County Upper U14 Girls National League East Conference
County Upper U14 Girls took on Ipswich Basketball Club this weekend in Bury St Edmunds. In an exciting game where CU was leading by 2 points 55 – 53 with 12 seconds remaining in the game the home team were unable to hold on letting the game slip in the final second and sending it into overtime. In overtime although battling hard County Upper run out of steam and falling just short 57 – 63.
“To be were we are as a team right now after only three seasons is a great testament to the commitment and loyalty of our players” said coach Johnson “when we first started we were getting beat by 60 – 100 points every time we played the likes of Ipswich and Southend, but now we are on a level playing field having beat Southend earlier this season and this weekend winning the game VS Ipswich up until the final second, the future is looking good for our girls programme”. Coach Johnson went on to say “Although we had the chance to win the game sometimes anything can happen in the final seconds of a close game. Sometimes you end up loosing a game you should have won or end up winning a games you should of lost. This weekend was a game where we had good moments and poor moments, where we were leading by 7 points and then down by 5 points, today we were just unable to pull way. I am also really proud of the way our team kept going the whole game and never gave up, especially when one of our most influential players was fouled out in the 4th. We could have quite easliy fallen a part being 5 points down but instead we came together and went on an 7 – 0 run in the last minute to be leading by two with 12 seconds to go”.
County Upper started the game strong, going on a 8 – 4 run making Ipswich take a quick times out. After of the timeout Ipswich responded with a 0 – 4 run to level the game, after which both teams trading baskets for the remainder of the quarter with CU taking a small 1 point lead 14 – 13.
The second quarter started as the first finished with both teams trading baskets before Ipswich went on a 2 – 8 run opening a 5 point lead 20 – 25 by the 5th minute. CU however came storming back with a 6 – 2 run of their own closing the gap to 1 point as the game went into halftime 26 – 27.
Jumping out of the blocks fast in the 3rd quarter CU put together a quick 6 – 2 run to open a 3 point lead 32 – 29, followed by another 6 – 2 run extending their lead to 7 points 40 – 33, but were unable to continue this momentum as Ipswich closed out the 3rd quarter with a 0 – 7 run of their own levelling the game again at 40 – 40 leading into the 4th quarter.
Starting the quarter the same way as they finished the 3rd, Ipswich went on a 0 – 5 run taking a quick 5 point lead 40 – 45. County Upper then replyed though with an 8 – 2 run of their own to take back the lead 48 – 47. With foul trouble getting the better of CU in the 5th minute of the 4th quarter Ipswich took advantage going on another 6 – 0 run to take a 5 point lead 48 – 53 and forcing Coach Johnson to take a timeout. After regaining focus County Upper rattled off a quick 7 – 0 run taking a 2 point lead with only 12 second remaining. Getting the rebound from an Ipswich shot CU progressed the ball down the court with 9 seconds left, but with only 5 seconds left Ipswich regained the ball and were able to score on the buzzer taking the game into overtime.
In overtime County Upper battled hard in the first 3 minutes but ran out of steam in the remaining minutes to just fall short.
County Upper were lead in scoring by Georgia Tansley with 26 points and supported by Alex Popova and Jenna Wright with 25 and 8 points respectively.
County Upper U16 girls visited the Norfolk Iceni this weekend with a very small but dedicated team. Country travel with only seven player with the team members missing the players due to illness, but added Alex Popova from their U14 team. The team played well challenged through the entire game.
It was game of two halves with county falling short 57-50 after fighting back and never giving up.
The games was very close from the start with both teams playing an outstanding game and changing baskets through the entire first half. County played outstanding defense picking up point on turnovers and ran their offense well against Iceni’s zone defense. County start off slow but once they got their offense going they were able to find hold and beat the zone defense. With a height disadvantage county keep the game close with score 27-26 at the half.
At the end of the third quarter Iceni pulled ahead taking advantage of turnover’s leading 42-36.
At the start of the fourth quarter, Iceni played well with a height advantage but county never gave up and fought to the end. Iceni taking advantage of our smaller team, out rebounding county which lead to them breaking away ahead by seven point. County fought back to cut the lead to three by within the last two minutes playing pure determination and heart just falling short.
The team played well and show cased their sill and fitness. I am proud of what they achieved and played for their first game of the season.
County Upper was lead in scoring by Rebecca Stevens 20 points was supported Chloe Manning’s 10 and Molly Owen’s 8 points.
County Upper U16 Boys Vs Essex Rockets National League East of England Conference
County Upper took on a strong Essex Rockets team without key players making it a tough game both on offence and defence as they were on the wrong end of a 25 – 105 scoreline.
With missing key players CU struggled both offensively against the full court press run by the Essex Rockets, this caused a lot of problems for CU especially in turnovers which the Rockets took advantage of allowing the away team to score as many points as they did.
With a lot of work still to do for the U16 boys team Coach Johnson is upbeat “I said to this team at the beginning that this season is not going to be easy for many reasons 1) Most players are playing a year young 2) Our U14 team from last year has now been split in two, 3) We have new additions to the team who have never played National League, the list goes on. Injuries have hurt the team and made us a very inconsistant team as we have seldom been able to field a full team. Although this season will be hard I honestly believe that if we stick the course we will come out the other end as very good team”.