KINGS Junior team were in action at Stanmore to play London Titans and Aylesbury aces in the second round of Lord Taveners Junior League as the next step towards the prestigious Elite 8s Competition.
Kings faced London Titans first and with the teams being so evenly matched it had the potential to be a great game, Kings found baskets through Charlie McIntyre, Liam Barker, and George Gray to take a 25-17 lead at the end of the first half.
The first offenses from both teams took the form of a moving tribute to basketball great, Kobe Bryant as Kings ran out the 24-second shot clock while Titans ran out an 8-second violation in honor of Kobe’s Jersey Numbers 8 and 24.
Titans started to find their rhythm scoring in the second half as they hacked slowly away at Kings first-half lead in a very evenly matched and exciting in counter, PJ O’Donovan also adding this name to the score sheet in this half. The end of the match saw Kings entering foul trouble which unfortunately was their undoing as London Titans pipped the game by 2 points in the last few minutes. 46-44.
The second game saw Kings take on Aces, Kings resting some key players to give some younger juniors the chance to play. This game also evenly matched with both teams taking their opportunities at the basket – the game went into half time with the scores level at 18 all. Corey Bloomfield, Charlie McIntyre, and Yassmine Ibesaine all finding the basket for Kings.
The third quarter was still an even affair with Conal O’Donovan finding form for Kings alongside Bloomfield, but it was Aces who took the single point lead going into the final quarter 27-26. The 4th quarter saw Kings start to find better form and they kept up a good tempo to their game especially towards the close with baskets from George Grey and Liam Barker to push Kings past the finishing post to victory. Kings won the game 43-36.
With four of the six qualification matches now complete, all eyes will be on the final round on February 29th hosted by Kings to see who will qualify for the Elite 8s completion.