in their arsenal to get them over the line. Josh Eccleston was a standout as he scored a game high 18 points for London, as Michael Amarko (12 points) and captain Liam Campbell (11 points) also made it to double digits.

Lukas Klydzia was the standout for the Stars as he top scored with 12 points to go with six rebounds, three assists and three steals, whilst Klaudijus Gaidziunas deserved some props for pulling down 12 boards.

Under 16 Girls

Live Stats – Derby Trailblazers 43 v 78 Richmond Knights

Live Stats – Sevenoaks Suns 68 v 49 Sheffield Hatters

Derby Trailblazers 43 v 78 Richmond Knights

Saturday’s action on Court 1 got underway with Richmond flexing their muscles to overpower Derby and end their fairy tale post season run. The longer the game wore on, the further the Knights pushed ahead, deciding the result long before the final buzzer.

Mia Thompson took over for Richmond to score an impressive 25 points and that output of timely scoring was always going to be a factor in the game. Derby did give it their all throughout the contest though, refusing to give up and doing their travelling fans proud. Katie Januszewska had the best of it for the Trailblazers, scoring 16 points to go with eight rebounds and five assists.

Sevenoaks Suns 68 v 49 Sheffield Hatters

Sevenoaks kept their hopes of a 2nd consecutive U16 Girls Playoff title alive as they found a way to get past Sheffield Hatters this morning.

Asha Andrews (20 points, two rebounds, two assists) was in impressive form for the Suns, and her head to head battle with Sheffield’s Abbey Whitehouse (22 points, 11 rebounds, six steals) was a constant source of entertainment for the sizable crowd in attendance.

Ultimately a 24-11 2nd quarter, including an 11-0 run, broke the game open and allowed the undefeated Suns to build a lead that they held onto the rest of the way. Sevenoaks will fancy their chances of remaining unbeaten and claiming some silverware from here, they’ve defeated tomorrow’s opponents Richmond twice during the regular season.

Under 16 Boys

Live Stats – Manchester Magic 53 v 62 Sussex Storm

Live Stats – Richmond Knights 68 v 64 Baltic Stars London

Manchester Magic 53 v 62 Sussex Storm

A virtuoso performance from Storm’s Cameron Hildreth proved to be enough to see Sussex past Manchester and into the Under 16 Boys Playoff Final. Hildreth was at the heart of everything his team did and his 35 point, 15 rebound double-double was more than a testament to his constant involvement.

Hildreth’s performance could have been even more spectacular but his output was hindered by going 1-13 from beyond the arc. Fortunately, the Sussex efforts on defence kept Manchester at arms’ length as no other Storm player could join Hildreth in double figures.

For all Manchester’s pressure and the considerable noise coming from their supporters, they could never find a sequence of baskets to get themselves back on level terms. Victor Ndoukou top scored with 13, adding 18 rebounds and he certainly did his part for the Magic cause. Wesley Iwediebo was the only other Manchester player who made it to double digits in a low scoring game, he had 10.

Richmond Knights 68 v 64 Baltic Stars London

In the competition’s other semi-final, a packed out crowd on court 2 were treated to a belter of a contest between two of London’s finest in Richmond and Baltic Stars.

The game was finely balanced right up until the final minute of the game when Richmond were able to make key baskets when it counted. A lay-up by captain Ridley Shema pushed the Knights’ lead to eight with just 68 seconds remaining and that advantage would prove too much to overcome. It wasn’t for lack of trying though, Baltic Stars did get the deficit down to 3 following a clutch triple from Irvinas Kazlauskas, but that was as close of they’d come.

Michael Belle’s efforts in a close game were key for Richmond as he poured in a game high 25 points whilst staying active on the glass to pull down 12 boards. Nobunaga Okunola came up big in reply for the Stars, he had a 22 point, nine rebound performance.

Under 18 Women

Live Stats – Charnwood College Riders 42 v 58 Southwark Pride

Live Stats – Reading Rockets Academy 47 v 49 Manchester Mystics

Charnwood College Riders 42 v 58 Southwark Pride

Charnwood were never really at the races against Southwark, trailing by double digits by half time and failing to get the deficit below that mark the rest of the way. Although the Riders would hit some timely baskets, including some big momentum threes, their lack of stops and lapses at the defensive end provided Southwark with ample opportunity to stay out in front.

Part of their defensive struggles came in Charnwood’s inability to protect the paint, giving up 38 points inside the key and allowing 24 offensive rebounds. That provided plenty of ammunition for Southwark’s captain Adaobi Newbuwa (12 points, eight rebounds) and Simona Hanshaw (eight points, 13 rebounds) to put together solid performances.

Holly Davies was a lone bright spot for Charnwood as she top scored with 17 points, adding 10 rebounds for the double-double. The win also keep’s Southwark’s hopes alive of a fourth straight U18 Women’s Playoff title in they can win again tomorrow.

Reading Rockets Academy 47 v 49 Manchester Mystics

Reading were forced to endure heartbreak as they came up just short against Manchester Mystics in the other Semi-Final of the Under 18 Women’s competition. Ultimately the game would come down to free throw shooting and missed offensive opportunities, with the Mystics just doing enough to sneak the win.

With a minute remaining, Reading’s Carmen Segura Moreno would go to the line, hitting one of two to level up the scores at 47-47. Both teams would then take a shot at stealing the lead, but their lay-ups would both miss the mark before Manchester’s Jade Mbam would be the next player to head to the charity stripe with 17 seconds to go. Like Segura Moreno, Mbam would also hit one of two, giving the Mystics the slimmest of leads. Reading would come up empty on their final attempt of the game, sending their opponent to the line to ice the game.

Chloe Andrew top scored for Manchester with 18 as she also went 3 of 4 from long range. Paula Romero Tarrega and Noa Sanchez Marques both had 12 in reply for Reading.

Under 18 Men

Live Stats – Myerscough College 71 v 67 Sussex Storm

Live Stats – Haringey Hawks 82 v 47 Manchester Magic

Myerscough College 71 v 67 Sussex Storm

A back and forth Semi-Final ended with a couple of pivotal plays from Sussex’s Ben Hilton as Storm came up just short against a strong Myerscough side.

Trailing 70-67 after a Myerscough free throw, Hilton charged to the basket only to be fouled and sent to the line himself. With the pressure on, he was unable to convert either shot and on their final possession, the ball would once again find Hilton who couldn’t convert on the drive, leaving Myerscough to book their place in the Final.

Bradley Kaboza top scored for Myerscough, dropping 17 points, whilst Lewis McGlasson added 15 more. Leo Musahl enjoyed a game high 29 points for Sussex, adding 10 rebounds for the double-double.

Haringey Hawks 82 v 47 Manchester Magic

Haringey overpowered a helpless Manchester as they stormed to a place in tomorrow’s Playoff Final. Leading coast to coast in this one, their lead passed the 20-point mark early in the 3rd quarter and from there the Hawks wouldn’t be caught.

Haringey restricted Manchester to just 23% (18/77) from the floor, whilst finding consistent looks of their own to score on 47% of their efforts. Franklin Agu was once again a highlight reel for Haringey, scoring 20 points and pulling down 13 boards. Jason Ani was the lone source of resistance for the Magic, he top scored in the game with 22 points.