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Wolves lift New Year's Trophy

Wolves U-14 boys started 2023 with a bang as they won a four-team tournament at Oaklands on January 2nd.

Jack Rankin's side destroyed Braintree Blue Devils 67-13 in the semi-final before a strong second half saw them defeat South-East Premier rivals Kent Crusaders 52-36.

Stand-in coach Ian Johnston was able to give all of his 12-man roster - which included three non-NBL players - plenty of court time in game one as Wolves never looked back following a 21-0 first period. That lead grew to 45-4 at half-time before Wolves outscored the visitors 16-3 in the third period and then shared 12 points in a low-scoring fourth quarter.

Jacob Edrupt, Oliver Thomas and Darrell Deyankeson led a balanced scoring effort with eight points apiece with Ricky Amrania adding seven.

Rankin returned for the final and it proved to be a tougher match-up as Wolves trailed 12-8 at the first break. But the loss of Kent's centre proved key as the hosts led 21-20 at half-time and took that lead out to 37-26 at the final break before wrapping things up with a 15-10 final period.

Max Plagermon led Wolves with 15 points, Deyankeson adding ten and Otis Johnston eight.

Wolves U-16 boys had to settle for second place in their tournament as a second half collapse against Brentwood Fire in the final cost them dearly.

Adam Pearce's team also faced Braintree in the semi-final and were ruthless as they defeated them 96-12 in the 32-minute game.

Despite resting their top three scorers, Wolves blasted into a 26-5 first period lead and it was all over at 46-8 going into the half-time break. A 28-4 third period made it a 52-point game at the final break before they held the visitors scoreless in the last period while pouring in 22 points.

Scott Robson-Smith led the way with 18 points while Alex Riley added 16 points and five boards. Camron Turner finished with 12 points, five boards and three assists, with John Brooks also finishing in double figures with ten points.

The final was a disappointment for the hosts as they started well but a barrage of threes from Fire saw them run out 62-51 winners. Milic Pavic and Daniel Kostadinov each finished with 11 points, with the former adding four assists, while Lanre Pratt finished with eight points and as many rebounds.

The day's action had started with the Glencar Cup, a U-14 girls 3x3 competition that saw six Wolves teams (three from each of the U-14 and U-13 squads) together with two sides from Ipswich play two hours of high-intensity basketball.

The Wolves teams were named after WNBA clubs, with "Lynx" consisting of Sophie Walsh, Chloe Chan and Yasmin Murphy losing 8-4 in the final against Ipswich A., while "Sun" finished fourth after losing the bronze game against Ipswich B.

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