In the second round of the National Cup, the under 16’s Eagles would host West Brom. A team which play in the West Midlands Conference. This game would be a straight knock-out with the winning team advancing through to the third round.
The Eagles would come out of the blocks with real intent. Sauveur Kande would take the ball to the hoop hard, getting fouled and making one of his two from the charity stripe. A good stop on defence led to Sauveur again taking the ball hard to the hoop for an easy two points. The Eagles offence was working well, good ball movement alongside consistent shooting was causing West Brom all kinds of issues, and with seven minutes gone in the quarter the score was 20-8 in favour of the home side. West Brom would regroup however, finishing the quarter on an 8-2 run after some poor rotations in transition allowed Adeyeni to get to the hoop for a number of easy finishes. The first quarter would end 22-16 in favour of the boys from Newcastle.
After the break, the teams began by trading baskets. Sauveur was again able to get to the hoop and score but West Brom were also causing some serious issues in the paint for the young Eagles. Outsized, the boys in black were failing to make contact which allowed the travelling team to get a number of easy put backs. A refocused effort from the away side would see them take the quarter 15-25 meaning the team from Newcastle would trail at the half, 37-41.
The third quarter would again see a dominant display from the travelling team. More tempo in transition, coupled with some disciplined defence allowed the men in white to go on a 13-2 run, opening up a 15 point lead. The Eagles would rally however, three good looks on offence saw some easy baskets for Mamuini, Kande, and Jerrard and this small run would see the quarter end 15-19 (52-60).
The home side knew they could get back into this game if they just stopped West Brom in transition (something which is easier said than done) and found better looks on offence. Despite a real effort it was not meant to be. The Eagles would create open looks but failed to convert and it just felt like every miss would lead to a fast break score for the away team. With the clock winding down Mamuini and Fetherston would reduce the deficit but the game was gone and West Brom would advance, winning 67-83.
The Eagles will know they can perform better and will no doubt regroup before a tough trip away next week, to face the Sheffield Junior Sharks.
Scorers: Mamuini 22, Kande 22, Fetherston 9, Bond 5, Jones 5, Jerrard 2, Sukys 2