Mansfield Giants Basketball Club’s U13 team had a tough weekend of back-to-back away games, in which a win on Sunday against Northamptonshire Titans, moved them up to fifth spot in their respective league.
On Saturday they travelled to play City of Birmingham, in which they competed well in three out of the four quarters.
A second quarter blip saw Birmingham take a lead, which Giants struggled to chip away at for the remainder of the match, as the game ended 62-39 to City of Birmingham.
Sunday’s game saw a ‘learn from yesterday and move forward approach’, despite Giants struggling with a number of players unavailable due to illness and personal commitments.
The emphasis was to turn the ball over less and convert baskets through team play, and it worked.
Giants took the lead on numerous occasions, by up to 14 points, throughout the game, with Titans coming back at them as many of the Giants players began to get in foul trouble.
All of the Giants’ baskets came from great team defence and moving the ball well as a team to find the open player.
In a very close last minute Giants stuck together as a team and finished the game on a high with a 62-56 win.
A great performance from Giants’ U14s saw them beat local rivals Derby Trailblazers 68-45 to move up to third in the league table.
The team, who have been working hard all season, have dug deep to beat some of the top teams in the country, and Saturday’s outstanding performance was no different.
Giants started the game as they meant to go on, forcing Derby to turn the ball over to capitalise with fast breaks.
The team played some solid team defence, forcing Derby to make some tough shots, but took an early lead, going 19-6 up in the first quarter.
The Trailblazers came out fighting, moving the ball well, to pull Giants out of position and get some easy lay-ups, pulling back the scoreline to 41-23 at half-time.
It was in the second half that Giants took control of the game, with coach Alex Hook rotating the fives on court and implementing plays to precision.
Coach Hook said: “It’s great to see the hard work the boys have been putting in paying off on court.
“They’ve learnt a lot this year about teamwork and trust and it’s really improved their game.”
This weekend will see Giants’ U13s play Notts Nova, tip at 12.30pm.
Both Giants’ senior men and women are also in action on Saturday at Oak Tree Leisure Centre.
The women will take on Sefton Starlights at 4pm, while Giants’ men will play local rivals Derbyshire Arrows at 6pm.
Discounted admission available with the voucher in this week’s Chad newspaper.