A potentially difficult game lay head for the U14 girls against an unfamiliar Newcastle team. A back and forth start to the game showed both teams trying to figure each other out while holding a deadlock after the first quarter.
A deep Newcastle team showed the Hatters some good half court defensive pressure for the first quarter while adding offensive pressure with dribble penetration from the wings and from the top. Hatters defensive breakdowns had them playing catchup, chasing the ball and consequently allowing Newcastle to grab second and third offensive rebounds and second chance shots.
The Hatters looked determined to get ahead coming out of the first period team talk as they turned up the heat. Great defensive pressure on the ball forced multiple turnovers, Newcastle’s drives to the basket from the wings and down the middle were stopped and better defensive rebounding by the Hatters lead to fast breaks, and multiple half court opportunities for easy scores and many free throws. There was no coming back for Newcastle after the dominant second period.
Every player contributed valuable minutes both on offense and defense and the second half showed a high spirited Hatters team working hard until the final whistle. A good week of training certainly paid off.
Match Report Mike Payne