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  • Titans Blog 16/17th December 2017

    TOP OF THE TABLE THRILLERS – WINNERS ALL ROUND!!

    U16 Boys North Premier League

    Northamptonshire Titans 98-80 Manchester Magic

    Titans took on an unbeaten Magic team who had disposed of the home team by 17 in their last encounter and to make matters worse, Titans were out of form, coming off the back of two losses.

    From tip, Titans left the disappointment of recent games behind as centre, Jacob Cirtautas got proceedings off with an ‘and1’ followed by a Sam Grant three. Titans played some of their best defence of the season, keeping the Prem’s hottest offensive team scoreless for nearly 4 minutes. Titans continued to ‘take the game’ to Magic as the visitors continued to rack up the foul count, whilst Titans executed from the line and it wasn’t too long before Ben Nailer joined in on the scoring flurry. In the second both teams’ defence again improved, limiting opportunities but Magic had no answer to Cirtautas close to the basket. Taiwo Hamilton turned up the heat in the third along with Grant, and Titans were in total control.

    Magic were frustrated in the fourth and continued to foul, which the in-form Titans gladly accepted and with that the Magic fell to what can only be described as a total team performance from the home side to close 2017.

    Top Scorers:

    Cirtautas 27, Nailer 22, Grant 20, Hamilton 14

    U14 Boys Midlands West Conference

    Bristol Academy Flyers 55 v 59 Northamptonshire Titans

    The U14 Boys’ away match against Bristol Academy Flyers was the team’s toughest challenge of the season. Titans had beaten Flyers by 10 points at home in October and another win against the second-best team in the league would cement Titans’ position at the top of the table. However, Flyers were determined to get the 11-point win they needed to steal the top spot. Their intent was clear as they powered their way to an 18-8 first quarter lead by dominating the offensive boards. A 9-2 run in Titans favour closed the gap at the beginning of the second period, but Flyers turned up the heat again and went 13 points ahead. Their offensive rebounding was relentless, and Titans were not boxing out at all. Titans managed to reduce the deficit to 9 points by half time, but changes were needed if they were to avoid a loss of 11 points or more.

    In the third quarter, Titan’s finally found their form. They tightened up the defence and created better shots at the offensive end. They clawed their way back into the game and an impressive 9-0 run in front of the raucous home crowd put them 1 point ahead going into the final period. Titans then extended their lead to 6 points, but Flyers refused to roll over and with 3 minutes to go, the game was tied at 55 all. Down the stretch, Titans’ defence held firm; boxing out improved and up stepped Sean Rawlins, whose 2 scores in the last minute secured Titans a 59-55 win.

    In addition to Rawlins’ timely contribution, Isaac Round led the scoring with 26 points and Ben Hooper netted 13 points.

    At the end of the game, Coach Round told the team: “That win is the best Christmas present you could have given me.” It now looks almost certain that the team will be crowned Division champions in March and will progress on to the post-season play-offs.

    U16 Girls North Conference

    Northamptonshire Titans 72-26 Lancashire Spinners

    This fixture saw the unbeaten Titans take on basement side Spinners. In the first minute, three Titans’ players got on the scoresheet only to be responded by a Spinners 3-pointer. This started Lauren Dabbs on a scoring spree of her own as she benefited at the end of the fast break knocking down 12 points. Titans defence against the bigger Spinner girls was dominated by Kenny Hamilton and India Evans.

    Hamilton controlled the tempo of the game and with scoring contributions from Emma Wickham and Hannah Bird, Titans led by 42-12 at the half.

    Titans were in total command throughout the game until the very end, full credit to Spinners as they continued to compete until the final buzzer.

    Top Scorers:

    Dabbs 30, Hamilton 13

    U14 Girls Midlands Conference

    Northamptonshire Titans 70-60 Northants Lightning

    Titans U14 girls played host to local rivals Northants Lightning and after a disappointing result just 2 weeks ago, the home side had a point to prove.

    Titans started with confidence and hustled hard forcing early fouls. The first quarter was dominated by Titans’ and Lightning could not contain the scoring power of Luca Virag, Ella McCahill-Brown, and Imogene Williams. The defensive efforts of Alex Bello held up Lightning’s top scorer, Kosnikovjka, as Titans took the first quarter 24-12.

    Lightning adapted in the second quarter and reduced their deficit to 6 points, two minutes from the half; Titans, however never let up and kept their own score ticking over.

    The contest between these local teams always has the potential to get scrappy, however Titans maintained composure, continuing to apply pressure through their impressive offense, connecting cleaver passes and strong transition play to keep a 12-point lead going into the fourth quarter.

    Both teams battled, Lightning trying to close the gap and Titans maintaining a lead. With Bello on 4 fouls, Alise Zvidra stepped up applying the pressure and Kosnikovjka had to battle for every inch on the court. A lightning time out was taken, and they followed with a 3-pointer which also forced a Titans foul and a 4-point play converted making it a 12-point game. Desperation ensued as more three-point shots were taken and another foul on Titans’ record. Despite Lightning converting 2 of 3 foul shots, Titans again remained composed and closed out the game with a 10-point lead.

    Coach James was very happy with her team’s performance stating “we were all extremely disappointed in our performance only 2 weeks ago at Northants. We knew our biggest challenge was ourselves and today we won that battle along with the game. As we close 2017, I am massively proud of the progression of all the girls and week after week they embody the true meaning of being a Titan, true heart and hustle and as a family”.

    Top scorers:

    Ella McCahill-Brown 24 Luca Virag 20 Imogene Williams 15

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