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  • Titans Blog 14/15th April 2018

    U16 Boys 2nd Round National League Playoffs

    Northamptonshire Titans 89-70 Leicester Riders

    In this 2nd round playoff game, Titans took on Leicester Riders in their first ever encounter. Riders opened their account with a downtown three whilst Sam Grant responded with an ‘and 1’; Titans’ aggressive defence was not to the liking of the Officials as the foul count began to mount up, whilst Titans put a 10-0 run together. Team fouls sent Riders to the foul line throughout the final 5 minutes of play, but that did not stop a healthy Titans first quarter lead of 26-14.

    Titans started the second quarter exchanging scores through Josh Taylor and Ben Nailer early on but with Titans continuing to commit fouls, Riders were able to get to the line no less than 16 times in the quarter and the disruption in play certainly impacted on the home side’s performance, as Riders pulled the tie back to within 2 points by halftime.

    In the third, Titans came out firing as they regained the intensity and with conversations by Diarra Layne and Taiwo Hamilton, Titans hit the Riders with a 9-0 run; Titans defence continued to take control and with a couple of back to back scores from Jude Carmichael, Titans retook a firm grasp on the game.

    In the fourth, the duo of Hamilton and Layne poured in a 7-0 run which put the game out of reach for the visitors who to their credit battled to the very end. Titans have established themselves in the top 8 teams in the Country and now face off against Ipswich in the ¼ finals this Saturday at Weavers Leisure Centre, tipping at 2pm.

    Top Scorers: Layne 18, Hamilton 15, Grant 12, Cirtautas 11, Nailer 10

    U14 Boys 2nd Round National League Playoffs

    Manchester Magic 72-62 Northamptonshire Titans

    The U14 boys’ playoff run came to an end when they lost 72-62 away to Manchester, however, what they achieved was nothing short of incredible. Having played against conference opposition all season, this was Titans' first chance to test themselves against one of the top premier league teams. Going into the game, Coach Round was aware of Magic's home record. They had only lost once, to top-of-the-table Birmingham, and they had beaten the other premier league teams by an average of 48 points. Therefore, on paper Titans shouldn't have caused Magic too many problems, but the Titans boys had other ideas. Manchester came out pressing, but this didn't faze Titans. At the end of the first quarter, the score may have been 19-15 in Magic's favour, but it was clear that Titans weren't going to be a pushover - quite the opposite. In the second quarter, Titans demonstrated just how good they are as, led by Isaac Round who amassed 18 first half points, they powered their way to a 38-33 half-time lead leaving the Magic players looking somewhat shell-shocked. In the second half, Manchester's defence became tighter and more physical which limited Titans' scoring opportunities. Although Ben Hooper, Sean Rawlins, Benji Leesing and Oskar Knight battled valiantly for rebounds, Manchester punished Titans for not boxing out on a few occasions in the third period. This, together with some high-quality finishing by Magic's tricky guard gave the hosts a 55-50 lead going into the final quarter. Manchester's physicality was a key factor in the final period and Titans were unable to find the basket as easily as they had done in the first half. Magic had a slender 5-point lead going into the last few minutes which forced Titans to commit fouls to send Magic to the free throw line in the hope that they'd miss their shots, but Manchester held their nerve and hit 3 of 6 on their way to a hard-fought 10-point win. Although Titans’ playoff run had come to an end, they proved that they are one of the best U14 teams in the country. After the game, Coach Round said: "Not many teams come to Manchester and challenge them in the way we did today. Although the loss is disappointing, going toe-to-toe with one of the powerhouses of British basketball in front of a loud and enthusiastic crowd was a great experience." The highlights for Titans were Isaac Round's 24 points, which included going 8 from 9 from the free throw line, and the sharp-shooting of Harry Mitchell, which earned him 12 points.

    U12 Boys Bucks League

    Triple Threat 36-46 Northamptonshire Titans

    The U12 boys had an early start on Sunday morning when they took on Triple Threat at 9:00am in Aylesbury. However, it was worth the trip as they recorded a 46-36 victory and secured a place in the semi-final of the Bucks U12 league. League rules meant that Titans started 10-0 down, but by half time they were 24-22 ahead and, despite the efforts of the opposition, Titans won the remaining two quarters. The two Ethans, Round and Mead, top scored with 17 and 14 points respectively and they were well supported by Will Baker and Dimitris Markrakis who scored 8 and 7. The young Titans now have time to prepare for their semi-final (and hopefully final) which will take place on Sunday 29th April.

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