Basketball: Soaraway start for York Eagles

Dave Smith

Dave Smith

First published in Sport

TWO rip-roaring wins were produced by York Eagles’ basketball teams to get 2014 off to a soaraway start.

The under-15s posted their biggest win of the season with a 124-32 rout of Rotherham, while the U14s lashed hosts Leeds 81-26.

After an initial slow start to the U15s’ clash, York were inspired by county ace Tom Flatters who, promoted from the U14s, notched 12 points in the opening quarter.

The next quarter saw York’s largest points total at 36 with no fewer than nine of the 12 players on the scoresheet. There were good contributions from Will Hughes, Tim Craven and John Derbyshire.

The second half belonged to the Thorpedoes – brothers Kieran Thorpe, who accumulated 11 points in the third quarter, and Dominic Thorpe with six points.

Hughes also added to his tally to take him to a leading mark of 29 points to be crowned joint man of the match alongside Kieran Thorpe.

Overall, coach Dave Smith said it was a hugely encouraging performance given they were missing key player Harry Jowett Spring and they also fielded four U14 players.

He added: “The real positive from the game was the excellent play of John Derbyshire and the Thorpedoes – maybe Kieran should pinch himself after seeing 11 third-quarter points behind his name.

“This should give the U15s a big boost as they have some tougher opponents waiting and they need to have a positive attitude along with their undoubted skills.”

Everyone was on the scoresheet for the U14s at Leeds Carnegie, who with county coach Alex Atkinson in tow, were expected to provide tough opposition.

But from the outset York were in total command.

In the first quarter, they conceded only two points while York were quickly 30-2 ahead.

CJ Charlesworth and Tom Flatters both led the scoring in the first half and either as forwards or guards dominated scoring 19 of the 36 points total.

York got into their stride after half- time and enjoyed a big third quarter by Rory Thompson with eight points and a return to mean and lean defence in which Leeds were limited to a mere four points.

A little relaxation in the last quarter left Leeds with a few more points but a Charlie Cullen miracle shot to finish was reward for York’s hard work. Flatters and C J Charlesworth were the joint men of the match winners. Explained Smith: “These two special players often get ignored as they are so consistent.

“However, Tom and CJ did well defensively with their help, offensively scoring and getting assists and of course staying out of foul problems.”

The U14s now have three outings in which to ready themselves for a quartet of crunch encounters – twice against Cheshire and one apiece against Bradford and Stockport.

“We had everyone on the scoresheet and players such as Emilio Bortone, Joe Henderson and Charlie Cullen all got going with some confidence-building performances,” added the coach.

“The key area to improve upon is offensive movement.”

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