Division 1, Match Report

Shaw: “They smelt blood and they went for the kill”

Jake Wesselingh - Derby Trailblazers - 3 Pointer

A depleted Derby Trailblazers side were knocked out of the Men’s National Cup by a hungry Liverpool side which would not look out of place in division one.

Liverpool Basketball Club 100 (22, 54, 74)
Derby Trailblazers 76 (25, 51, 67)

With Oli Stanley and Jake Chilver ruled out though injury, Luke Ptak unavailable due to work commitments and Tre Wilford unable to play due to competition rules which permit division one clubs to field only one American player against clubs from lower divisions, it was a young and relatively inexperienced Derby team which made the trip to the north west.

And to make matter worse, Malcolm Smith’s court time was severely restricted by foul trouble caused by some over zealous officiating. Smith eventually fouled out of the game with 8’18” remaining, but not before he had led the team with 32 points and five rebounds.

However, his departure and the absence of Stanley pretty much signalled the end as far as Derby were concerned:

“Any time Malcolm’s not on the floor, that doesn’t help and we really struggled as a result,” said the Trailblazers Head Coach Matt Shaw.

“Normally we might have played with a slightly different line up to protect those fouls, but with a couple of guys missing, that made it even more difficult.

“Then you get two double fouls called, which is really quite unusual in a game at this level, so it was very frustrating that two of his fouls were given up in that way.

“It’s the sort of thing you see quite often at local league level, but at this level, I’d like to see the first foul called and anything else doesn’t need to be called unless it’s unsportsmanlike.

“We really missed Oli [Stanley]. He played great last weekend, so having him out for a little while is going to hurt us and we saw that against Liverpool, because he makes a difference in so many different areas,” he said.

Matt Ward-Hibbert added fifteen points, Jake Wesselingh had eleven, Kayne King finished with nine points and nine assists, Benson Arogbo collected ten rebounds to go with his five points and Blake Bowman completed the scoring with four points.

The home side were led by David Ulph, with twenty-nine points and twelve rebounds.

Derby started the game well, as Wesselingh converted a three-pointer off an assist from Ward-Hibbert.

A basket for Smith and a steal and subsequent score from Wesselingh helped open up a 7-2 lead and further triples from Wesselingh and Ward-Hibbert alongside inside scores from Smith and King made it 17-10 by the mid point of the first quarter.

Liverpool responded with nine straight points to take the lead, but an 8-3 run from the Blazers ensured they would take a 25-22 lead into the first break.

A 6-2 start to the second was completed with a steal and a dunk for Bowman to open up a seven point lead and Derby were seemingly looking well set. The gap was still seven points when Liverpool called time-out with 7’09” on the clock, but Coach Herriman got the response he was looking for, as his players embarked on a 15-4 run to lead 43-39 and prompt a Derby time-out.

The remainder of the second quarter was nip and tuck, with the home side leading 54-51 at the break, before Derby exploded out of the blocks with a Smith inspired 11-2 run. He hit eight of those points, with the remaining three coming courtesy of a Wesselingh triple.

Once again Liverpool called for time and got their response, with nine unanswered points and the second of those double-fouls which sent Smith to the bench on four fouls with three third quarter minutes remaining.

Liverpool concluded the period with a 7-1 run to lead 74-67, helped by a technical foul on Shaw as he vented his frustrations.

Derby took a gamble by letting Smith start the final period. A basket for Liverpool’s Hudson was followed by a score by Smith off an assist from King, but then disaster struck as the Trailblazers American was called for his fifth foul with 8’18” remaining and Derby 76-69 in arrears.

“With Malcolm gone, they smelt blood and they went for the kill,” Shaw said.

“We were down and they kept us down by not giving up and by keeping their foot on the gas which will bode well for them in the future.

I thought we battled well for the first three quarters, but we lost our way in the last quarter. Prior to that, I thought we had worked hard to stay with them and match their physicality, but it was disappointing not to have been able to make it more competitive in the closing minutes,” he said.

Liverpool eventually closed out the game with a 24-7 run, holding Derby scoreless for more than seven minutes until Arogbo beat the final buzzer with a three-pointer from the top of the key.


Liverpool: Ulph 29, Rangeley 24, Hudson 19, Umekwe 14, Ogunmeye 8, Regent-Bascombe 3, Paul 2, Molloy 1, Bigley 0, Ozoemelam 0, Walsh 0.

Derby: Smith 32, Ward-Hibbert 15, Wesselingh 11, King 9, Bowman 4, Arogbo 5, Brown 0, Piplica 0, Wilford DNP.



It was a bad weekend all round for the club, with the D3 Men being the only side to taste victory, as they held on for a 69-68 away win over Calderdale Explorers. But their luck departed on Sunday, when a minibus breakdown meant they had to forfeit their National Cup game away to Reading.

Things didn’t go the way of the club’s new Women’s programme either, as they were knocked out of the Cup 84-79 at the hands of Northamptonshire Titans.

The game was tied 24-all at the end of the first, before Derby edged the second period 20-18. The scores were tied at 60-all going into the final period, but the Trailblazers were outscored 24-19 in the final period.

Whilst it was the result the club was hoping for, Women’s Head Coach Leanne Chandler said there were plenty of positives to be drawn:

“I’m very proud of our first game every as a program. The girls played very well and fought very hard during a tightly contested game. We can take so many positives from the performance and looking forward to working on the things that didn’t go so well.

“Alex Haley had an outstanding game with 43 points and certainly showcased her great talent and leadership throughout the game. This didn’t overshadow the contributions of every player.

“Darcie played extremely well after a first few minute nerves. She ran the floor well and made some big stops defensively. I hope she will grow and grow from this performance.

“Taneisha also stepped up bit for us defensively. Her vision and ability to disrupt the offense sparked an 8-0 run in the 3rd quarter.

“While the game ended under some difficult circumstances, the girls can be very proud of what they achieved and look forward to getting better each time we step on the floor,” she said.


Saturday 13th October 2018:

D3 Men: Calderdale Explorers 68 – 69 Derby Trailblazers II

U18M EM: Leicester Warriors 65 – 61 Derby Trailblazers II

U16 Boys EM: Leicester Warriors 20 – 0 Derby Trailblazers II – forfeited

U16 Girls Prem: Nottingham Wildcats 75 – 54 Derby Trailblazers

U14 Boys EM: Cheshire Phoenix 71 – 47 Derby Trailblazers

U14 Boys EM: Leicester Dynamite 81 – 29 Derby Trailblazers II

U14 Girls: Derby Trailblazers 50 – 66 Lancashire Spinners


Sunday 14th October 2018:

D1 Men Cup R3: Liverpool 100 – 76 Derby Trailblazers;

D2 Women Cup R1: Northamptonshire Titans 84 – 79 Derby Trailblazers

D3 Men Cup R3: Reading Rockets 20 – 0 Derby Trailblazers II – forfeited

U16 Girls Cup R2: Nottingham Wildcats 69 – 52 Derby Trailblazers

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