Oaklands Wolves U-13 boys had a successful time at the Brentwood Fire U-13 Summer Series tournament on Saturday, as they finished second in the six team competition.
Four of their five games were played outside, and all nine players got plenty of court time as they finished with four victories.
hey faced London Elite U-14s in the opening game, and this proved to be their toughest test against a physically much bigger team, and despite ten points from Liam Schertel they went down 66-35 against a side who flew to Poland the following day for a European tournament.
The team went indoors for their second game, and they never looked back after a 21-8 first period as Kings Lynn were beaten 60-42. Zac Butterworth and Schertel each finished with 16 points.
Wolves returned to the playground at Billericay School for the third game, and a dominant first half paved the way for a 70-30 victory against the hosts. The visitors led 18-2 at the first break and effectively wrapped things up with a 20-4 second period .Tituoan Vimeux led Wolves with 14 points as all nine players got on the scoresheet.
Game four saw Wolves face a Kent Crusaders team who had a couple of players who will play for England South in the national team selection tournament, but they produced their best display of the day to win 49-42 In a tight game throughout, Wolves led 14-11 and extended it to 27-22 at half-time. Wolves were still ahead 35-32 at the final break but a good start to the fourth period saw Kent move ahead by a single point before a pair of baskets from Schertel and Vimeux - who each finished with 12 points - saw Oaklands pull away for the victory.
With second place in touching distance, Oaklands played a winless Hackney Wolves side in their final game, and after a lacklustre first period they wrapped up a 45-18 victory. Butterwoth - who was named in the tournament all-star team - and Eriko Brakalaci led a balanced scoring effort with eight points apiece.
Stand-in coach Dave Ryan was delighted with how his team performed: "I'm massively proud of the boys" he said. "We were the only team with no players who've played National League, so they way they stepped up was fantastic. It shows the work coach Ibrahim [Gariba] has done all season has been worthwhile. O I hope they learned a lot and those that are playing for us in the National League next year will reap the benefit.
"Fire should also be congratulated for such a great tournament."