With just 55 seconds remaining of their National League Division Three North Conference clash at Loughborough Student Riders, Northants Thunder led by a point.
After trailing for the entire game, Thunder had managed to get their noses in front at the end, and looked on course for victory.
But at a time when control was essential, Thunder reacted poorly when the Riders scored a three-pointer, and a series of poor decisions handed the initiative to the home side who closed out the game for a flattering eight-point win.
Loughborough had held the initiative for most of the game without ever opening up a substantial gap.
This was largely down to the efforts of Danny Barrett from the perimeter and Jacob Holt close to the basket while Johnny Yates controlled matters from the back court.
Barrett netted 21 points, including five three-pointers, while Holt contributed 18 points and Yates 16.
Junior Men’s East Midlands Development League
Ilkeston Outlaws 69
Northants Thunder 78
THUNDER Junior Men opened up their season with a hard-fought win at a gutsy and determined Ilkeston Outlaws.
Thunder started slowly and were soon 20-6 adrift. After a time out, Ollie Thomas and Ayo Oluyade scored six points apiece to inspire Thunder to reduce the deficit, but the Northants boys were still nine points down at the end of the first period.
Thunder started the second quarter well and pulled the score back to 38-36, but they then lapsed and allowed Ilkeston to extend their lead to 43-36 at half-time.
Thunder stayed in touch in the third quarter, and then really made their move with a 10-0 surge that saw the scores level at 57-57.
Again, a lapse of concentration in the final seconds saw Outlaws nail a three-point shot on the buzzer to lead 62-58.
A tired Thunder were determined not to let Outlaws win and they stormed out at the start of the fourth quarter with a stunning 15-2 run to open up the game and lead 73-64.
Ilkeston regrouped and fought to get back in the game, but Thunder closed it out to win 78-69.
Ollie Thomas amassed 33 points, while Ayo Oluyede and Jacob Killeya scored 16 and 12 respectively.
Junior Men’s National Cup
Leicester Warriors 66
Northants Thunder 57
Less than 24 hours after defeating Ilkeston Outlaws in the league, the Thunder junior men faced Leicester Warriors on the road in the National Cup and lost despite domination for three quarters.
Thunder started the game in promising style and stormed into a 12-5 lead, and they were still 17-14 ahead at the end the first period.
David Nieva then scored 12 of Thunder’s 14, but Warriors edged the quarter 16-14 to reduce Thunder’s lead to 31-30 at half-time.
Thunder started the second half brilliantly and mounted a 12-0 charge, and they went on to open up a 49-38 lead going into the final quarter.
Warriors then exploded into the fourth quarter with a 17-0 charge, to take the lead at 55-49 and a shell-shocked Thunder were struggling.
Carlo Nieva hit a three-pointer to reduce the lead to 55-52, but all the momentum that Thunder had shown throughout the game had been lost.
Thunder fought hard but Warriors closed out the game.
David Nieva led the Thunder scoring with 21 points, while brother Carlo scored 18.
Cadet Men’s Midlands Development League
Northants Thunder 90
Nottingham Hoods 54
AFTER the previous week’s loss, the message from coach Grahame Yates to his players was simple: “Forget about last week and concentrate on this game.”
Ed Taylan controlled matters from the back court and Thunder led 18-13 after the first period. In the second quarter Josh Lloyd caused havoc with strong drives to basket which produced scores and drew fouls.
The visitors were restricted to just five points during the period while Thunder poured in 26 to take a 44-18 half-time lead. With the game as good as won, coach Yates was able to give his whole squad lots of playing time.
Thunder were moving the ball well but missed a number of easy scoring opportunities and a determined effort on the part of the Hoods players saw them take the quarter 17-14 to reduce the Thunder lead to 23 points by the end of the quarter. The fourth quarter saw the two teams score a total of 51 points, with Thunder dominating to the tune of 32-19 to win 90-54.
Josh Lloyd top scored with 19 points, Shekina Ntumba and Ousthuizen both scored 10 while Zak Kitchen and Chris Amankonah made valuable nine-point contributions. Ed Taylan, who had been asked to take on the point guard role, responded with 15 points and a number of assists.
Under 16 Girls Premier League North
NORTHANTS Lightning’s Cadette Women’s first fixture of the season at Manchester Mystics was cancelled when Lightning coach Stacey Shakespeare slipped and injured herself which prevented her from driving the mini bus.
Under 14 Girls East Midland Conference
Brentwood Fire 82
Northants Lightning 51
An inexperienced Lightning team, with several players making their National League debuts, travelled to Brentwood Fire and put on a brave performance before going down to defeat.
Despite the margin of the loss, coach Stacey Shakespeare was pleased her team were able to play some very positive basketball, and with the exception of the third period, which they lost 24-7, were competitive.
Ony Onwumechili led the scoring with 24, while Ruby Mabbutt contributed 10 and caught the eye with a number of steals.
Saturday, October 10
9.30-11am: Junior Ballers session
11.45am: Under 14 Girls versus Brentwood Leopards;l Under 14 Boys v Ilkeston Outlaws
1.45pm: Under 16 Girls versus Nottingham Wildcats; U18 Boys v Leicester Warriors
All these games will be played at the Northants Basketball Centre which is situated at Northampton School for Girls in Spinney Hill Road, Northampton. Spectators are welcome and admission is FREE
Cadet Boys travel to Derby Trailblazers
Sunday, October 11
Senior Men travel to Middlesex LTBC