Great Yarmouth basketball team regroup after torrid first quarter

Great Yarmouth's U17 basketball team face the camera. Picture: James Long

Great Yarmouth's U17 basketball team face the camera. Picture: James Long - Credit: Archant

For the final three quarters of their fixture against Basketball in the Community at Dereham Leisure Centre Great Yarmouth stayed toe-to-toe with their opponents, each scoring 30 points.

Unfortunately for coach Tom Allard, the damage was done at the start when a well-drilled home team came racing out of the blocks to take a commanding 26-3 lead as they went on to win 56-33.

BBitC were rampant from the opening tip, with their pace and movement too much for a shell-shocked Yarmouth to contain. T Wilkinson scored 13 of his game-high 23 points in the quarter whilst A Williams posted 11 and finished the game with 17. Great Yarmouth were clearly rattled and struggled to maintain possession.

At the start of the second quarter Allard switched his side to a zone defensive scheme, whilst Norfolk Junior League rules restricted BBitC to playing half-court defence due to their big lead. The changes finally allowed Yarmouth to use their size advantage to compete on defence, while granting more freedom to bring the ball up court and set-up their offense.

Toby Biglin and Oliver Ryan were the immediate beneficiaries. Biglin scored five points in the second quarter, finishing with a team-high 11 to go alongside seven rebounds. Ryan (8) repeatedly found himself open on fast break opportunities, scoring four in the quarter.

With BBitC ahead 36-12 at half-time and the game effectively over, Yarmouth relaxed into the third quarter and won the period 13-10 behind a strong showing from Ryan, Biglin and captain Max Braddick. Braddick stroked home a three-pointer and finished with seven points and seven rebounds.

In the final quarter Allard turned the game over to his bench players. Guard Andi Doksani scored from three-point range while Aref Shafiei showed some great post-work, both finishing with three points.

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The game proved a difficult encounter for Yarmouth’s guards who couldn’t find their shooting form but Allard can take positives from the fact that the quintet of Jack Orchard, Tyler Brown, Danny Aldred, Archie Mutch and new player Jakub Winiarski all found other ways to contribute.

Allard said: “It’s a development process for us, and today was another good learning experience. Hopefully we can build off those experiences and come back better and stronger next time.”