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Amazing finishes for three teams

Updated: Feb 22

A thrilling weekend's basketball at Oaklands saw three Wolves boys games go down to the wire before the home team came out on the top,

Just a combined four points separated the sides as Wolves U-16s, U-14s and U-13s came out on the top, and to increase the strain on the hearts of some raucous crowds, the visiting team had ball and the chance to score with the final play of each game.

The U-16s probably top the bill of heart-attack inducing endings as they led by six points with 20 seconds on the clock but had to survive a frantic comeback from Barking RDF as a basket, a steal and a potential four point play ended with the visitors missing a frere-throw to send the game into overtime, grabbing the rebound but failing to get a shot off as Wolves won 82-81.

The U-14s also narrowly avoided overtime as Newham Youngblood's final shot came just a fraction after the clock reached 0:00, leaving them with winning 72-70 on Sunday.

Two hours later the U-13s got the pulse racing in a whole different way as they came back from 19 down at the final break to beat Aylesbury Dux U-14s 73-72 with Harry Regan draining the winning free-throw with 3.2 seconds on the clock before some great defence sealing the win.

With several players unavailable, U-16 coach George Walker drafted in Zac Butterworth, Albert Dye, Liam Schertel and Tituouan Vimeux from the U-14s and they didn't disappoint as they combined for 35 points, 18 rebounds, five steals, four assists and a block.

It was a game that probably should never have gone down to the wire as Wolves led 24-13 at the first break, but saw RDF chip away at the advantage with 21-18 second and third periods. Jeremy Akpan had the chance to make it a three possession game down the stretch, but he split his free-throws to set up the grandstand finish before Wolves could celebrate a win that goes a long way to avoiding the relegation play-offs.

Jayen Pisharody led Wolves with 19 points and five rebounds, while Butterworth marked his debut with 18 points, including two big three pointers. Fellow U-14 players Schertal and Vimeux and 10 points & six rebounds and seven points & nine boards respectively, Max Plagemann had a ten point, 13 rebound double-double, while Shaun Uzos missed out on a double-double by one point having pulled down a massive 16 rebounds.

The U-14 quartet returned to the court the following afternoon for a key match-up against Youngbloods, with play-off seedings at stake and it was Schertel (20 points) and Vimeux (18) who led the way for Ibrahim Gariba's team as they avenged a controversial one-point loss in east London earlier in the season.

Sam McCree had another massive game on the boards, pulling down 17 rebounds and adding ten points, four steals, three assists and a couple of blocks, with Butterworth adding six points, five assists and as many steals.

This was another game where Wolves nearly let a big lead slip, as they rushed into an 18-8 lead and were still ahead by ten at half time after sharing 40 second period points. They lead grew to 60-46 at the final break before Youngbloods staged their comeback that was ultimately ended by Schertel's jump shot to give Wolves the win.

The depleted U-13 team found the going in the first and third period where all players must play five minutes in each quarter, as they were outscored 25-13 to trail 64-50 going into the last quarter and the deficit grew to 19 in early in the final frame before the comeback started.

Five straight Frank Fojit baskets dragged Wolves back into the game and with the visitors in foul trouble, Wolves spent much of the final minutes at the free-throw line. Ethan Fraser-Evans tied the game with a pair at the charity stripe before Regan hit his first as saw the rebound from his second collected by Alex Ryan, only for the referee to call a lane violation. Dux' timeout saw them advance the ball and Wolves played some tough defence to deny a shot and wrap up the win.

Regan led the way with a massive 21 point, 15 rebound double-double while Fojit did likewise with 18 points and 19 double-doubles. Alex Ryan added 12 points, five boards and four assists, while Will Rhodes had 11 points and five rebounds,

Wolves U-12 boys continued their fine season in much calmer circumstances with an 85-57 home victory against Ipswich to launch Saturday's action.

Michael Ball's side never looked back after a 29-9 first period, and although the visitors cut the lead to 43-29 at half-time, a 20-16 third period followed by a 22-12 fourth sealed another victory.

Alex Cofone led Wolves with 25 points, with Tristan Ball adding 18 and Manuel Gracia-Peris 17.

With the season reaching its final weeks, the U-15 boys were in action on Saturday morning as both side courts saw action, but they found Bedford Thunder U-16s too strong in a 109-46 loss.

In a game they trailed throughout, Milo Garvin Gilfeather led La'Quarne Sayers' team with 11 points and two steals, while Jacob Edrupt added ten points and four steals. Oliver Thomas and U-14 guard Uros Piscatelli each finished with six points, adding two boards and two assists respectively.

After the excitement - and tears - of the U-16 boys game, RDF U-16 girls gained revenge for their clubmates loss with a 71-53 victory against a depleted Wolves' team containing several U-14 players.

The teams were tied at 14 going into the second period but it was that frame where the visitors did the damage by outscoring Wolves 29-11 before the teams shared 56 second half points.

Eunice Wong led Jorjah Smith's side with 19 points, with Elise Beardsworth adding 18.

There was also disappointment for the U-12 girls as they lost 34-22 against Reading Rockets on Sunday morning.

A low scoring game saw Wolves trail 10-6 at the first break and 21-9 going into the locker room at half-time. A 12-4 third period effectively ended the game as a contest but Wolves did win the final quarter 9-1 against a team who had beaten them 43 earlier in the season. Rose Marsh led Wolves with ten points

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