Wolves' U-16 boys recorded the first of what proved to be two key victories for the club against London Stars as they beat their second team II 60-53 to take a step towards NBL Premier East safety on Saturday.
In a tight game throughout Wolves saw a 15-11 first period lead disappear as the visitors took a 31-30 lead into the half-time break before extending that to 48-42 at the final break. But the final quarter belonged to the hosts as a pair of three-point Sam Shurety plays helped them outscore the visitors 18-5 to take a key victory.
Shurety's ten points led a balanced Wolves' offence, with Otis Lau-Johnstone adding nine and Max Plagemann eight.
Both U-12 teams were on the road and both came home with a big victory with the girls winning 76-16 at Kent Crusaders and the boys keeping their title hopes alive with an 85-23 victory at West Suffolk Wolves.
The girls never looked back after a 24-4 first period, thanks in part to ten Francesca Scott points, and a 24-0 final quarter completed their second league double of the campaign. Scott led the visitors with 22 points, while Rose Marsh hit 12 in the final period to finish with 18. Grace Betteridge added ten points with Evie Garvin chipping in with eight.
Manuel Garcia-Peris poured in 40 points for a boys’ team who raced into a 25-5 lead and never looked in trouble as they limited their opponents to single digit points in all four periods. Alex Cofone added 12 points for Michael Ball’s team as they stayed top of the table.
Wolves U-14 boys’ hopes of home court advantage in the Premier play-offs took a knock as they went down 87-78 at home against London Legends.
In a game where both sides wracked up plenty of fouls, Ibrahim Gariba’s team trailed 21-20 at the first break and were 49-40 behind at half-time. A 20-12 third period looked to have put the game beyond Wolves’ reach with a 17-point deficit, but they fought back to make it a four-point game down the stretch before the visitors closed the game out. Zac Butterworth again led the host with 20 points, with Liam Schertel adding 18 and captain Albert Dye 16.
The U-13 boys were the first Wolves’ side to take to the floor for a competitive game in 2024, but they found East conference leaders Cambridge Cats Black U-14s too tough as they went down 78-35. George Walker’s team trailed 19-4 at the first break and although they competed across the middle two periods, an 18-2 fourth quarter wrapped up the win for the visitors. Rocky Starr led the hosts with nine points, with Alex Ryan adding seven and Frank Fojit five.
It’s been a tough season for the U-14 and U-16 girls, with several of the younger squad playing in both age groups, and their struggles continued over the weekend with a pair of heavy losses.
Under stand-in coach La’Quaren Sayers the U-14s never recovered from a 25-0 first period deficit at Richmond Knights while the U-16s lost 85-48 in a feisty home game against London Elite. Jane Yu led Wolves with 20 points in the latter game, with Eunace Wong adding 11.