Youngbloods down Thunder in thriller
PUBLISHED: 14:30 04 February 2015
Coach Aaron Senior praises team performance following 81-65 win
Newham Youngbloods under-16 boys continued their perfect unbeaten record in the Basketball England South Premier Division with a victory against Barking and Dagenham Thunder.
Although Youngbloods were in control throughout, they allowed the visitors to reduce the points deficit in the final quarter before eventually securing a 16-point success to make it 14 straight wins.
The visitors surprisingly opened the scoring and they remained ahead until midway through the first quarter.
It took two shots from downtown by Aaron Martin and Jelani Watson-Gayle to put the home team into the lead and force Thunder’s coach to take a time out.
That boosted Barking and they edged ahead again, before Ify Chuks responded in style.
He scored six points in a row for the home team to put them 24-21 ahead at the end of the opening quarter.
Chuks continued to shine for Youngbloods and converted another five points for the home team in the second quarter.
Japhet Mukuna and Nathan Moyo also put baskets away as Youngbloods added to their advantage.
A three-point arc from Jonathan Ragasa before the midway point gave the home team a 13-point lead at half time.
The momentum was with Youngbloods now and Watson-Gayle converted another three-point shot, despite being fouled in the process of shooting.
But Thunder struck back and both teams began to share baskets over a tense four-minute period.
The home team started to rotate their squad and the introduction of Oscar Turner proved effective.
He immediately scored on a fast break for Youngbloods and they held a 19-point lead.
Again the visitors looked to comeback in the final quarter, starting off with a three-point shot from the off, but Ragasa replied for Youngbloods.
They did extend their lead up to 23-points in the final quarter, before Barking replied to make the final score 81-65 to Youngbloods.
Home head coach Aaron Senior was pleased that everything worked out for his team, saying: “That was the team performance we have been looking for.
“Everybody contributed and was determined to ensure we played to the style of play we have been working on.
“Everything seemed to click for us today, and this is in no small part to the chemistry between everyone on the team.”
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