Leah Stewart poured in 22 points to lead SWL to a 76-35 rout of Polonia Phoenix in U16 Women National League Division 1.
Our team was trailing the first five minutes of the game (10-12), but gradually eased away in the first half before turning up the heat after the break and turning it into a demolition mode.
Lauren Forde and Rachel Wallace added 11 and 7 points as eleven players were able to score.
Home team got their noses in front early on but Polonia were still in touch until the midpoint of the second quarter, when SWL rattled off nine unanswered points to take a 25-14 lead on Baxter’s lay-up.
The advantage was 35-14 at the break, but if Polonia had any designs on a second-half fightback, they were quickly dismissed as SWL scored the first eight points of the third quarter, leading 47-18 on another Baxter lay-up.
It only got worse for the visitors, with the advantage growing to 40 when Erynn Legge made it 71-31 with a little over two minutes to go.
SWL kept pushing to the end, with some nice offensive performances only answered by a great job from capital’s U16 Women National Team member, Hansine Marshall. Final score was 76-35 adding the ninth victory in the opening National League season for our club.
In this game our tactics worked. A lot of small things came together for us and the things we agreed before the game worked today. Girls were well prepared and in the locker room we could see the look on their faces that they wanted to prove that we can play well. Our shooting was great again, we played at home and it gave us a lot of confidence. The fact that we were able to use our full rotation drove us to a great performance.
Next step, huge game at The Mariner Centre, Saturday 8th February 2014 - 5:30 PM vs Falkirk Fury, I hope you will support our team there.
66 Wolves-Glasgow City 29
The much anticipated National Cup tie between the improving U14 Boys and Glasgow City tipped off on Sunday in front of a lively crowd at Deans.
The boys had been putting in extra sessions for this one and had a very strong team out.
Nevertheless, nerves got the better of them early on and the dropped a couple of early baskets to go behind. An early change from Coach Gee bringing in defensive stalwart Kaz, settled the team, and it wasn’t long before their patented Wolves offence got into gear and the early nerves were blown out along with the visiting plucky Glasgow City team.
A combination of stifling defence made creating chances very difficult for Glasgow and the Wolves pace in the open court transition was electric. Swift passing out of transition was the key to the fast breaks, with Point Guard Jack showing his full passing range and utilising the pace of his wingmen Stewart and Kieran to full effect and orchestrating the ball like a ginger Blofeld stroking a purring white cat.
It didn’t get any easier for Glasgow if they managed to stop the boys at the half court as their motion offence had everyone involved in cutting and scoring.
By the end of the day everyone had scored and more impressively we recorded an assist on more than 20 of our 30 odd scores. A true testament to the power of a team offence and a fitting reward to the boys hard work in the gym and the (literally) hours of practice in running the same play hour after hour after hour …….. see …..it works guys.
A thoroughly polished team performance with lots of highlights, Martin top scoring with 17 and Jack adding 10 assists to his 14 points.
The Grampian Flyers are our next visitors to the Fortress of Deans in the National Cup ………….stay tuned for dates and details dear listeners ;-)
Reports for the Senior Men and Cadettes will follow.
As this is the first one we are a bit late putting it up on the website, however here it is now. Issue #2 out mid week.
U16 WOMEN NATIONAL LEAGUE DIV.1
The Crags, Edinburgh
POLONIA PHOENIX vs SWL
After four practice sessions together, the U16 Women had their first competitive game of the year on Sunday 19th January at The Crags against Polonia Phoenix.
Led in the warm-up by Javi Ramos, the girls looked prepared and focused on the task ahead.
From the tip-off our young women started strong, making an 0-10 run which forced the Phoenix coach into his first time-out of the game. This was due to great front court pressure defence from Laura Baxter, Leah Stewart and Lauren Forde. With this combination of pressure defence and ‘free’ flowing offence, SWL continued to rack up the points and finished the first quarter up by 20 points.
Into the 2nd quarter and we continued to play great team basketball, with Katie Young and Rachel Wallace causing all sorts of problems inside for the Edinburgh team.
With the Scots trapping on every screen, Polonia struggled to make good passes and this forced them into turnovers. However the home team changed their style of play and managed to break free from the double teams. This then allowed them to attack our basket more. This would have given them some hope, however, one player stood in their way, Helen Walker who was playing great help defence and this put a stop to the home team scoring. The addition of Erynn Legge and Mili Bolatiki put even more pressure on the opposing guards, as they couldn’t contain the shooting or the drives coming from the bench. Score at Half-time 12-40.
Start of the 3rd quarter and our girls showed that they had even more players that could cause some damage to the opposing team. By this point in the game, everyone had touched the floor and made some sort of contribution. During this period of play, Ruth Allison took over at the point guard position and made life difficult for Phoenix. Emma Sykes was also a great threat to the home players, who couldn’t contain her strong fastbreak situations.
Into the final quarter of the game and although our girls were tired from the game speed, they still continued to work hard for each other. The last thing that Polonia would have wanted to face was the defensive hustle from Beth Kean. Her pressure on guards forced turnovers which seemed to leave the home players. To finish the game off, a strong drive from Roko Bolaitiki resulted in two points, ensuring her personal season-high in Div.1
Final score: Polonia Phoenix 24-92 Stirling West Lothian
After a great 2014 start, our girls will be looking to improve before they embark on a gruelling schedule with regular season and playoffs.
Next step, Friday 24th January 7:50 PM at Armadale Academy
Guys, I hope everyone , parents and players, had a blast at Sundays inaugural RDL's for U10's.
It was great to see everyone mix so well, and be proud of their own skills and gameplay.
What really impressed me was out teamwork and how we all pulled for each other, tried to play to our own best skills and shared in the many many wins, and more importantly acknowledged the tough games we had and ploughed onto the next challenge unfazed ...... but lets be honest here we lost about 1 or 2 of our 10 games!!!!! how about that!!!!! <not that that's important, but it is a barometer of sorts.
We passed the ball very confidently, and executed in the open court very well.
Alice and Maddie defended and rebounded well.
Camerons hustle and passing was great.
Dylan and Max scored freely.
Aiden and Callum played all round really well on their debut, involved in everything
Jenni and Jake really excelled within their peer group , no-one id talking about that buzzer beater.
And Stella, well she was my star of the day, did a bit of everything, and worked constantly for the team , helped along by the encouragement of Coach Rose and JT , improved every game we played.
Me , Craig and Ed are very proud of the dedication of our wee wolves and thank you guys for your efforts in getting them to practice regularly and enthusing their love of the game.
We coaches learned absolutely loads about our guys, and will take those lessons into our coaching ......."softer hands, first step, half court play" ......we'll all have a great time working on improving these points.
BasketballScotland took many photos of the day, keep an eye on their website, but Amanda has a good team photo I am sure she will share...... Andy lets get this report and that photo up on the Wibbly Webby
This Sunday , 19th Jan, at 12 till 4 at Deans High School sees the Wolves Under 10's team take a bow in competition.
Yes, if you didn’t know , we do have a great crop of youngsters who have been playing for years and are still at the ripe old age of 8 & 9 years old!!!!
BasketballScotland has organised an RDL type event with teams from the East to provide some competition experience and further development opportunities.
Our own wee wolves are mad keen to get involved, so why don’t you get yourself along and support the future stars of our club and have a fun day yourself.
See you there
Here are some highlights from HBU's victory yesterday and a short post game interview with Scotland's very own Donna Finnie. Donna is working very hard to create a winning culture at the Houston University and it appears that her hard work is paying off.
The Wolves Senior Men faced off today against the East Lothian Peregrines in the first round of the Lothian Cup. The Peregrines play in the league below and are in their first season after being re-established over the summer in order to bring men's basketball back to East Lothian. The Wolves division 2 squad have previously beaten the Peregrines in league action. So this game should not have proved to difficult a challenge for the division 1 side.
The game started off with the Wolves attacking the middle of the Peregrines zone and getting a lot of shots near the basket. However the Wolves could not convert these chances into score baskets. The Wolves looked a bit rusty through the first quarter, however they made a small offensive run mid way through the first quarter. Unfortunately their defence was a step to slow and allowed the East Lothian side a number of easy shots in the paint and a number of second chance opportunities which they converted. The Wolves went into the first break with a small 13-9 lead. Jamie Rilley was very aggressive early on and helped set the tone for how the Wolves would attack the paint throughout the game.
Three minutes into the third quarter the the Wolves were down 3 points after some terrible defensive mistakes and the rust of the Christmas break taking it's toll. Head coach Andy Smyth took a time out to try and rally the players and the players responded in fine fashion. Lead by Darren Baxter, Kas Arshad and Piotr Jeszkie the Wolves turned up the defense and caused a number of turn overs which lead to easy lay ups for the Wolves. The Wolves tighten up their defense only allowing East Lothian to score 14 points in the quarter, while scoring 25 points themselves. The Half time score was 38 - 28 to the Wolves.
The second half saw the Wolves continue to drive the score up, with good transition defense and a constant fast break that left the Peregrines very tired. Ben O Connell was very steady at the point guard position, whilst Andy Sturrock and Owen Cook made hustle play after hustle play on both ends of the floor. The pair were rebounding very well and protected the paint as the back line of the Wolves man to man defense. The Wolves scored 24 points in the third, while only allowing their opponents to score 13. The fourth quarter saw the Wolves newest player Jay Knowles make an appearance. Jay scored his first basket as a Wolf after some lovely passing led to a wide open baseline jump shot.
The Wolves also had some additional help on the bench today as Bobby Cosgrove took up the position as assistant coach for the first time today. A recurring shoulder injury has forced him to hang up his boots for the remainder of the season. Hopefully he will be back on the court next season. In the mean time head coach Andy Smyth will take advantage of all of Bobby's experience as the Wolves team continue on their quest for the Lothian Cup, League title and Chairman's Cup title.
On another note the Wolves went into the Christmas break undefeated in league action with six wins out of six. The Wolves' last game of 2013 was a very exciting match up against their league rivals the Edinburgh Kings, which saw the Wolves beat the Kings for the first time in a league match.