County Upper Under-16 Girls pick up where they left off
County Upper Basketball Academy coach Darren Johnson was delighted to see the Under-16 Girls show no sign of rustiness on their return to action, as they dismantled Norfolk Iceni 95-27.
It was a ninth straight win out of nine to keep them four points clear at the summit of the National League Under-16 South East Conference.
Johnson praised the solid home performance, their first of 2019, as one of the best he has seen this season.
“Coming back off the Christmas break, you never know what shape your players are going to be in or the level of play they are going to play at in their first game,” he said. “But after a solid two weeks of basketball practice, we came out and played one of the best team performances this season.
“We were hitting our shots and making some great plays as well as playing some great defence.”
Starting the game strong, CU were able to create a 12 point lead for 20-8 by the end of the first quarter.
This continued as the home team all but stamped out any chance of Norfolk getting back into the game with a 26-8 score in the second quarter, opening up a 30-point lead going into half-time, 46-16.
County Upper’s momentum continued into the second half as they increasing their lead to 69-22.
The fourth quarter was much the same as the third with County Upper continuing to dominate on the offensive end of the court as well as putting together solid defensive possessions, holding Norfolk to just five points.
County Upper were led in the scoring by Alex Popova with 20 and supported by Georgie Tansley, Lizzy Sanders and Grace Spooner with 18 points, 14 points and 13 points respectively.
Ahead of hosting bottom side Baddow Eagles on Saturday (4pm), coach Johnson said there is still room for improvement.
“Although we are doing some great things we will still be working to improve our game in certain areas,” he said.
* County Upper Under-19 Elite Boys lost a hard-fought encounter at home to Academy Basketball League Central Conference leaders Aston Manor 88-81 last week.
John Bourne scored 24 points while Kelechie Azusu and Tom Revell scored 18 points and 10 points respectively for the home team.
The away side, who have not lost a game all season, held a 14-point lead at half-time after quarter scores of 16-11 and 28-19 for 44-30.
The third went 10-8 in the league leader’s favour but County Upper picked up momentum in the fourth quarter and were able to cut the deficit to within three points, 80-77, before the visitors were able to close out the game on an 8-4 run.
“We had a chance to win the game today, but unfortunately not being able to finish at the basket held us back” said coach Johnson.