Two close encounters produce mixed fortunes for Outlaws

Ilkeston Outlaws under-18s had two games in three days over the weekend, and both ended with very little between them and their opponents.

Ilkeston Outlaws U18 74 
Leicester Sparks 71

The first game of the double-header was on Thursday when a re-arranged fixture brought Leicester Sparks to Ilkeston.

Leicester came out fighting and their fast break left Outlaws trailing by seven points at the end of the first, 19-26.

Outlaws needed to stop Leicester from penetrating to basket which they did, winning the second period 18 -7 and putting themselves 37-33 up at half-time.

Outlaws drew the third period 16-16, so there was everything to play for in the fourth.

Outlaws started it well by taking a small lead, and although Leicester went ahead in the fifth minute they soon found themselves in foul trouble.

Outlaws took full advantage of this and drove to basket. Outlaws got three Leicester players fouled out and had 12 free throws in the last minute, scoring only three points from them but winning the game by that amount of points.

Blaze Edwards was named as Outlaws’ player of the match.

Derby Trailblazers 66 
Ilkeston Outlaws U18 64

Ilkeston then travelled to face Derby Trailblazers on Saturday.

Outlaws were in fighting form and started well, winning the first period 17-10 as great pressure man-to-man through the first-half got Derby into real problems.

Outlaws only won the second period by two points and that kept the pressure on the home team. Half time, 23-32.

Derby knew they had to start the second-half well to stand any chance of staying in the game.

However, Outlaws lost their way a little.

Derby took the third period 28-15, but Outlaws were still in touch, only being down by four points.

Going into the last period the game came down to the final minute and Outlaws had a shot to draw the game but missed.

Derby then made them pay by scoring in the last five seconds to run out winners by just two points.

But it had been a great display by Outlaws against a good Derby side.

Players and coaches voted for Chip Humphreys as Outlaws’ player of the match.