Wolves again provided the core of the Herts County team as they took the silver medal at the East Region U-17 Tournament, on Saturday.
Lily Harkness and Caitlin Ryan together with sisters Tiffany and Paris Mitchell-Tyson stepped up after winning last week’s U-15 competition and produced another fine performance at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.
They were joined by former Wolves team-mate Grace Clark and four players who don’t play National League basketball as Herts fielded a young side with no Year 12 players.
Albert Ziwa’s team faced arguably the toughest schedule, sitting out the first game before playing four matches, with their final three opponents having been the team sitting out immediately before playing them. With Bedfordshire failing to enter a team, the five counties played the competition on a league basis, with seven minute running clock quarters.
Herts started well, dominating against an equally young Essex team as they ran out 35-18 winners, with Harkness and Ryan scoring all of their team’s 19 first half points.
Captain Ryan led all scorers with 15 points, adding three rebounds, with Harkness adding eight points while Tiffany Mitchell-Tyson had six boards to go with her three assists and two points.
The second game proved to be a war of attrition against Cambridgeshire as Herts went down 31-29 in sudden death overtime after the sides were tied after regulation time and a single two minutes additional period.
In a game that saw Harkness, Ryan and Tiffany Mitchell-Tyson foul out before the end of normal time, both teams missed free-throws that would have given them victory before a fastbreak eventually saw Cambridgeshire emerge victorious.
Clark led Herts’ scoring with seven points to go with her four rebounds while Harkness and Ryan had six and five boards respectively along with four points each.
There was no respite for Herts as they immediately returned to the court to face hosts Norfolk and won a close game 37-34.
Herts led for virtually all of the game without being able to pull away, with Ryan and Harkness leading the way with eight points apiece – the former adding ten rebounds and three steals.
The final game of an exhausting morning saw Herts face a Suffolk side comprising of the core of the Ipswich under-16 East League winning side and several academy players.
The game was predictably dominated by the Suffolk side as they rushed into a 10-0 lead and they collected their fourth win of the competition, 40-22. With Norfolk beating Cambridgeshire on the other court, Herts knew that avoiding a 30+ point loss, and they managed to limit the damage to collect the silver medal.
Harkness led the scoring with six, Ryan added four points and five rebounds with Paris Mitchell-Tyson also scoring four points.
Bill Irving was the only Wolves player involved with Herts under-17s as they finished third in the afternoon’s action.
Their opening game saw them edged out 48-45 by eventual champions Essex before they recovered to hammer Bedfordshire 36-8 in their final pool game.
That was enough to put them in the bronze medal game where they defeated Cambridgeshire 42-35 to take third place.