Eagles U16 Boys take down tough customers York
The U16 boys grabbed their first win of 2023 with an entertaining and hard-fought 66-64 win against the York Eagles at the Vertu Motors Arena. Heading into the game, the home side were well aware of the danger that lay ahead, since despite their lowly status and losing record, the visitors had pushed every team in the league close.
Incredibly they had only lost to national Cup Champions and the unbeaten Manchester Magic by 8 points the previous weekend and only lost to the high-flying Manchester Giants by one basket. The home team started brightly and with a new-look starting five, they raced into a 20-14 first quarter lead. Some nice fast breaks and shooting helped, while a renewed team focus on defence was paying dividends.
The second quarter saw little change in the scoreline or rhythm of the game, York turning down shots in favour of relentless dribble penetration. By half-time the Eagles still led by 6 points at 34-28.
The third period saw the Eagles open up the offensive taps and jumped out to stretch their lead briefly to 12 points, but as results all season have proven, nobody snaps open this York team. And, true to form, they came racing back and set up a thrilling conclusion as the game went down to crunch time. York erased the deficit by early in the fourth and even briefly took the lead. But the Eagles held firm and kept their composure to get their noses in front and get the job done in the last seconds of the game.
Captain Jesse Osarenkhoe put in an MVP display before fouling out near the end with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Jakub Bobkowski and Fiontan Muldoon scored 12 and 10 points respectively, as well as grabbing 3 steals apiece.
“It was an intense and close game, with York playing exactly as we expected,” said head coach, Chloe Gaynor.
“We needed a win obviously, but this was pleasurable because we played much better defense, the energy was better right the way through out bench and it was a massive team effort.
“We were more efficient and we talked before the game that we had to hold them to somewhere around 60 points.
“We boxed out much better, we communicated better, we saw more positive touches than ever between teammates. After a tough five or six weeks, we have come through it and showed what we can do again, so we’re looking forward to moving on to the next one,” she concluded.