The Thames Valley Kings Juniors had the long drive to Plymouth for their first round of Junior League against South Wales Fletchlings and South West Warriors on Saturday. The Under 18s Junior league consists of pools of 3 or 4 teams. Each team hosts one round of 3 games, involving 2 opposition teams. The top 8 teams will qualify for the ‘Elite 8’s’ e tournament to find the champions.
Kings first game was against South Wales Fletchings
The Fletchlings scored the first basket of the game but Kings got straight into their offense with baskets from Liam Barker, Charlie McIntyre, and Conal O’Donovan. Kings showed some great defense with Owen Pither working really hard and helping kings finish the quarter with a 22-8 lead. The 2nd quarter started in the same fashion with some great defense that allowed Corey Bloomfield, PJ O’Donovan, George Gray, and Maddie Martin to score their first points of the game. Henry Davies came on for Kings for his first ever competitive game and did a great job working with the team. Kings finished the half leading 52-14.
The 3rd quarter had plenty of baskets again with Gray, C.O’Donovan, and McIntyre adding to their tally. Bloomfield also scored 2 great baskets from outside the key that really got the crowd cheering. Kings lead at the end of the quarter 72-23. Kings went into the final quarter knowing that they were in complete control but continued with some great defense leaving Fletchlings with very little opportunities. With baskets from Barker, Gray and the O’Donovan brothers, Kings finished the game with a good win, 90-30.
Kings’ second game of the day saw them face the hosts, the South West Warriors.
Kings took an early 6 point lead with baskets from Barker, Gray and PJ O’Donovan and good defense from Martin and Davies. The rest of the quarter was end-to-end stuff and with McIntyre scoring his first points of the game and Gray adding to the score, kings finished the quarter with 14-8 lead. The 2nd quarter was even closer with both defenses playing well and making it difficult to score but Martin scored her first basket of the game and Gray adding to his total. The half came to a very exciting end as Barker scored a 3 pointer to beat the buzzer and take the kings in leading 25-20.
The 3rd quarter started as close as the 1st half with Bloomfield and McIntyre working well in defense but warriors went on a scoring run that saw them score 14 points without reply before Gray and Martin added to the score. The quarter finished with Warriors leading for the first time 40-32. The 4th quarter was tough for kings as fatigue set in, playing back to back 40-minute games is tough on even the most experienced players! Struggling to get back into the game, Warriors took advantage to build on their lead. Pither and C.O’Donovan came on to freshen up the lineup but it wasn’t to be for kings as Warriors won the game 58-37.
With two rounds remaining on March 2nd in Swansea and March 16th at the FBC Centre – The Kings junior league team will be looking to book their place at the Elite 8s competition with some huge performances.
British Wheelchair Basketball Lord Taverner’s Junior League Pool D
Thames Valley Kings 90-30 South Wales Fletchings
Thames Valley Kings 37-58 South West Warriors