Outlaws squeeze past top-of-the-table Warriors
National League Under 16s
Ilkeston Outlaws 67 Shropshire Warriors 65
A fantastic battle was fought out at Bilborough College on Saturday afternoon as the Outlaws ground out a victory by a slender two point margin.
The Shropshire Warriors turned up in confident mood having won all eight of their National League games so far and sitting at the top of the league.
The away team started well and won the first two quarters with superior shooting skills and went into half-time ten points ahead. Both teams had put tight zone defences in place which restricted the play under the basket and made the game rely on the strength of the floor shooting.
In the third quarter Ilkeston moved to close down the Shropshire threats by going to a man to man defence. At the same time Ilkeston’s point guard, Tom Goshawk, suddenly started to find his range from the three point line and nailed four long range shots in the third quarter to bring the home side right back into the game.
At the start of the final quarter the Outlaws picked up where they had left off before the break and Tom Goshawk stepped up again and hit five more amazing three point shots which helped Ilkeston outscore their opponents by 22 points to nine and run out eventual winners.
National League U14 Girls Midland Division
Ilkeston Outlaws 32 Shropshire Warriors 39
After previous disappointing performances and two losses that should have been wins, Ilkeston had something to prove when they entertained Shropshire Warriors and Exeter Eagles at Bilborough College on Saturday.
This is Outlaws’ first National League season and for some of the girls it is their first competitive campaign. They have suffered badly from nerves so far and this was again their downfall in the first quarter against Warriors in the first match.
Despite having more possession, playing the better basketball, showing more skill and making the best opportunities they again failed to score a point in the first five minutes of the seven-minute quarter. They outshot Warriors at least 3-1 but Warriors captain Kath Evans made all her five shots and they led 10-0.
Demi Drew got Outlaws on the scoreboard with two fine moves and Outlaws trailed 4-12 at the first break.
Outlaws were more settled in the second period and closed to 8-14 through Catherine Atkins and Charlotte Wright. Sophie May finished the quarter with two scores so at the half Outlaws were back in it only down 12-16. Warriors had rested Evans for much of that period which helped.
Outlaws came out for the third quarter on fire. Evans was back on but Emma Chambers had only one task – to stop the number nine. Emma stuck to the job so well that Evans failed to score in that quarter.
Sophie May led the charge as Outlaws went ahead 10-0 in the quarter and were good value for their 22-16 overall advantage, but more importantly five players scored in that quarter.
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