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  • Titans Blog 24/25 February 2018

    U14 Boys Midlands West Conference

    Northamptonshire Titans 113-43 Worcester Bears

    Although they still have two league games to play, the U14 Boys secured the Midlands West league title with a dominant 113-43 win against Worcester Bears. They had a poor start and with seven minutes played, just two points separated the teams. However, a change of tactics in the second quarter transformed the game as the Bears buckled under Titan’s intense full court pressure. A 25-0 run at the start of the quarter opened a 34-point lead and by half-time, Titans were 65-19 ahead. To the Bears’ credit, they tried to battle back at the start of the second half and a series of positive drives gave them several free throw attempts, but Titans’ were simply too big and too strong, and they continued to extend their lead. After a 27-10 final quarter in Titans’ favour, the final buzzer sounded and the celebrations began. Isaac Round contributed a game-high 29 points and four more Titans achieved double-figures; Sean Rawlins 21, Harry Mitchell 17, Oskar Knight 14 and Ben Hooper 12. Although they are now league champions, the team will need to maintain their focus against Coventry next week to maintain their unbeaten record and give themselves a favourable route through play-offs.

    Division 2 Women

    Worcester Wolves 73-76 Northamptonshire Titans

    Titans Women began a busy weekend, travelling to a confident Worcester Wolves team in a fight for a play off position. On the back of an impressive performance against league leaders Ipswich, Titans started strong and with unity against a very physical Wolves side. Sasha Thompson was on form as she dominated the Titans’ first quarter scoring; she was supported by the high quality passing and patience of Hannah Bird. Titans struggled as Wolves switched to a zone preventing Titans from driving to basket and Wolves took an 8-point lead at the half 43-35.

    In the second half, Titans battled to pull the deficit back, however Wolves again pulled a 10-point lead mid-way through the third. Titans’ Captain Esme Kinghorn set an example to her team as she exploited gaps on the baseline and rebounded well. With confidence growing, Titans battled through and pulled the game back to just one point. The lead exchanged several times within the last two minutes of the game but a mistake from Titans who were just one point down, sent Wolves to the line with just 8 seconds remaining. Making one of two shots, Wolves had to defend to finish with a win. Titans had been running strong transitions all game, as the ball was inbounded and advanced quickly, Thompson got her hands on the ball and drove to the basket under extreme pressure.

    Thompson’s quality shone as, for the second time, she made a layup in the dying seconds bringing the game to 69 all.

    Drama broke over confusion with a time out call, however Thompson’s layup stood and with .5 secs on the clock it was Wolves to inbound the ball. Unable to get the shot off the game went to overtime. Titans dug deep as fatigue set in, however Bird showed maturity beyond her years as she controlled the play moving the ball and finding Paige Seaton on the perimeter, sending the three to the bottom of the net. Titans defended to the end and finally took the 3-point win.

    Top scorers:

    Thompson 22 Paige Seaton 13, Paige Vyse 11

    Northamptonshire Titans 85-77 Mansfield Giants

    Less than 24 hours after a big win at Worcester, Titans were host to Mansfield Giants. Giants are the closest team to Titans in the league standings, both teams fighting for the last playoff position.

    This game was set to test Titans as Giants’ roster is blessed with height and strength. Giants started slowly, allowing Titans an 11-point lead 6 minutes into the game. Titans struggled to maintain this lead and Coach Powell changed to defensive strategy to compensate. With little effect, the game was tied at the end of the first 25-25.

    The second quarter remained a tight affair, however scoring eluded Titans as their ball movement slowed. An assertive time out sent Titans back on track with Sascha Thompson and Paige Vyse connecting layups. Vyse followed with 3 back to back 3 pointers bringing Titans back to within 1 point of Giants.

    The third quarter, often one of the toughest, showed to be just that. With strong resolve and composure, both teams battled to try and create a lead. Titans’ Georgia Collins connected with a 3 to keep the game to 1 point at the end of the 3rd, 58-59.

    During the fourth, Collins found her rhythm as she connected a further 3, 3-pointers making it 4 in a row for her. Hayley Swann and Hannah Bird played vital defensive roles allowing for a close score. Despite all their experience, Giants found themselves in foul trouble as Thompson yet again scored a fantastic layup under extreme pressure. Thompson continued to push for a score and in doing so was sent to the line twice, scoring 4 of 4, Titans taking a 2-point lead. Inspired by her team’s performance, Paige Seaton also stepped up scoring 5 of 6 from the line in the final 2 mins. Swann and Bird continued to pull down rebounds and Titans finished the tie 8 points ahead at 85-77

    Tops Scorers:

    Vyse 22, Collins 16, Thompson 12, Seaton 12

    U16 Girls North Conference

    Northants Lightning 63-111 Northamptonshire Titans

    Titans travelled to neighbouring team Northants Lightning. Titans made a strong start as Emma Wickham opened the scoring and with Titans’ leading scorer Lauren Dabbs still in great form, Titans immediately pulled away halting any Lightning score for the first 5 minutes of the game. Lightning responded, able to pull the score back to 14- 21 at the end of the first. Titans kept a steady lead through the second quarter and with strong penetration to basket forced Lightning into foul trouble. Titans lead 32-51 at the half.

    With a more physical game, tensions began to rise, however a change in defensive style saw Titans take full control of the game with Dabbs, Wickham and Tegan Millar scoring at will and a 48-80 lead to Titans going into the final quarter. Ella McCahill-Brown seized her opportunity in the fourth, causing problems on the break and increasing her own points tally. Titans finished the game strong and took a comfortable win 63-111 to remain unbeaten. Titans strength shows as they saw no less than 5 players in double figures.

    Top Scorers:

    Dabbs 32, Millar 20, Wickham 17, Hannah Bird 14, McCahill-Brown 12

    U15 CVL

    Titans entered a team in the U15 Central Venue League held at Northampton School for Boys on Saturday. Although the Titans’ team was made up mainly of U13 boys, they went unbeaten during the event. Under the supervision of Coach Saunders, the boys worked well as a unit at both ends of the floor. The Central Venue Leagues have provided valuable competitive opportunities for those aiming to compete in the U14 National League competition next season

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