Game Report: Outlaws U16 vs Nottingham Hoods
Saturday was always going to be a tough day at the office for the U16 Ilkeston Outlaws as we played the top team in the league – Nottm Hoods – who are currently unbeaten in the league and have racked up some serious points in the doing so.
The mantra for the game was doing the simple things well and looking after the ball, avoiding those costly turnovers.
Outlaws started well, attacking the Hoods defence with strong work inside, earning 3 trips top the line in the first 5 minutes, although still struggling to convert only making 2 of the 6 shots.. However great coordinated defence really contained Hoods who struggled to score in the same period. The continued offence pressure forced Hoods to repeatedly foul and with 5 minutes to go were in the penalty. Some better free throw shooting as we made 3 from 4 but a late 3 and a basket at the buzzer meant the end of qrt 1 Outlaws led 13 vs 12.
Hoods were quicker out of the blocks in the 2nd qrt and although the Outlaws defence remained strong inside we didn’t rotate fast enough to the outside shot, meaning the Hoods nailed a 3 and some long 2’s. After a time out and regroup we came out strong and scored 10 unanswered points to retake the lead. This was matched with some outstanding defence as we forced Hoods into numerous shot clock violations. End of the 1st half was 27 vs 26
The start of the 2nd half again saw Hoods again come out strong. Again 2 early 3’s helped push their score on but Outlaws stuck to the plan and continued to find space inside. The Hoods only answer was to foul and again with 4 minutes to go they were in foul trouble. We finished the qrt strong with a 5 pt unanswered run to leave the score at the end of the 3rd 39 vs 36.
As was no surprise the Hoods again started with intense pressure, quickly going on their own 5pt run to take the lead in the 4th minute. From then on both team traded baskets, although Outlaws restricted the Hoods to going to the line to earn their points. With 2 mins left the Hoods scored their first basket from open play since the start of the qrt and then promptly followed it up with a 3pt shot, earing them a 2pt lead. A quick reply from Outlaws drew the game level only for Hoods again to score giving them a 2pt lead in the last minute.
A strong drive in the last 30secs resulted in a foul being called, the basket was made but then the foul called on the floor!! For once Hoods weren’t in the penalty. We missed the shot from the inbound but then again turned the ball over from Hoods attack with some great defensive pressure forcing Hoods to foul. A quick time out and a play was drawn up giving us two decent options. We got an early shot which they rebounded although then turned over again. A final inbound gave us a long 2 to take the game in overtime but that missed and the final score was 48 vs 50.
It was a fantastic team effort again from the lads. Everyone played their part, giving it all and listening to instruction. We’ve now played all of the top teams in the league and haven’t looked out of place against any of them. None will be looking forward to the rematches knowing that we have already given them a tough run for their money.