- National Teams
The Junior Final Fours are underway at the NBPC in Manchester this weekend, as the top U18, U16 and U14 boys and girls teams in the country battle it out for a national title.
Joe Buchanan led the scoring charge with 26 points and 5 rebounds, while teammate Shaquille Furlonge dominated the boards with 16 points and 18 rebounds. Manchester advanced to tomorrow’s final with ease.
Chudi Dioramma played a solid game for the Hawks, contributing 22 points and 16 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to secure a win. Haringey will now compete for either third or fourth place.
In a hard-fought semi-final, London Elite managed to edge past their cross-town rivals CoLA, securing a 59-56 victory.
Elite held the lead for the majority of the game, including the entire fourth quarter, but CoLA made several attempts to close the gap within the final minute.
However, the National Cup champions kept their composure and held on for the win, with Hunter Kelleher’s 16 points and nine rebounds providing a crucial contribution.
For CoLA, Kyle Espitu led the way with 16 points and seven assists.
Ipswich emerged victorious against Manchester Mystics with a final score of 88-80.
Despite a narrow lead held by Mystics throughout the first half, Ipswich made a strong comeback in the latter part of the game, largely thanks to the exceptional performance of Yazmin Edwards.
Although Edwards only scored two points in the first half, she managed to finish the game with an impressive 20 points and 11 rebounds, ultimately contributing to her team’s late-game surge.
Meanwhile, Josephine Vourliotis led Manchester’s efforts, making an impressive six three-pointers and scoring a game-high 26 points.
CoLA’s quest for a sixth consecutive U18 title remains intact following their dominant 61-39 victory over City of Birmingham Rockets.
The team’s trademark defensive prowess was on full display as they held their opponents to a meagre 23% shooting from the floor.
Felicia Jacobs-Abiola contributed 12 points and seven rebounds to the team’s overall performance. Meanwhile, Sarah Elfrey and Danielle Wallis were the only players from CoB to reach double-digit scoring, with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
In contrast, CoLA’s balanced attack saw all but one of their 12 players scoring at least two points, further solidifying their impressive team performance.
As the game progressed, Zajankauskas continued to shine, helping his team pull away and ultimately secure the win. Nathaniel Kajus Sowah also made a significant contribution off the bench, earning a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Despite the loss, Harry Sheehan was a standout performer for the Giants, scoring 19 points to top their scoring chart.
Sussex Storm held on to secure a nail-biting 67-62 victory against London Lions in their semi-final game.
Although Storm had built a comfortable double-digit lead early in the fourth quarter, the Lions mounted a comeback, but could only get within two points before the final buzzer sounded.
Rafi Jalloh was a standout performer for Sussex, contributing 21 points and 5 rebounds, while Khyle Capanzana put up 21 points for London.
Manchester Mystics, the defending champions, kept their title defense hopes alive by defeating CoLA Southwark Pride 53-34 in a low-scoring game.
Masie Keyes delivered a standout performance for the Mystics, contributing 22 points, 8 assists, and 6 steals to help secure the win. Irene Oboavwoduo also played a crucial role, earning a double-double with 10 points and 17 rebounds.
On the other side, CoLA struggled to generate offense, with Dajah Chapman emerging as their top scorer with just 8 points.
Richmond secured their place in the final with a close 78-71 victory over Ipswich.
The game was evenly matched in the first half, but the Knights took control in the third quarter, going on a 15-3 run to establish a lead that proved to be enough to secure the win, despite Ipswich’s valiant effort to come back within three points in the fourth quarter.
Precious Godwin led the way for Richmond with an impressive 26 points, while Madi Warren added 20 points and Chloe Vella contributed 9 points and an impressive 20 rebounds. Ipswich, on the other hand, were led by Cerys Leach’s 25 points and Deanna Carrington’s 14 points and 25 rebounds, earning her a double-double.
The game remained closely contested throughout the final quarter, with neither team leading by more than four points. Manchester managed to seal the victory by scoring crucial points from the free-throw line.
David Akhidime was instrumental in Manchester’s win, contributing 27 points and 15 rebounds, while his teammate Ege Cakmakkaya added 16 points and 9 rebounds to the team’s overall performance. Meanwhile, Kaya Birsen led the charge for London with an impressive 23 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 9 steals.
In a thrilling match-up between London Warriors and London Baltic Stars, the former managed to pull off an impressive comeback, erasing a 15-point deficit in the second quarter and securing a narrow 73-70 victory.
Despite Stars’ strong start, leading 24-14 after the opening quarter and extending their lead further in the second frame, the Warriors refused to give up and fought their way back into the game.
It wasn’t until the final quarter that the Warriors were able to take the lead, but once they did, they held on to it for the remainder of the game. Jeremi Dutka played the full 40 minutes for the Warriors and delivered an outstanding performance, scoring 25 points.
On the other side, Oskaras Visockas of the Stars put up an impressive double-double with 26 points and 24 rebounds, but it ultimately wasn’t enough to secure the win.
Mojan Malek was instrumental in the win, scoring a game-high 27 points, while Anya Williams contributed a 14-point, 12-rebound double-double.
Despite the loss, Millie Lowe (16 points and 15 rebounds) and Ophelia Larder-Lee (12 points and 14 rebounds) put up strong performances for Sheffield.
Richmond Knights secured their spot in the U14 Girls final with a dominant 113-25 victory over Milton Keynes Breakers.
Their triumph means they will face off against Manchester Mystics once again in the final, a rematch of last year’s showdown where the Knights fell short 58-51.
Precious Godwin stood out for Richmond with a game-high 16 points, while Faith Deakin, Luna Etienne, and Chantelle Okoli each scored four points for the Breakers.