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U-13 stage dramatic comeback

Junior round-up 27/1/24

Wolves U-13 boys came from 16 points down to record their best result of the season with an 84-75 overtime victory against Barnet Bulldogs, on Saturday lunchtime.

In front of a noisy crowd it was the two players in their second season with the team who came up big down the stretch. Rocky Starr scored eight straight points, hitting a triple either side of a shot inside the paint, before captain Alex Ryan showed great composure at the line to sink six straight free throws. The hosts could have won or lost the game in the final seconds before Barnet went to the foul line where they split a pair of free throws to give a crowd that had been swelled by the U-12 squad and their parents an extra period. And when the additional five started it was all Wolves as they outscored the visitors 18-6 before Barnet hit a triple on the buzzer to end the game and spark a court invasion from the U-12s.

Starr led all scorers with 26 points, with Frank Fojit adding 22 and Ryan 13. Earlier in the game Wolves had looked dead and buried as Barnet turned a 19-10 first period lead into a 37-25 advantage at the half-time break . Wolves started the second half slowly but went on to outscore the visitors 15-10 in the third period and 26-19 to set up the grandstand finish.

There was less good next for the club's other teams as both U-16 teams went down at home against Newham Youngbloods and the U-14 boys suffered an 83-40 loss at title favourites London Stars.

Ibrahim Gariba's U-14s never recovered from a 25-8 first period in east London, and after closer middle quarter were they were outscored by a combined 39-24, they went down 26-8 in the last ten minutes. Albert Dye led Wolves with 14, with Zac Butterworth adding 12.

It was an improved performance from the U-16 boys who lost by 43 when they visited Newham early in the season, and they shocked a visiting side who included four England players in the team by winning the first period 16-14. Youngbloods took control of the game in the second period, outscoring Wolves 23-11 to lead 37-27, and extended the lead to 57-43 at the final break before George Walker's team won the fourth quarter 17-13.

Otis Lau-Johnstone led the home side with 19 points, six steals and four assists, while Oscar Pawley had 12 points, five rebounds and three steals. Jayan Pishoarody missed a double-double by a single rebound, finishing with nine boards, while Ricky Amrania had nine points.     

It was more clear-cut in the girls game as Wolves never recovered from a 23-8 first period deficit. They reduced the arrears by a point to trail 40-26 at half-time but were outscored 19-6 and 25-6 in the final two quarters. Jane Yu led Wolves with 16 points, while Eunice Wong added ten.

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