Ilkeston Outlaws U18 51
QE York 62
Ilkeston’s new under-18 team, with no returnees from last season, opened their season at their new home of Broomfield College in Morley on Sunday.
For a variety of reasons Ilkeston only fielded six players, an immediate disadvantage and the debutants approached the game under prepared and with some apprehension.
QE York had the best of the opening exchanges and although they missed two free throws they connected with two field goals from Yang and X Chen, who would be a problem all afternoon for Ilkeston.
Ronan Grundy got Outlaws’ first point of the season with one of two free throws, while Chen scored again and point guard Blaise Brown replied with one from the free throw line.
Chung and Chen combined for six unanswered points from the visitors and things looked ominous for Ilkeston but Brown hit with a driving floater to make it 11-6 to York.
Ilkeston then made six of 12 three throws that came as a result of the visitors reaching the four team foul mark, when every foul thereafter would present Ilkeston with two free throws.
York then scored one free throw and a field goal to lead 12-11 at the end of the first period.
Ilkeston used the foul situation smartly but could only nail nine of their 21 free throws in the quarter.
Ilkeston were already beginning to tire but hung on for the first five minutes to be down just 15-20. Chen was unstoppable in this period scoring ten points. Brown and then Charlie McNamee replied and Grundy hit back to back jumpers. The troublesome Chen scored another and the teams went to half time 28-21 to York.
Ilkeston were beginning to feel the pace and went out in the third quarter with instructions to control the tempo, slow the game down and run each offence up to the 24 second maximum.
Initially they failed to follow that instruction but McNamee and Brown quickly added four points.
It then went basket for basket for most of the third with a 3 pointer from Ryan Mainprize the highlight.
Outlaws did slow the game very well and with more points from McNamee and Brown and with great defence from all the team, especially Liam Hefford they stayed in touch 32-44 losing the quarter 11-16. Missed free throws were again their downfall.
Although exhausted coming into the final period Ilkeston determined they would run the ball and pick up the defensive efforts.
York put another four points on the board, the Chen/Cheung double act again, but McNamee responded with a short corner jumper and a baseline drive.
Grundy converted the bonus free throw to get to 50 -41 and an unlikely win seemed possible, but Chen and Cheung continued their spree to see York home, despite good late efforts from Walker and Mainprize that helped Ilkeston win the last quarter 19-18.