A dominant performance on Saturday afternoons saw St Albans Wolves under-16 boys reach the National Cup quarter-final with an 84-62 home victory against Trafford Magic.
Despite being without coach Adam Pearce due to covid-19 and having two players test positive on the day of the game, Wolves led for virtually the whole game and will now host either Reading Rockets or Barking RDF in the last eight on Sunday December 5.
Will Andrews scored Wolves’ first six points in a tight start to the game , but with the score tied at 10 after six minute as Daniel Kostadinov hit a triple in a 16-0 run to close out the period, and Wolves never looked in trouble again.
Andrews closed out a second period which saw the hosts outscore Magic 14-11 to lead 40-21, and although Trafford opened the second half with a 10-4 run, they could only chip a point off the lead by the end of the third period as Wolves led 58-40 at the final break.
Kostadinov drained a second trey in a high-scoring fourth period as Wolves closed out the game with a 26-22 quarter.
Simon Patasin led the hosts’ scoring with 20, Ethan Downing adding 14 while both Andrews and Kostadinov had ten apiece.
Saturday’s first game saw a bizarre series of runs as the under-14 boys lost 66-48 against Ipswich.
The home side started with a 10-0 only to see Ipswich hit nine straight points. Wolves hit the final four points of the first period to lead 14-9 and then extended the run to 8-0 at the start of the second quarter before taking a 30-18 lead into the half-time break.
The third period proved to be a disaster, though, with leading scorer Jayden Harry suffer a blow to the head that ruled him out of the rest of the game, and by the final break Ipswich led 38-36 before they blew Wolves out with a 28-12 fourth quarter.
Kim Robinson led the way for Wolves with 12 points and five rebounds while Harry had nine points and four rebounds in his limited court time. Dusan Crompton had 12 boards to go with his eight points.
With Oaklands staging an antiques fayre, Sunday’s action was restricted to an under-15 girls friendly at Richmond U-16 II side, with Wolves finally getting a win at Waldegrave School with a 47-35 victory.
Wolves held the hosts scoreless in the opening seven minutes and raced into a 15-2 first period lead. That lead was trimmed to 21-11 with just over four second period minutes gone and Tor Freeman’s side were pegged back to 24-16 heading into the half-time break.
An increasingly bizarre set of refereeing decisions saw the hosts cut the lead to 28-22 midway through the third period and it was still a six point game at 35-29 going into the final break.
That lead grew to 42-35 before Lily Harkness fouled out with 3:15 but despite being joined on the bench by Caitlin Ryan after an “interesting” offensive foul, Wolves closed out the win by scoring the final five points of the game.
Ryan finished with 11 points and six boards, while Mila Skipic-Piscitelli’s seven points included a buzzer-beating triple at the end of the first period. Stella Ekblad-Piscitelli’s and Zoe Gollop each added six points as nine of the ten Wolves got on the scoresheet.