Halloween Saturday saw the U18 team attempting to exorcise the spectre of past close encounters with Manchester Mystics at the Amaechi Centre. For the first seven minutes Hatters struggled to breakdown the Mystics tricky persistent zone and they found themselves 13 – 4 down. However the team kept hocus- focussed and through some spirited up- tempo play pushed through (to the other side) to score 10 unanswered to finish Q1 13-14.
The second quarter started with a treat of a 3 pointer from Jo Lowry and with the team scrapping for loose balls, fewer turnovers, better rebounding and several fast breaks they earned a 6 point lead.Mystics however rose again ending with a reciprocal 3 pointer from Gina Brierley to level at half time 31-31.
The third quarter saw Mystics re- establish a lead before maximum points from the line from Jo Lowry and Shauna Harrison sandwiched between baskets from Eleanor Goodwin ensured the Hatters were within 4 points going into the last 10 minutes. 47-43.
Hatters then had a nightmarish start to the final quarter with a 3 and a 2 from Mystic’s F Connelly followed by a 2 and a 3 from Gina Brierley the team found themselves 11 points behind. However with Mystics on team fouls and not letting Molly Axelby’s 5th foul faze them Hatter’s clawed back using the remaining 3 minutes to reduce the deficit to just one point. But the clock ran down frighteningly quickly and the team couldn’t summon up any last ditch witchcraft, with Jo’s long buzzer shot not falling true this time!
Final score : the tricks outweighing the treats 62-60.
Ginal Brierley dominated for the Mystics with a magic 35 points, whilst the team and scorers for Hatters were Jo Lowry 22, Eleanor Goodwin 15, Shauna Harrison 13, Courtney Bennett 6, Zoe Sillcock 2, JD Quinn 2, Millie Dooley, Molly Axelby , Beth Ruthford & Eleanor Neath.
Free throws; 15/22.