BASKETBALL: Lucy leads the way in brilliant comeback win for Lightning
Trailing 35-23 at half-time, Northants Lightning needed a major effort in the final two periods of play if they were to beat a well-drilled Brentwood Fire in the Under 14 Girls East Conference.
And Lightning produced the stirring response they needed to secure the spoils, winning 61-60, with Lucy Needham leading the way with 29 points.
Good support came from Dina Kosnikovska with 14 points and Poppy Barnet with eight.
Northants Thunder 58 Solent Kestrels II 90
THUNDER are facing a relegation battle after being beaten again in Men’s Division Three North.
Thunder were well in contention at 37-31 down as the second quarter drew to a close. But Kestrels inbounded the ball and coolly drained a three-point buzzer-beater to earn a nine point half-time advantage.
That score seemed to affect the Thunder players and a 12-2 run early in the third period of play gave Kestrels a 17-point lead.
That lead was extended to 19 points by the end of quarter, despite the best efforts of Matt Yates.
Needing to work as a team on offence, Thunder were guilty of relying too much on individual efforts leading to rushed and forced shots.
Solent responded with a number of fast-break scores as they cruised to a 32-point win which seemed very unlikely through the first two periods of play.
In the heavy loss, Richard Higgins battled hard for Thunder, top scoring with 16 points.
Yates contributed 13 points and Jacob Holt 10, but no other Thunder player could get into double figures
Northants Thunder 61 Leicester Warriors 67
AFTER their recent wins, Thunder went into their fixture against Junior Men’s East Midlands Conference leaders Leicester Warriors in optimistic mood, despite the absence of the influential Ayo Oluyede.
But Thunder were eventually edged out, even though David Nieva registered 21 points and Shekina Ntumba.
Team Birmingham Elite 81 Northants Thunder 48
A personal haul of 30 points by forward Jonathan Ntumba couldn’t stop Thunder slipping to defeat against Team Birmingham Elite in the Under 14 Boys Midlands II Conference.
Both teams had won one of the two preceding games so this settled the head to head in Elite’s favour.
Ntumba was supported well by Kalonji Campbell, who scored seven points.
Saturday, March 11: 9.30am-11am: Junior Ballers; 11.30am: Under 16 Boys versus Rutland Thunders (these games will be played at the Northamptonshire Basketball Centre, which is situated at Northampton School for Girls, Spinney Hill Road, Northampton - spectators are welcome and admission is free); Senior Men travel to Oxford Brookes; Junior Men travel to Leicester Dynamite; Under 14 Boys travel to Worcester Wolves; Under 14 Girls travel to Oaklands Wolves; Under 9 and Under 11 Central Venue League at Northampton School for Boys
NEBC Titans 55 County Upper Wolves 69
NEBC Titans under-14 girls hosted County Upper Wolves and for the first time this season, Titans started slowly with poor passing and shot selection.
An early time out to affect change in the girls’ mindset saw a gradual improvement but they could only score six points in the first period.
The second quarter started with a completely different approach from Titans as they came to life and went toe-to-toe with the conference’s second-placed team.
The match was one of the most physical contests the girls have faced this season and some dubious calls left County Upper frustrated.
High quality defence performances from Imogene Williams and Alise Zvidra caused problems for County Upper’s strong point guard.
However, despite a much stronger final three quarters, the damage of the slow start was not to be undone and Titans went down 69-55.
Titans top scorers were Tegan Opongnitim-Millar (24), Emma Wickham (10), Luca Virag (10).
U16 Boys North Premier League: Cheshire Wire 92-70 NEBC Titans.
U14 Boys Midland II Conference League: NEBC Titans 76-58 Ilkeston Outlaws.
Division Two Women: Sefton Starlights 56-50 NEBC Titans.