Basketball Wales National League – Post Game Reports by BWNL Chief Reporter – Omer Hagomer

Match Report: Mold Magic vs RCT Gladiators Sunday 26/11/23

RCT Gladiators take a hard-fought win on the road against Mold Magic [Magic 72 – 88 Gladiators].

After two minutes of play, L. Roberts wasted no time and got the scoreboard ticking by draining a phenomenal 3-pointer for the Gladiators. Both teams exchanged baskets, but R. Williams found the space to sink anotherfantastic 3-pointer for the Gladiators.

The two sides were tied on many occasions heading into the second quarter, and the spirit of competition was running rampant. Both teams committed fouls and secured points from the free throw line, they also made changes to their lineups to adjust their gameplans. RCT Gladiators managed to hold onto a 3-point lead at the end of the first quarter. [Magic 18 – 21 Gladiators]

For Mold Magic, D. Evans and J. Fernandez Garcia played a pivotal role in the second quarter. They were both navigating through the defence with confidence and converting wonderful layups. R. Williams and O. Williams stepped up on the Gladiators side and made the effort to build up a healthy lead.

Heading into half-time the Gladiators called for a timeout, they were up by 5 points. P. Gonzalez came back from the timeout with a positive attitude, scoring an impressive 3 pointer to make it a one basket game. The two sides made transactions in the form of mid-range shots to break away, but it was J. Fernandez Garcia that ended the quarter with an outrageous 3-pointer to give the Magicians a 1-point lead. [Magic 42 – 41 Gladiators].

R. Willaims became a 3-pointers scoring machine in the third quarter, ending the game with 7 overall and scoring every shot at will. Mold Magic were feeling the pressure and called for a timeout to regroup. Once again, the two squads made substitutions to gain the upper hand.Nonetheless, the Gladiators found creative ways to wrestle their way into the key and score more points, they were heading into the last quarter with a somewhat comfortable lead. [ Magic 57 – 71 Gladiators].

Mold Magic and RCT Gladiators made more rotations in the fourth quarter. Although, fatigue was setting in for the Magicians, the Gladiators were hitting their stride. Mold Magic called for two timeouts to foster comebacks;the game seemed like it was going down to the wire at many points. 

However, it was R. Williams and O. Williams who came through with remarkable performances for RCT Gladiators, finishing the game with 36 points and 28 points respectively. Similar to Cardiff Met Archers, the Gladiators remain undefeated after a well-earned victory over the Magicians. [Magic 72 – 88 Gladiators].

Match Report: YNYS Mon Celts vs Cardiff Met Archers Sunday 26/11/2023

Cardiff Met Archers claim an undeniable victory on the road against YNYS Mon Celts [Celts 62 – 111 Archers].

The Celts won the tip off, but Archers quickly displayed defensive dominance. Both sides were extra assertive and attempted to take the lead in the first quarter. Ioan Nickson was outstanding from the mid-range straight away, as Cardiff Met Archers led by 5 points after three minutes of play. Meanwhile, Dan Flaherty and Patrick Fairburn also traded 3-pointers for their teams.

The intensity was paramount at Holyhead Leisure Centre, players committed fouls at both ends of the floor. The Celts benefited by collecting a few points from the free throw line. Nevertheless, Archers were making every shot count, Georgi Lokmadzhiev and Drew Lajocies closed the first quarter with two points each and Archers led by 14 points heading into the second quarter. Celts 4 – 18 Archers.

Archers and Celts made plenty of substitutions throughout the game, especially in the second quarter. YNYS Mon Celts kept fighting valiantly and scored some baskets under pressure. However, Cardiff Met Archers were hell-bent on stretching their lead even further. Kobe Griffiths nailed an exciting 3-pointer to elevate moral for the Celts, but Stefan Rosier responded with one of his own to derail the comeback. Heading into half-time. Celts 17 – 34 Archers.

Despite an incredible performance from Niall Williams in the two remaining quarters, Lajocies and Nickson were lighting up the basket on offense for Archers. Willaims finished the game with 21 points, while Lajocies and Nickson left the court with 27 and 25 points respectively. The Game delivered three MVP performances.

Archers were focused on defence and shared the ball effectively; their lead was becoming insurmountable. Whereas the Celts were looking for a Hail-Mary from the mid-range and the three-point line. As time went on, the Celts were exasperated defensively and offensively, they could not make the most out a few fast breaks, which led to Archers taking a truly decisive win. Celts 62 – 111 Archers.

Match Report: Cardiff Tribal Hunters vs Kenfig Cougars 19/11/2023

The Hunters decimated the Cougars at St David’s College to secure their second winof the season [Hunters 91 – 68 Cougars].

It seemed like the Hunters had a point to prove from the get-go, they led by 11 points after 1 minute of play. R. Davies was motivated despite the early onslaught; he scored two consecutive 3-pointers to reduce the deficit to 5 points.

Both teams made a few substitutions and continued to battle for control over the flow of the game. A great deal of physicality was on display as the two clubs drew fouls and collected easy points from the free throw line. The Cougars trailed by 16 points at the end of the first quarter despite a gutsy comeback. [Hunters 49 – 33 Cougars].

The Tribal Hunters showcased a true team performance in the second quarter, they moved the ball well toexecute pick & rolls and screenshots. R. Davies once again responded with a terrific 3-pointer to uplift the Cougars. Defensively the Hunters were pressing, they benefited from some turnovers and scored many points on the fast break.

Kenfig Cougars were trying their best to make accurate passes, they managed to score a few baskets in transition. E. Hall, J. Parfitt, and C. Whitney-Embleton were fighting tooth and nail to close the gap. However, the Hunters were firing on all cylinders, every player on court contributed to a substantial lead at half-time. [Hunters 70 – 47 Cougars].

Both sides made plenty of changes to their lineups throughout the game and Paul Farrelly scored a statement making 3-pointer for the Hunters to open the third quarter. As time went on, the physicality was taken to a whole different level, but the multitalented ShaquilleLivingston was sharp from the free throw line, converting 70% of the shots for Cardiff Tribal Hunters.

Eli Andam cemented himself as a megastar with a phenomenal performance for the Tribal Hunters, Andam scored 26 points against Kenfig Cougars, including two spectacular 3-pointers.

The crowd at St David’s College witnessed an eventful underdog story as the Cougars remained unwavering in the last quarter. Nonetheless, it was a defensive masterclass from the Hunters, the home field advantage meant that they knew every inch of the floor quite well and protected the key areas accordingly, they also used offensive and defensive rebounds to their advantage. The Tribal Hunters took a conclusive win and Kenfig Cougars will live to fight another day. [Hunters 91 – 68Cougars].

Hunters – KC Ganga (4), Justas Jodkevicius (16), Shaquille Livingston (11), Ali Kurhan (4), Manny Idowu (4), Jon Morris (4), Eli Andam (26), Paul Farrelly (10), Sid Khan (9), Tyler Peterson (3).

Cougars – J. Long (5), C. Sweeny (7), C. Whitney-Embleton (11), J. Parfitt (11), R. Davies (11), T. Swindley (5), A. Jones (5), E. Hall (13).

Match Report: West Coast Warriors vs Caerphilly Cobras 12/11/2023

Caerphilly Cobras are back on track after a resourceful victory over the West CoastWarriors [Warriors 58 – 67 Cobras].

Caerphilly Cobras won the tip-off, but the West Coast Warriors recovered competently on defence. The first quarter showcased how well the two teams know one another, as each basket was met with a response, mostly from the mid-range and the 45-degree angle.

J. Parfitt gained the upper hand for the cobras by draining a fantastic 3-pointer. The game was heating up as both teams committed a series of fouls heading into the second quarter.  [Warriors 14 – 18 Cobras].

The warriors utilised layups, pick & rolls, and screenshots to take a minor lead, yet S. Sigsworth placed Cobras ahead once again with a textbook 3-pointer. The Cobras made a couple of substitutions, they were rapid on the fast break and maintained the advantage heading into half-time. [Warriors 27 – 36Cobras].

In the third quarter, the comeback was on, the West Coast Warriors lived up to their name and benefited from the crowd support at Plascrug Leisure Centre to take a 1-point lead. However, they were unable to collect easy points from the free throw line. On the other hand, the Cobras remained composed and stuck to their gameplan. 

Lucca Serra-Thapa displayed great resilience and scored a highly contested 3-pointer for the Warriors, butJ. Parfitt answered back with one of his own for Caerphilly Cobras. Both sides exchanged baskets and made changes to their squads heading into the final quarter. Despite the comeback, the Cobras maintained a 3-point lead. [Warriors 47 – 50 Cobras].

Both teams experimented with different lineups in the fourth quarter as they approached foul trouble territory. The Warriors would not give up, they were moving with purpose and closed the gap on many occasions. Alan Gbel was instrumental on both sides of the court for the Warriors, he truly delivered an MVP performance.

Nevertheless, it was another unbelievable 3-pointer that rejuvenated Caerphilly Cobras, this time from T. Parfitt. The Cobras continued to be methodical and perfected their offense to earn their first win of the season.[Warriors 58 – 67 Cobras].

Cobras – A. Penman (4), R. Davies (2), T. Parfitt (19), J. Parfitt (18), O. Bridle (2), Leenhouts (3), Bergmanski (14), Sigsworth (5).

Warriors – Dan Henchie-Jones (12), Lucca Serra-Thapa (7), Alan Gbel (15), Alex Hammel (4), Alistair Gardner-Smith (10), Player Thomas (4), Matthew Ferreyhough (6).

Match Report: Swansea Storm vs Mold Magic 11/11/2023

The Storm conquered the Magicians at LC Swansea to secure their first league win [Storm 90 – 60 Magic].

Mold Magic won the first possession. However, Swansea Storm closed the key on defence, the Storm did not waste any time on offense and took the lead early with mid-range shots. The Magicians struggled to convert, yet they were able to draw fouls expertly and joined the scoreboard from the free throw line. 

Kusu Orkar and O. Gajewski scored miraculous 3-pointers for the Storm to retaliate but D. Evans responded by scoring one of his own. Halfway through the first quarter, the Storm led by 4 points and the Magicians made some changes to their squad.

Both teams exchanged baskets, but Swansea Storm held onto a 6-point lead and called for a timeout heading into the second quarter. Mold Magic made more substitutions, as B. Akad ended the first quarter with a feisty layup in transition. Storm 17 – 11 Magic.

Gajewski was on fire, he opened the second quarter with two 3-pointers in a row, Orkar scored one of his own shortly after to extend the lead for the Storm. The Magicians were relying on fast breaks to close the gap, although, their passes needed to be more accurate.

Mold Magic were getting frustrated; they called for a timeout and made some rotations. In contrast, the Storm used a strategy from the Magic playbook, they began drawing fouls and earned more points from the free throw line. George Spencer nailed an amazing 3-pointerthat brought the crowd at LC Swansea to their feet. The deficit was getting out of hand for the Magicians and both sides made plenty of substitutions heading into half-time. Storm 45 – 22 Magic.

The third quarter was the most aggressive by far, both teams showed grit and resolve. The Magicians focused on their passes and made a short-lived comeback. The two clubs made more changes to their line-ups, they traded points through layups, fouls, and mid-range shots. Heading into the last quarter, Tom Nightingale entered the 3-pointers club which prompted Mold Magic to call for a final timeout. Gajewski was in it to win it, he saw an opening and ended the quarter with yet another 3-pointer. Storm 70 – 38 Magic.

Both teams approached foul trouble territory and the fourth quarter saw more shakeups in terms of line-ups, the Storm scored more 3-pointers to stretch their lead, but S. Bentley replied with one of his own, to prove that the Magicians were still in the fight. Nonetheless, the Storm played a great defensive game which translated to good offense, they earned an assertive victory over Mold Magic. Storm 90 – 60 Magic.

Storm – O. Gajewski (21), Charles Potter (9), George Spencer (3), Jacob Whitehorse (4), Kusu Orkar (18), Tom Nightingale (5), Adam Gomme (14), Connor Larmond (16).

Magic – R. Morgan (2), D. Durham (4), D. Evans (15), A. Duppa (7), S. Bentley (3), B. Akad (5), M. Durham (2), G. Shaw (2), J. Loste (12), G. Greenhough (8).

Omer Hagomer – BWNL Reporter

Match Report: Caerphilly Cobras vs RCT Gladiators Saturday 28th October 2023

RCT Gladiators slammed Caerphilly Cobras to score a statement victory at Abervalley YMCA [Cobras 67 – 93 Gladiators].

Caerphilly Cobras won the first possession, but RCT Gladiators used their height advantage to block passes and scored on the fast break. The Cobras struggled to convert early on because the Gladiators showcased high defensive IQ.

Cobras moved the ball well on offense and scored some opportune layups. Conversely, the Gladiators were speedy in transition and maintained a minor lead. Heading into the second quarter, A. Mayne scored a fantastic 3-pointer for Cobras to make it a one-point game.

O. Williams responded by scoring two 3-pointers in quick succession as the Gladiators controlled the flow of the game and got back to a healthy lead. It looked like the Gladiators were competing for the title of Mr. 3-Pointers as R. Williams scored a highly contested one. Cobras were feeling the heat, they called for a timeout and both teams made a few substitutions. At the end of the first quarter. Cobras 16 – Gladiators 27.

To add insult to injury, L. Williams opened the second quarter with yet another excellent 3-pointer. The Cobras were rallying for a comeback, the nets were almost like clouds raining, you guessed it, three-pointers. Both teams fought to get the upper hand and approaching half-time the two clubs made some changes due to foul trouble. Gladiators were able to hold onto a significant lead. Cobras 33 – 57 Gladiators.

The third quarter told a very similar story, Caerphilly Cobras were desperate, and the two sides traded 3-pointers once again. The Gladiators were exceptional at collecting rebounds and boxing out, while the Cobras focused on drawing fouls and using long-range shots to stay within touching distance of the Gladiators. Cobras 48 – 72 Gladiators.

Cobras and Gladiators made plenty of changes to their respective squads heading into the final quarter, but it was RCT Gladiators who made the journey worthwhile. They used their speed, size, and defensive prowess to gain a commanding victory. Cobras 67 – 93 Gladiators.

Gladiators – N. Ceasar (7), R. Williams (18), L. Willaims (22), O. Williams (24), C. Price (6), D. Price (3), D. Ofasi (7), T. Berry (6).

Cobras – O. Bridle (2), R. Davies (3), D. Hale (10), A. Mayne (8), J. Parfitt (18), T. Parfitt (6), A. Penman (17), F. Williams (3).

Match Report: Kenfig Cougars vs Cardiff Met Archers Sunday 29th October 2023

Kenfig Cougars won the tip off, but they were met with solid defence from Cardiff Met Archers. Drew Lajocies declared the scoreboard open with an effortless 3-pointer and Ioan Nickson added 2 points for a 5 points lead. S. Bunyan responded with a 3-pointer of his own as Cougars were attempting to halt the momentum of Archers early on.

Lajocies was fouled and made Cougars pay with 2/2 from the free throw line. Meanwhile, the Cougars were getting frustrated at their own turf, as James Dawe scored 2 consecutive 3-pointers for Archers.

Halfway through the first quarter, Swindley and Bunyan weathered the storm and kept pushing forward. That led to Cougars scoring a couple of points in transition, but they called for a timeout to regroup.

Gary Brown and Will Reichelt subbed in for Archers to give Marc Moral and Lajocies some rest. D. Tully replaced A Parry-Jones on the Cougars side. Bunyan and Swindley were committed to close the gap, yet Reichelt was able to add 2 points to his name on the scoresheet.

Both teams exchanged baskets from Long-range heading into the second quarter. With only a few minutes remaining, R. Davies made it a 2-point game. Dawe and Nickson responded immediately with a couple of points. Both teams made a few substitutions at the end of the quarter and Reichelt had the final say once again with 2 points. Cougars 24 – 32 Archers.

Cardiff Met Archers started the second quarter with a frenzy of baskets, as Georgi Lokmadzhiev, Gary Brown, and Lajocies converted, and Eddie Kizito replaced Reichelt. Kenfig Cougars were approaching foul trouble territory, ill-advisedly for them, as Moral and Lokmadzhiev were sharp from the free throw line.

Lajocies was aiming for an all-star performance after draining multiple three pointers. Both teams made a few substitutions, J. Parfitt stepped on the court with one goal in mind, giving Cougars the advantage. Parfitt scored 18 points heading into half-time. Nonetheless, Archers held onto the lead. Cougars 51 – 60 Archers.

The deadly trio of Lajocies, Gareth Williams, and Moral could not be denied in the third quarter. E. Hall and J. Long stepped up and attempted to save the game for the Cougars but Kenfig Comprehensive witnessed an outstanding amount of 3-pointers from the Archers.

Cougars called for a timeout halfway through the quarter and made some changes to their squad due to foul trouble. Archers adjusted accordingly and made some changes as well. Swindley was back to score more points, but the deficit was getting out of hand. Cougars 67 – 95 Archers.

The Cougars were not converting from the free throw line in the fourth quarter and Archers capitalised, they shared the ball effectively and stretched their lead even further, through fast breaks.

Cougars were struggling offensively under an immense amount of pressure, but they remained unwavering. Both teams made substitutions for the last time halfway

through the final quarter. Lajocies who ended the game with 27 points, closed the game with 2 points to give Cardiff Met Archers a massive win. Cougars 83 – 117 Archers.

Match Report: Ynys Mon Celts vs Cardiff Tribal Hunters Sunday 29th October 2023

Sunday seemed like a good day for hunting as Cardiff Tribal Hunters took a hard-fought victory over Ynys Mon Celts [Celts 74 – 79 Hunters].

Ynys Mon Celts won the tip off, they were passing the ball with purpose and trying to find openings. However, the Tribal Hunters were ruthless on defence. Celts relied on steals and fast breaks, but they were unable to get the friendly roll at times.

Eli Andam masterfully draw a foul for Hunters, then scored the first 2 points of the game from the free throw line. Jacob Wright responded by making the most out of a timely assist and tied the game up with a layup.

Initially, both teams struggled to get into a rhythm, consequently, each team made a couple of substitutions throughout the first quarter. Celts found success shortly after and led by 5 points.

Shaquille Livingston, Paul Farrelly, and Andam made a comeback for the Tribal Hunters and managed to score efficiently from long-range. Patrick Fairburn and Wright held onto a one-point lead for Celts at the end of the quarter. Celts 17 – 16 Hunters.

It was a war of attrition defensively for both sides. In addition, the two evenly matched teams played a game of one upmanship on the free throw line. Patrick Fairburn scored a textbook 3-pointer for Celts halfway through the second quarter, but Tyler Peterson rapidly scored one of his own to return the favour.

Peterson found his stride and drained another 3-pointer. Wright focused on maintaining the advantage for celts through mid-range shots. Ynys Mon Celts called for a timeout heading into halftime, both teams made changes once again and drew fouls to build momentum. Celts led by one point yet again. Celts 35 – 34 Hunters.

The third quarter also saw plenty of substitutions. Wright collected many points for Celts. Equally, Andam was a man on a mission and benefited from an unsportsmanlike foul to punish Celts with 2 points.

The Celts were cracking under pressure, whilst the Hunters worked as a well-oiled machine, they utilised screenshots and pick and rolls to take a 7-point heading into the final quarter. Celts 49 – 56 Hunters.

Andam and Peterson showed great resolve, the Tribal Hunters stopped the Celts early on defence and repeatedly scored highly contested shots. Dale Stalman and Fairburn showed incredible tenacity, but it was the Hunters who earned their first win of the season. Celts 74 – 79 Hunters.

Celts – Barry (12), Fairburn (13), Jones (8), Stalman (12), Torr (5), Williams (8), Wright (16).

Hunters – Andam (23), Farrelly (15), KC (4), Kurhan, (3), Livingston (8), Nikisi (7), Peterson (19).

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