Match Report

Big win in the capital propels the U14’s into the Quarter Finals

After a 4-week break the U14’s (13-5) who finished 3rd in the Midlands U14 conference travelled to London for a first round playoff tie against Hounslow Hawks (11-3) who finished 2nd in the South U14 conference.

The game started with the home team trying to establish a very physical style of play, however the young Blazer girls were not in the mood to be pushed around and through a KJ layup opened the scoring. The next 3-minutes of play saw both teams exchange scores and misses, for the Blazers Alexe was the main contributor on the offensive end as she out muscled the Hawks front court to score around the hoop. With the score tied at 8-8 Alexe and KJ combined for 1-9 scoring run and although the Hawks were able to score the last four points of the quarter they would trail 14-19 going into the quarter break.

It was clear at this early stage of the game that the home team didn’t want to shoot from outside and instead were looking to drive through the key and make layups. However, they didn’t expect the Blazer defensive onslaught that they were facing and throughout the whole of the second quarter they could only contribute a further 6-points. The great defensive effort was duly rewarded for the Blazers on the offensive end as Kira, Anna and Lolly made outside shots which we complemented by well taken layups through pressure for KJ and Ella. As the second quarter ended the Blazers would take a commanding 20-41 lead into the break.

More of the same was the called for as the 3rd quarter began, and it couldn’t have started any better as scores for KJ, Lolly and 5 straight Kira points resulted in the home team taking a time-out with them down 20-50. The pause in play resulted in them scoring the next 5 points of the game before the final moments of the quarter saw both teams exchange points with Blazer centre Alexe again dominating the boards.

With a 31-58 lead the fourth quarter allowed for the Blazers to rotate their line up and give valuable playoff minutes to all players. Regardless of who was on the floor the defensive effort was maintained which resulted in the home team only adding 10 points to their tally. Offensively for the Blazers Alexe, Megan and KJ rounded of the Derby scoring and at the final buzzer the Blazer girls could celebrate a 41-66 first round playoff win.

Coaches comments

“Today we have made Derby Trailblazer history, we are the first girls team to win a National League playoff game. It goes without saying that this is such an incredible achievement and it is testament to the hard work that the girls have been putting in all season.

What pleased me the most was the way in which we didn’t allow a physical team to mentally affect and change the way that we play. We stuck to our game plan and executed it ruthlessly.

“We will now travel to Sheffield Hatters on the weekend of the 21st/22nd April in the playoff quarterfinal. This will be a tough game against a well drilled team however we will prepare and if we play like we did today we can beat them and progress to the Final Four tournament in May”

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