Ilkeston Outlaws U16s welcomed Shropshire Warriors to Broomfield College on Saturday and put in a fine display to run out 73-66 winners.
Outlaws expected a tough encounter having won by just two points in the return fixture in Shropshire earlier this season, a buzzer shot by Jack Batty the difference on that occasion.
This time, Outlaws started well, taking a 10 to 2 lead, but then seemed to stop playing somewhat allowing Warriors to fight back and take the first quarter 14 points to 11.
Ilkeston started the second quarter equally as slow but the game was kept alive by Sam Ringer driving to basket and Alex Wolverson grabbing a couple of boards and put backs.
Outlaws finished off the second quarter again losing 14 points to 20.
This meant Ilkeston had a battle to fight, down by nine points going into the third and with plenty of advice and encouragement dished out by the coaches during the half-time break.
Outlaws came out in the third and started to press on defence, with Ringer and Ethan Roberts starting to drive to basket more which pulled the Warriors defence about.
Tiago Geraldo had a sterling quarter on the boards. The latter part of the third quarter saw a change of tactics with only one big player being on court and four guards - Dan Town, Batty, Ringer and Roberts who was playing a big man position - and this increased speed and tenacity in the third and saw Outlaws manage to win the quarter 21 points to 17, meaning they were now only five points behind.
The five players remained on court at the start of the fourth and the tempo continued with Batty popping in a fine two pointer.
A short time into the fourth and fresh were legs required so a swap of Town and Batty for Aaron Shepherd and Dan Surgay took place to keep the pressure on.
Outlaws then saw points scored from all the players on court although Surgay could have scored a lot more had he enjoyed more luck from the free throw line.
Going into the final two minutes Outlaws were ahead but needed to ensure they were getting to the rebounds as Warriors now had three big men on the court.
Callum Miller came on for Shepherd and the lads on court showed some good sense and ran the clock down when possible and passed it around well as Warriors were fouling to put Outlaws on the line and stop the clock.
Ultimately, Ilkeston kept the lead and ran out winners at 73 to 66.
Coach Darren Roberts said: “This was a fantastic full team effort in the second-half with everyone contributing to the defence.
“Without doubt though the most valuable player in the match was Sam Ringer who had a fantastic game.”
The Ilkeston scorers were: Sam Ringer 29, Ethan Roberts 10, Tiago Geraldo 8, Aaron Shepherd 7, Dan Surgay 7, Alex Wolverson 4, Callum Miller 4, Jack Batty 2. Oli Ball and Dan Town also contributed well without scoring.