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Week ending 23rd June 2001

The Uptons this year were played at St Michael's school after a last minute change of venue from Springfield.  The first match was between a Guernsey women's team against the Jersey Island Women's side.  The winners from Guernsey, Woolwich, had no champions team to play from Jersey for the Island FM trophy.  The Jersey side won by 45 to 36.  Jersey were determined to avenge their Inter-Insular defeat and used the match to work on their set moves.  Jersey held a narrow lead at the end of the first quarter and never surrendered it.  Catherine Small top scored with 11 points, Wendy Burnett 9, Jackie Harrison 8.

In the men's match the Guernsey champions, Xtel, were up against Jersey champions Rookies who last contested the Club Championship in 1998.  This was Xtel's first appearance.  Rookies raced into a commanding lead and added the Capital Trophy by 73 to 60. The following is an extract from the Jersey Evening Post. 

"The men's Upton started with the usual intensity that inter-island games are always played at - Rookies opening the scoring in the second minute through Greg Ruellan, only for Toni Cranchi to reply soon after.  Rookies stepped up the pace with a small onslaught by Isidro da Mata, Duncan Prince and a 3-pointer from Marc Le Cornu to create a 9-point lead by the 9th minute.  Xtel had only scored twice and a further 2 points gave Rookies a 20-7 advantage to end the quarter.  Xtel attempted to lower the deficit with Simon Le Blancq scoring 6 of his team's 14 points.  But Rookies' Da Mata, Prince and Ruellan continued their spree and with strong defensive play at the top of the key by Le Cornu and Byron Hatton, Rookies ended the first half 31-21 ahead.  The third saw Rookies in great form - Hatton and Adambrt scoring 3-pointers and a further 2 points from Ruellan gave Jersey an 18-point lead.  But trouble was just around the corner for Rookies as Prince was fouled on his way to the basket, twisting his ankle in the process.  Fortunately it was just a sprain and it has not jeopardised his Island Games place. Da Mata calmly took the free throws to make amends, while Pat Collins scored both free shots to increase Rookies lead to 43-26.  And a further 8 points from Ruellan and 2 apiece from Hatton and Da Mata, Rookies surged ahead 56-38 going into the final quarter - Xtel's Le Blancq scoring 5 more, including another 3-pointer, Matt Sarl 4 and Joel de Woolfson 3.  Guernsey used their typical full court press, but Jersey coach Mark Mueller had already prepared his team for this possibility.  The game intensified and individual battles ensued as the clock ticked away with shots flying in from every angle possible.  Xtel's Jim Rowe excited the game on foul trouble.  And Rookies continued to apply defensive pressure to deny Guernsey the shots and an opportunity for pulling off another victory in the late stages of the game - something they are renowned for.  Rookies held on and got their revenge for the inter-insular defeat."

Week ending 16th June 2001

The showpiece of the basketball league season where the champions of each league pit their wits against the representative side from the rest of the teams was a triumph for team play versus individual skills in all three games.

Firstly Woolwich set the ball rolling with a 62 – 42 win in the 3rd division match.  Tracy Hubert was inspirational for Woolwich as she scored consistently to rack up 20 points and put the Rest on the back foot.  By the break Woolwich held a good lead 32-14 due to some effective work in defence that kept the opposition at bay.  Marcel Queripel and Mariki Zietsman with 10 points each both tried hard to make things happen for the Rest but a dozen each from Sarah Stonebridge and Kath Hyman stopped any thoughts of a comeback from the Rest.  Danielle Rowe, to the shouts of ‘Miss Rowe’ from the balcony, displayed the best moves of the match and enjoyed her time on court to epitomise what these games are about.

The Giants dominated their game against the Rest of division 2 with a 67 – 51 win.  The better teamwork paid off for the Giants as they cruised into and then held the lead all the way through the game.  Pete Henry, a candidate for the MVP for division 2, showed just why he was so valuable with the top score of 22 points, picking up the ball in and around the key to register success.  Chris Dorey went on several fast breaks to make 15 points, especially in the first and third quarters, where most of the Giants lead was established.  The Rest relied on the younger members to score most of their points, with Richard Davey’s 21 being the most productive. Father Ken trailed in with a meagre 2 points to be shown how to do it.

The 1st division game typified how important it is to play as a team rather than to do one’s own thing.  Although there was plenty to please to spectators, including 15 three-pointers, the Rest were too disjointed to be effective.  Xtel’s Chris Lamb received all the attention of the Rest’s defenders and several times was on the wrong end of a clash between two players, receiving knocks to all parts of the body.  Whilst Lamb was attracting particular attention the Rest allowed Toni Cranchi to score 14 points and Simon Le Blancq helped himself to a vital 21 points.  The best for the Rest was 12 points from the usually prolific Lee Ogier and Kerry Smyth. Little between the two sides saw the final quarter start at 52 to 50 to the Rest, and with just 3 minutes to go there was still 2 points in it, but this time to Xtel.  With seconds to go the Rest had hauled themselves into a precarious 1 point lead but Nick Lawlor was the saviour for Xtel as he layed-up for 2 points, and the final shot from the Rest was unsuccessful, to give Xtel the result, 71 to 70.

Week ending 9th June 2001

La Fraternelle rounded off the season in the premier division with a display reminiscent of their halcyon days.  Both sides began the first quarter in excellent form, ending it at 32 to 25 to La Fraternelle.  With eight Island players on show, had this sort of form continued for the rest of the game a total in excess of 200 was on the cards.  However, both sides tired after the break and the quality of the shooting deteriorated, but not before some outrageous play and nine 3-pointers to keep the spectators interested.  Archenoul Red playing their part to make it a game fitting for the last encounter with Jamie Roussel scoring 23 points for the Reds, Andy Maiden and Danny Cooper a dozen each.  Going into the third quarter the game was in the balance but Archenoul self destructed with a total of only 6 points to give Chris Mountford’s team a healthy 23-point lead.  Kerry Smyth for the winners was once again their top scorer with 27 points but there were little cameos from Tim Roberts with 14 and Pierre Jehan with 13.  In all there were 9 players that scored double figures, an indication of the all-round team play from both sides, but it was La Fraternelle who came out the better at 99 points to 74.

The match between Archenoul Blue and Richmond Jazz was conceded by the Jazz to complete a successful runners-up spot for the Blues and the end of a wretched season for the Jazz.

La Fraternelle 2 made it a successful evening with what turned out to be an easy win over Archenoul 1 by 66 points to 43 in the 2nd division.  They controlled the game throughout and won each quarter by several points to give Archenoul no way back into the match.  Peter Beausire, the leading scorer in division 2, was again top scorer for Archenoul with 13 and his brother Michael added 12 more, but it wasn’t enough against an improving side containing players who can score heavily such as Richard Davey who made 18 and Paul Battle quietly contributing 16 points to made sure of their win.

Richmond Worriers scored an unlikely win over Archenoul 1 as well when their experience in the last few minutes told.  Throughout, the game was close and at 46 to 45 to the Worriers with just 4 minutes remaining Archenoul’s younger legs may have fancied their chances but they failed to score again and watched the Worriers stretch away to a 56 – 45 point win.   Tom Rowe, now playing his best basketball, easily outscored all his colleagues with 22 points but little support ensured there was no fairytale ending.  Ken Davey, determined throughout, led his team with 16 points and with Dave Legg scoring 12 and 13 coming from the bench the Worriers showed how to win a close game.

Rock Road Renegades made light of Martel~Dunn in the 3rd division with a 62 – 23 point victory.  The girls, not having played for several weeks, looked out of touch for the first half but eventually began to remember the finer details of the sport.  Pinsard scored 19 for the Youth Service team and together with Glen Shepherd’s 13 points it was the springboard for their win.  A depleted Martel~Dunn side completed as best they could but they ran out of steam and found scoring difficult, but Ursula Veron showed a good turn of speed around the court.

CIBC Cougars beat Martel~Dunn convincingly by 70 points to 27 in another game in this division, but Martel~Dunn made a good game of it until the last quarter when the Cougars ran away with the scoring.  Both sides employed a zone to try to deny the inside basket, but rebounds virtually went all to the Cougars with their superior height.  From these Nick Laker and Chis McClymont took the honours with 22 points each and Parkin popped up to add 16. Once again Mariki Zietsman played well for Martel~Dunn and she had much needed support from Stacey Dyson and Natalie Whitty.

Week ending 2nd June 2001

Xtel rounded off their league season with a satisfactory win over Archenoul Red in the 1st division by 98 to 79, and in the process clocked up 1000 points for the 12-game season.  Always in control the Xtel side, who were without prolific scorers Jim Rowe and Chris Lamb, kept ahead of the spirited Red side from the first quarter.  The main contributors for Xtel were predictably Simon Le Blancq with 31 points, 5 of which were from the perimeter, and Joel de Woolfson who registered 25 points.  The Reds were also missing their most valuable player in Jamie Roussel but New Zealander James Tracey continued to impress with his ability over recent weeks by scoring 24 points, 17 of which came in the last quarter.  Danny Cooper also got in on the act with 16 points to show his marked improvement since being included in the Island junior side.  Xtel will now travel to Jersey on 16th June to represent Guernsey in the Capital PVC trophy for the Channel Islands Club Championship.

La Fraternelle eased past Red Onion with a workmanlike rather than spectacular display in the 2nd division by 71 points to 33.  It took Red Onion until the second quarter before they settled but after that they competed well, albeit without much to show for their efforts.  Their play was a little lethargic in the early stages but after the introduction of Helen Todd, Kath Hyman and Tammy Greeno the pace picked up sufficiently to contest the next two quarters at 18 to 15.  Richard Davey was particularly keen to boost his total points for the season with another 33, and the tall Nick Brocklebank was supportive around the basket for 19.

Woolwich emerged as champions of the 3rd division with a deserved win over their nearest rivals NRG by 51 points to 23.  Both teams found it difficult to find the basket as neither side wanted to lose the early initiative.  The first quarter ended at 8 – 5 to Woolwich to underline the missed opportunities on both sides.  Woolwich then began to settle the quicker and started to take their chances whilst NRG continued to miss theirs.  A good all-round team effort denied NRG any chance of a comeback and 10 points each from Sarah Stonebridge, Kath Hyman and Tracy Martel set the basis for their victory.  Jo Savident was defensively Woolwich’s MVP as she snuffed out the threat from NRG’s Wendy Van Katwyk who was well marshalled throughout.

Week ending 26th May 2001

One of the last few matches in division 1 did not lose any of its intensity and passion when La Fraternelle took on Archenoul Blue.  The Blues, enigmatic to the end, started in confident style taking the early baskets and building an unassailable lead.  In a match where some players perceived higher levels of ability the Blues were 29 points ahead towards the end of the third quarter.  At this stage La Fraternelle finally rose from their slumbers and played to their potential and reduced the arrears to 6 points before Lee Ogier let his play do the talking, and having seen enough, slotted home two baskets to halt their slide.  He finished with 22 points but it was Liam Smyth’s 13 points and Greg Chester’s four from the perimeter in his 14 points that shook La Fraternelle.  Chris Bale made 21 for the ‘yellows’ with 19 more from Kerry Smyth and 17 from Ben Colley as they fell short at 71 to 78 to Archenoul.

 

In the 2nd division game between Richmond Worriers and Archenoul a far from spectacular match petered out with Archenoul winning by 57 points to 49.  Without Andy Creed the Worriers were lacking height under the basket and it was Ken Davey with 20 points who had to bear the brunt of scoring, although Andy Warren chipped in with 12 points.  Archenoul did enough to win without being in danger of losing as Peter Beausire continued to impress from around the key with 17 points and Tom Rowe pulled it together from guard to add 16.

 

The 3rd division final was closely contested by Woolwich and CIBC Cougars before the latter finally clinched the game controversially in the last minute.  Devoid of a 24 second clock it is very difficult for referees to look for violations of 90 rules as well as concentrate on a timing aspect of the game.  Unfortunately the Cougars overran the shot clock to secure the final basket, which apart from that blemish, had been a good game where either side could have stolen the trophy.  Nick Laker scored 26 with Chris McClymont adding 14, but Woolwich should be very pleased at their efforts only losing on the last shot.  Tracy Hubert was top scorer for Woolwich but the efforts of Tracy Martel, Jo Savident and Kath Hyman made the Cougars battle all the way.

 

A dramatic clash between the two of the best teams in the league lived up to expectations in the final of the 1st division knockout.  In the league meeting between the two Xtel shaded it by a single point, this time the result was reversed by just one basket.  A constantly alternating game was too close to call throughout, five points being the maximum leads either side was able to establish.   Xtel went into the break in the ascendancy but it was wiped out immediately by La Fraternelle.  Jim Rowe for Xtel with 25 points particularly punished any lapses in La Fraternelle’s defence and he was well supported by Chris Lamb inside the key, whilst Simon Le Blancq with 17 points was responsible keeping the ‘yellows’ on their toes outside the paint.  La Fraternelle finally took the lead for the first time at the end of the 3rd quarter and thereafter it was evident that whoever scored the last shot would probably win the game.  Kerry Smyth could have sealed the match with his scoring but although he finished with 15 points he had an off day.  It looked as though it might go to overtime when, at 71 each, Xtel failed to score with 7 seconds to go.  As they retreated into defence La Fraternelle found Andy Battle on the edge of the key and his jump shot sailed through the basket with less than a second remaining for a 73-71 win.  Ben Colley was outstanding for the victors with 23 points, some compensation to La Fraternelle for an indifferent league season, especially against the champions.

In the 2nd division knockout 20 points from Pete Henry saw the Giants complete a league a cup double over the fancied Rabobank team.  They breezed into a commanding lead in the first quarter to lead 20 to 3 and then scored basket for basket for the rest of the match.  Andy Lamb with 17 points led his team determinedly and made sure there was no complacency in the Giants side as they restricted Rabobank to intermittent scoring.  Only Phil English with 13 and Torsten Kordt with 12 made any impression as they slipped to a 50-70 defeat.

A double overtime game between the two Archenoul teams was needed before the Blues eventually secured their win in the 1st division plate competition.  The first half was too vexatious to be enjoyable but thereafter the game was one of the best of the season. Tied at 83 each and then 91 each, a second period of extra time had to be played to separate the two.  There was little to choose between the two sides but the Blues had the chance to seal victory with 0.2 seconds remaining after 45 minutes.  The ball was handed in, Adam Farish scored, the Blues celebrated, and then controversially the hooter sounded for the end of the time-out called previously.  The players had to replay the last 0.2 seconds and this time they failed to score, so an additional 5 minutes was put up on the game clock.   Tension rose with 2 players fouled out and a further 6 on 4 fouls but in the end Lee Ogier with 30 and Liam Smyth with 28 points were the main contributors for the Blues.  It was left to Jamie Roussel with 27, John Tracey with 23 points and Andy Maiden with 19 for the Reds to do the bulk of their scoring and they nearly snatched victory but, as tiredness crept in, they were not able to sustain their challenge in a noteworthy game.

Week ending 20th May 2001

An excellent weekend when Guernsey overcame Jersey in all three Inter-Insulars.  

The juniors continued their long domination with a 96 - 44 win.  Joel de Woolfson and Antoine Saffari both scored 20, Andy Battle 17 against the best Jersey side for several years.  The result was never in doubt and the Guernsey side worked hard throughout but gave Jersey plenty of space as they went for a full court defence.  De Woolfson was voted MVP 

The women won well again this year by 41 to 34.  A close game for three quarters the Guernsey side then turned on the heat to deny Jersey a chance of a comeback.  The Guernsey side's defence was not to be breached and by making their baskets at the other end they deservedly made sure of the trophy for the second year running.  Helen Todd with 11 points was top scorer in the match and won MVP.

The men were fortunate to come from behind at the last minute to win 70 - 68.  Always in charge the Jersey team played a solid game to open up a 16 point lead in the third quarter, but they were unable to maintain their efforts.  As Guernsey asserted themselves more and more the Jersey side couldn't score and Guernsey took the lead with minutes to go and held on till the final hooter.  Nigel Govett, for which he received the MVP, was superb inside the key as he scored 15 points, as did Simon Le Blancq.  Earlier Jim Rowe had linked well in offence to score 13 points with Liam Smyth also having a good debut scoring 12.  In all there were 8 debutants and they responded well to the big occasion.

Week ending 28th April 2001

After last week’s heavy defeat Richmond Jazz made an unwelcome reprise, this time against Archenoul Blue who inflicted the largest score of the season so far.  The Blues played at a ferocious pace right from the start and their intense pressure was far too much for the bottom side in the league.  Every member of 7-strong Archenoul team scored double figures in their 133 points with Lee Ogier outscoring all with 32 points closely followed by Liam Smyth with 24 and Andy Stephens 23.  The Jazz began the game promisingly but their ability to sustain their defence is their undoing.  Time after time Archenoul swept down court in a 3-file lay-up practice, unhindered by much attempt at prevention.  As a consolation the Jazz did score 52, Jim de Bertrand and Adam Powell each contributing 15 points, but their season cannot come to an end quickly enough.

In the 2nd division the Giants took another step towards the title with an important victory over Richmond Worriers by 74 to 41.  The Worriers held on until the break but surprisingly fell away in the second half to give the Giants the win that makes them odds on favourites to take the trophy.  The Giants took control of the match from the start and were focussed sufficiently not to allow any distractions from their ultimate aspirations.  A solid defence saw them establish a platform on which their success was based with Andy Lamb scoring 18 and Mark Huntington 15.  Both Andy Creed and Ken Davey were well guarded in a robust match, and neither was able to stamp their authority on the game, only Andy Elder managed 14 points before his return to UK studies.

In the 3rd division HamburgLB secured their 4th win of the season when they overcame Kleinwort Benson by 39 to 25.  In a topsy-turvy game both sides were desperate to take the initiative but a poor 3rd quarter from Kleinwort saw Hamburg seize the opportunity.  Only a single point separated the two at the interval but the Hornets improved their defence to nearly shut out Kleinwort in the third.  By the time Emma Henry was fouled out the game was over but not before she and sister Kate had scored over half of Kleinwort’s points.  Kelly Hockey scored 15 for the Hornets to set up their win.  Hamburg now have to wait to find their final place in the league when the rescheduled matches are played.

Week ending 21st April 2001

Xtel finally clinched the 1st division title with an emphatic win 130 – 39 over the hapless Richmond Jazz side who have found their first season in the top division one step too high.  The Jazz started well and half way through the first quarter led by 10-2, but unfortunately could not keep up their good work and were made to pay for the audacity of taking the lead in the first place.  Once they got into their stride Xtel celebrated with some outrageous plays, piling on the points at every opportunity.  It was a little bit too much like a training session but Xtel will not complain as they completed the rout by a margin of nearly 100 points.  The highlight of the game came though in the 4th quarter when Xtel missed 9 shots from under the basket in succession, something the few spectators found credible.  When the next basket did drop it was met with an ironic cheer from their bench. All the new champion’s players reached double figures except for Nick Lawlor, Jim Rowe ended with 30 points, Simon Le Blancq 25, Toni Cranchi 20, and Neil Bewey 18. Under constant pressure the Jazz in the circumstances did well to restrict the scoreline to 130, and captain Jim de Bertrand was highest scorer with 18.

Rabobank did enough to win the league points on offer against Red Onion to keep their hopes alive for the 2nd division title.  Their only hope though is that the Giants may slip up in their last two games against the Worriers or La Fraternelle 2.  There was never any doubt as to the final result, especially after the second quarter, which saw Red Onion score 1 point, but apart from actually putting the ball through the hoop the women’s team played good basketball.  With the return of Verona Jackson they looked a much more accomplished side, she gives them a more solid look in offence, but they are still inclined to throw up a hopeful shot when a little more vision and patience might pay better dividends.  Luke Falla scored 18 for the Rockets, Daniel Foster 17 and Phil English 14 in their 67 –24 victory, now they have to sit it out to see who finishes top.

Another 6 shots from the perimeter were among the 23 points scored by Wendy Van Katwyk as NRG beat HamburgLB by 36 to 26 and kept themselves in the hunt for the division title. She has now scored 21 three-pointers in the league this year, easily outgunning any other female player in the 40-year history in Guernsey.  Hamburg were always in contention throughout the first half but a failure to score during the third quarter made a comeback more improbable.  They did make a valiant effort in the last quarter however, winning by 6 points, but by then they had fallen too far behind to close the gap sufficiently.  The last match between Woolwich and NRG on 1st June will now decide the title, and who will go to Jersey to play in the Women’s Club Championship.

Week ending 14th April 2001

With no 1st division matches played last week the emphasis was on the second division title race.  The Giants have all but sealed their success after a big win over Red Onion by 116 to 27.  They have two games to play and should not come unstuck against either Richmond Worriers or La Fraternelle.  From previous results it looks as though only the Worriers have the ability to prevent a Giants title.  Should there be a tie between Rabobank and the Giants it will be the Giants who will walk off with the silverware.  In the head-to-head the Giants hold a much superior goal difference having won one game each.  In their game against the Island women they cantered to a win with players sharing the responsibility for scoring.  Jason Bean set things going and ended the evening with 24 points, but there were plenty more from Pete Henry with 20, Mark Huntington with 18, Chris Dorey with 15, Andy Lamb with 14 and Jason Savident with 12.  The sheer physical size of the Giants was intimidating for the women and they could only compete in open play.  Once the ball was around the basket there was always only going to be one winner, but there were good displays from Tracy Martel and Helen Todd who tried to keep going forward.

One might have thought that the important match between Rabobank and Archenoul would have sparked a passionate exhibition from both sides, but a lack-lustre Archenoul side did not appear to have the zest for it.  Whoever was to lose virtually ruled themselves out of contention for the league, the victor having an outside chance of challenging the Giants for top spot.  The game was over as a contest as early as the first quarter when Rabobank dominated events to lead 14 to 4 and thereafter made sure that it was them who controlled the game.  It was not until the third quarter that Archenoul clicked into action but by then it was too late.  For the Rockets Phil English had a storming game, eclipsing all others with 28 points including three long-range conversions.  He harried in defence and then as guard he patrolled the top of the key to inflict the telling pass to others inside.  Archenoul were disappointing, Luke Sheehan finding it hard inside the key, and Tom Rowe frustrated in his efforts to inspire his teammates to succeed.  The Rockets ran out easy winners 69 – 39 and they will have to wait to see if the Giants slip up against the Worriers before they can celebrate.

A second defeat on the run for Woolwich ensured an interesting finish to the third division.  If NRG defeat Woolwich in the last game there could be a three-way tie between those two and Brock Road Renegades for the title.  A win for Woolwich however makes it all academic.  Against the Brock Road youngsters Woolwich found a tough opponent, both sides evenly matched.  For three of the quarters there was nothing between the two but a tactical error from Woolwich’s coach in the second when they changed from zone to man-to-man handed the Renegades a 10-point lead.  In hindsight the game could have been theirs had they not altered a successful formula.  For Brock Road it was Jenny Hall who made her mark with 13 points, well assisted by Glen Shepherd with 12.  For Woolwich Sarah Stonebridge top-scored with 15 points, but she had support from Tracy Hubert and Tracy Martel, both of whom tried endlessly to close the gap.  In the end a combination of poor shooting and wayward passing conspired to bring about Woolwich’s loss by 48 to 41, but all credit to a young Brock Road side who improve every match.

Week ending 7th April 2001

With just two matches to play Xtel only have to turn up in their remaining matches to clinch the title for the first time.  Richmond Jazz’ season has turned sour when they failed to field a side for the second time in a week to award the points to the would-be champions.

The second division has now boiled up into an intriguing battle between Rabobank, Giants and Archenoul 1.  The Rockets retained their interest with a narrow win against Richmond Worriers by 47 to 44.  It was a case of a missed opportunity for the Worriers to seize their chance of success; a last quarter hiccup when they stopped scoring allowed the Rockets a glimpse of victory, which they took with gratitude.  Andy Elder made his first appearance for Richmond and the student, on Easter vacation, made an immediate impression.  The Worriers have always been short of natural playmakers, and he stepped into the position well, scoring 21 points and injecting some pace when it was needed.  For three quarters of the match the Worriers held control, going into the last quarter with a 7-point lead.  It wasn’t until two minutes from the end before the Rockets took the lead and then managed to hold out until the hooter.  Richmond did not help their cause when they scored a measly four points in the last 6 minutes.  They had earlier restricted Rabobank to the odd fast beak or to long-range shooting which on this occasion had deserted them.  Only Chris Simms made much impression on the scoreboard with 15 points, but it was sufficient to secure the win for Adam Farish’s team.  The game between Rabobank and Archenoul next Wednesday now takes on title-winning proportions as the winner will probably go on to contest top spot by way of the results against the Giants. 

The third division match between NRG and Kleinwort Benson was not remarkable for the result, which was won by NRG by 54 points to 29, but it certainly was for Wendy Van Katwyk who scored a monumental 38 points, six of which were from beyond the 3-point arc.  She almost single-handedly accounted for Kleinwort Benson who tried all styles of defence to throw NRG out of their stride.  Coach Nick Leale has worked hard with Kleinwort Benson and the improvement was obvious, their understanding and playing of the game has developed over recent weeks.  Emma Henry scored 16 points and particularly showed good potential.  The win for NRG keeps them in touch with the leaders but games are swiftly running out.

Archenoul 1 has won the first trophy of the season when they beat La Fraternelle narrowly in the final of the Lower Division Plate competition.  The game was a close run thing though, the final quarter starting level at 36 each.  Unfortunately La Fraternelle then lost three players, being fouled out, and with just three players left on court one would have thought that it was the signal for Archenoul to draw away.  It wasn’t to be as La Fraternelle hung in, Archenoul failed to play convincingly, and if a couple of 3-pointers had been successful in the last minute it may have been embarrassing for Archenoul.  As it was Pete Beausire sunk 4 points to seal their win by 52 to 45.  Richard Davey scored 20 points for La Fraternelle but he was forced to try too much at the end.

In the semi-finals of the 1st division Plate competition both Archenoul sides came out with easy wins.  Firstly Archenoul Blue were the recipients of a walkover, courtesy once again of Richmond Jazz when they failed to turn out with sufficient numbers.

In the final Archenoul Red will join them in what promises to be a colourful game if nothing else.  They had an easy win over Rabobank Rockets by 111 points to 46.  The return of Nick Leale in recent weeks has revitalised the Reds and his inspiration has rubbed off on his teammates.  Jamie Roussel had one of those games that you hope lasts forever as he demolished the Rockets with 42 points from all angles, but it was by no means a one-man effort.  Leale himself contributed 19 points; Danny Cooper showing much improvement scored 15, and big man Andre Sidaner began to find his form with 14. There was little the Rockets could do except admit there was too much fire-power in the Red’s locker, Pat Ogier took his chances to score 21 and Chris Simms 12.

Week ending 31st March 2001

The first division title is as good as over when La Fraternelle proceeded to hand Xtel the league title when they were unable to complete a victory over Archenoul Blue.  For once La Fraternelle started well and at 10-2 everything seemed to be going to plan, but Archenoul closed the gap to 2 by the end of the quarter.  The ‘Blues’ began to gather momentum and scored consistently during the second period to finish the half well in control at 32 to 24.  No-one from Archenoul was dominating the game but everyone chipped in when it was required.  They suffered a setback when Greg Chester hoppled of with a twisted ankle but this only seemed to inspire Archenoul to greater effort.  La Fraternelle were seeing their hope of claiming the title slip away and they came out for the second half with one more effort.  Ben Colley with 10 points in 3 minutes stirred the ‘yellows’ into a revival which saw them take the lead 47-41.  Going into the final quarter with a 6-point lead La Fraternelle for the second game running failed to capitalise on their advantage, tried to sit on a delicate lead, and paid the price.  Andy Stephens shot 4 from 4 from beyond the arc, Lee Ogier slotted home 12 points and the unauthodox Antoine Saffari was the difference between the two sides with 13 points.  Colley was inspirational inside the paint as he notched up 23 points for La Fraternelle and he had some support from an out-of-sorts Kerry Smyth who only scored 15 this time out.  By the fourth minute the scores were level but La Fraternelle ran out of steam and it was Archenoul who were the more cohesive and with all their players making important points they deservedly coasted home 65 – 58, to move ahead of their Red team in the league placings. If only they had begun the season better they would have been in contention for the championship.

The second division match turned out to be another fine outing for the women’s team who were devoid of several of their players.  They moved the ball well and manoeuvred into good shooting positions but Richmond Worriers had too much height advantage to allow the easy shot or rebound.  Red Onion kept the game close for the first quarter but as the Worriers took it in turns to score, the new scoreboard indicated a certain reluctance to progress for the ‘home’ team.  With Tracy Martel, Helen Todd and Karen Jehan outstanding, Red Onion looked to be the match for the Worriers but successive quarters where they could not turn possession into points saw Richmond pull away.  As tiredness became a factor the Worriers were happy to take a rest as the spritely Andy Warren scored 12 of his 18 points without any assistance.  He repeatedly intercepted the pass near Red Onion’s key and scored whilst the four remaining Richmond players stood motionless inside their own key admiring his handiwork, all in the space of a few minutes.  After his little cameo performance the game settled down once more with Red Onion going through their training routines, which on a better day should bring improved results.

HamburgLB moved up the third division when they defeated Martel~Dunn by 40 to 21 after an intense and scrappy game.  Hamburg always possessed the experience and height to control the game and they also had in Lynnette Le Cocq the player to make the difference.  She accounted for 18 points to bolster Hamburg’s score when they needed it.  Martel~Dunn’s Mariki Zietsman, once she had mastered the colours of the two sides, played well, and Stacey Dyson effused skill which unfortunately was not rewarded by points. 

Week ending 23rd March 2001

Archenoul Red enjoyed their best game of the season when they defeated Richmond Jazz after a hard earned performance by 75 to 48.  After a close game during the first half the relentless pressure applied by the Reds finally paid dividends as they completely dominated the third quarter to clinch their victory under the welcome return of Nick Leale.  Jamie Roussel scored 25, Andy Maiden 14 for the Reds, with 14 coming from Jim de Bertrand for the Jazz.

Rabobank Rockets continued their revival with victory over La Fraternelle 2 with something to spare.  Torsten Kordt led the early assault on the ‘yellows’ basket with 14 points and such was their domination in the opening quarter that at 17 – 2 the Rockets took their foot off the pedal and coasted to their win.  La Fraternelle had no-one as effective as Kordt and they struggled to make one decent play in offence, restricted to outside shooting and the odd fast break.  In the second period the Rocket’s Patrick Ogier stamped his authority on the game and dictated play, as well as scoring 25 points in their 64 – 32 win.  Devoid of control and ideas La Fraternelle stuttered to their meagre total with Richard Davey’s 14 points double that of his nearest colleague. The league is certainly hotting up, the title now between the Giants, the Rockets and Archenoul.

Woolwich finally succumbed when they suffered their first defeat of the season in the league to CIBC Cougars by 60 points to 37.  Favourites to win the match Cougars went ahead early on and were never in danger of being overtaken.  Nick Laker once more showed his ability to score under the basket with 25 points but they were made to work hard for their points by the Woolwich five.  Kath Hyman top-scored with 14 points but all the Woolwich players made good contributions.  The Cougars always looked to have the upper hand and without playing particularly good defence they dealt with any threat.

The 1st division knockout plate competition game between the Giants and Richmond Jazz was very tight until the final few minutes.  Six minutes remained with only a single basket between the two sides but a combination of Giants failure to score and a surge from the Jazz allowed them to secure a semi-final place against Archenoul Blue.  The Giants employed something of a surprise as they switched from their usual zone to a man-to-man and it nearly paid off.  Andy Lamb scored 21 and had Pete Henry or Robin Smith scored their standard double figures the Giants may have caused a small upset.  Unfortunately for them they failed to pay as much attention to Jim de Bertrand as they should and he got away sufficiently to score 21 points, but he had the support of Will Jones for 18 points and Tom Colley with 13 to back him up.  Despite 10 points from Lamb in the last quarter the Giants tailed off to award Richmond Jazz the semi-final berth by 6 to 57.

The finalists of the Lower Division Plate will be between the winners of the two semi-finals played last week.  In the first game La Fraternelle 2 disposed of Woolwich by 64 to 36, and Archenoul 1 then showed their superiority against Richmond Worriers with a 71 to 47 win.  La Fraternelle 2 just did enough in their match to win each quarter with 14 points from Paul Battle and Nick Brocklebank, both using their height against the smaller Woolwich side and eased their way to the final.  Woolwich moved the ball well but did not have the final touch when it came to turning shots into points. 

In the second match Archenoul 1 easily beat the Worriers by 71 points to 47.  Tom Rowe determined the play for Archenoul with good distribution and 17 points, feeding the Beausire brothers for 26 points.  The Worriers without Andy Creed and Ken Davey struggled to impose their type of game and found scoring difficult apart from 16 from Dave Legg and a cameo 10 from Barry Robilliard.  Rolling back the years a youthful-looking Andy Warren made a comeback and will be a useful addition to the Worriers squad.

Week ending 17th March 2001

Arguably the best match of the season which befitted the build up, warranted by the best two teams in Guernsey basketball, resulted in a 1-point decider to Xtel by 75 to 74.  The win virtually sealed the title for Xtel with only 3 games to go and little hope of them being defeated twice, having suffered just one reversal all season.  Nigel Govett for La Fraternelle showed just why he is the best post player currently in the league with 28 points, and he had dual support from Kerry Smyth with 22 and Chris Bale with 18.  Xtel relied on Simon Le Blancq with 26 and Nick Lawlor with 14, but the bench players played their part to steal the victory.

Archenoul Blue completed a sound win over their Red side by 90 points to 71. The enigmatic Lee Ogier leapt to top score with 32 points as the Blues dominated the game for 3 of the 4 quarters.  He repeatedly pulled down huge rebounds to convert second possession and set up their win.  The Reds clung to some hope as Jamie Roussel scored 22 and Andy Maiden 21 but they always trailed and played catch-up, which they ultimately failed to do. The 4th quarter however belonged to the Reds as they put together a strong 27-22 quarter win but by then it was too late.  Tom Hill once more illustrated his progress for the Reds, distributing the ball well and making good selections on shooting.  Unsung hero Greg Chester impressed for the Blues as he did little wrong, shot well for 16 points, and generally brought them some control and composure.

When it comes to low scoring then Richmond Worriers and La Fraternelle 2 must have taken the prize in their 2nd division clash.  It was 6 minutes before the scoreboard moved from 0 – 0, and the quarter ended at 6 – 4 to Fraternelle.  Matters did not improve either as both sides played slowly and missed shot after shot.  Just two minutes remained when the Worriers led by 4 points but a 3-pointer from Richard Davey reduced the arrears followed by a two edged Fraternelle home by 1 point at 35 – 34.  Davey finished with 20 points, nearly 60% of their total.

The Giants came from behind to win their game against Archenoul 1 by 66 to 60, at one time being 10 points adrift.  Andy Lamb drove his Giants team forward during the last quarter to turn their deficit into credit.  He scored 15 points but he was very well supported by Chris Dorey with 16 and Pete Henry with 12.  Earlier Archenoul had laid the foundations for a win courtesy of Peter Beausire with 17 and Tom Rowe with 12.  These two impressed with their good attitude towards the game, both intent on playing high quality basketball and trying to use their skills to better effect.  Archenoul were restricted to just 12 free throws in the last 6 minutes and paid the penalty for changing the tactics that had brought them to the brink of victory.

Martel~Dunn secured their second win of the season when they overcame Kleinwort Benson by 48 points to 22.  The enthusiastic Martel~Dunn side’s improvement has been slowly taking shape and they immediately opened up a 15 to 2 lead through good defence and effective offence.  As the game became more intense both sides battled it out so that honours were shared in the other 3 quarters.  Ursula Veron at guard gave a good display of speed and scoring fast breaks with 12 points whilst Natalie Whitty also scored 12 from post position.  Kleinwort looked good at times when the ball was moved to either Kate or Emma Henry but Martel~Dunn always seemed to have someone around to relieve the pressure, mainly Mariki Zietsman or Stacey Dyson.

Brock Road Renegades sprung something of a surprise when they easily beat NRG by 55 to 42.  An opening spell where the Youth Service side led 15 to 6 was the baseline from which they kept their noses in front.  Glen Shepherd was the leading scorer with 17 points but on this occasion he was overshadowed by the spritely Jenny Hall who made 19 points.  NRG were indebted to Wendy Van Katwyk who scored 26 points, including 4 from beyond the arc, but the rest of the team could not match her scoring exploits and they fell away to give the Renegades another win.

Week ending 10th March 2001

Xtel coasted to the 1st division final with an easy win over Archenoul Red.  When these two met in the league the week before Xtel won 111 - 67.  A similar result ensued this time as Xtel won 113 – 57.  Jim Rowe scored 30, Simon Le Blancq 24, Chris Lamb 20 and Toni Cranchi 18. 

In the other semi-final La Fraternelle had a harder time against Archenoul Blue before eventually tipping the scales by 75 to 51, but not before Archenoul had given La Fraternelle something of a scare.  The Blues started well and led for most of the early stages, until midway through the second quarter.  La Fraternelle stepped up their defensive intensity whilst converting at the other end to round off a satisfactory quarter by 22 to 8.  Nigel Govett and Ben Colley were making their presence felt under inside the key as they forced Archenoul to protect their basket but committing fouls at the same time.  From the free throw line it began to have an effect as La Fraternelle converted two thirds of their throws.  The second half was decisive when early in the third quarter Kerry Smyth and Chris Bale both scored 3-pointers to stretch the lead out to 17 points and the Blues felt that the game had slipped away from them.  Lee Ogier emerged from a time out to score 6 points in his total of 21 points but his efforts were singularly evident when he received little support to bolster their score.  La Fraternelle were in control of the game until the end with Govett finishing on 28 points and Smyth and Colley each registering 16 points.  They now have the mouth-watering prospect of a final against Xtel at the end of the season.

In a 1st division league match La Fraternelle moved level with Xtel at the top with a very comfortable jaunt against Richmond Jazz by 101 to 43.  James Robert showed obvious class at point guard for the Jazz and must be in Junior Island coach Adam Farish’s mind for a place in this year’s junior side.  He had the ability to protect the ball, distribute well and score points, and he has done so throughout the season against better opposition.  The second quarter gave the Jazz some hope as they held their own and with Tom Colley ending up with 20 points they illustrated signs that the talent is there but they need to be more consistent.  Coach Simon Le Blancq was not pleased with his young team who appeared at times not to want to compete, the prolific Jim de Bertrand from last year especially struggling to come to terms with a higher division.  For the winners Chris Bale led the charts with 22 points but there was also a score of points for both Nigel Govett and Kerry Smyth.

The 2nd division clash between the Giants and Rabobank was important for both sides, neither really being able to afford to lose.  In the event he win for the Rockets gives them hope for the rest of the season, dented the Giants aspirations, and allowed Archenoul 1 to become the new favourites.  As the game unfolded it was evident that the Giants were set on winning, a particularly hard foul by Jason Bean laying Phil English on the floor for several minutes.  There was nothing between the two sides as the score fluctuated between them, four times the lead changed hands, and at the end of the first half the scores were level at 27 each.  Referees Nick Leale and Jamie Roussel had held the players in check well but matters boiled over when Bean was ejected for dissent once too often.  It had an immediate effect but not one that may have been expected, the Giants put together a 14-2 run to establish a lead, but then could not hold on to it and went into the last quarter 2 points behind.  With 3 minutes to go there was only a single basket between them, but the Giants suddenly dried up and with Torsten Kordt, a rock inside the key, Rabobank triumphed by 10 points to make a very interesting end to the season.

Woolwich maintained their unbeaten league run with a 53-30 point victory over HamburgLB.  The first half was even, Hamburg causing the league leaders all sorts of problems.  Woolwich were unable to either shoot from outside the zone defence set up by Hamburg nor get inside to the basket, whilst at the other end Lynnette Le Cocq seemed to score at will.  A change of tactics at the break established Woolwich as the dominant force, taking the 3rd quarter 22-9 and the 4th by 8-2.  Tracey Martel was peerless at guard and was mainly responsible for the transformation with her 17 points, but there was much to admire from Woolwich as they fed the ball into the post frequently when chances to score increased.  Le Cocq was Hamburg’s leading scorer with 17 but as the game slipped away from them she needed others to help in offence.  Defensively Hamburg have improved and make it difficult for others, and their next success should not be too long away.

Week ending 4th March 2001

As the 1st division begins to reach its climax in the next few weeks Xtel set out their stall and laid down a challenge to the others.  For the 4th game in a row Xtel scored over a hundred points and whether anyone can now stop the juggernaut from claiming the title is fast receding.  Against Archenoul Red they determinedly set about their task of adding more league points with a 111 – 67 win.  Simon Le Blancq found his touch from his first shot and finished with 33, with Jim Rowe again practicing his lay-ups for 26 points.  Inside the key they possess the highest scorer in the league, that of Chris Lamb, and he added 17 points.  Archenoul began the match in fine style and led for much of the opening quarter, but were unable to maintain their outside shooting to the same level and once overtaken by Xtel they gradually subsided.  Tom Hill had a magnificent game for Archenoul, showing a maturity beyond his tender years, controlling their offence and displaying foresight of when and where to make a telling pass, besides scoring 19 points.  Jamie Roussel had revealed the way to score baskets with two early long-range shots and he finished with 23. The inclusion of Andre Sidener gave Archenoul some inside strength and he will be useful once he finds his feet. 

Playing their second game inside a week Red Onion made a better fist of things against Archenoul 1 the second time around.  The league fixture between the two ended 86 to 38 for Archenoul but the women’s team competed well for most of the matches yet, because of two weaknesses were made to pay the penalty.  Failure to defend adequately allowed Peter Beausire to score 28 points and Tom Rowe 26, and in offence the passing of Red Onion was woeful.  Lack of work from the post players made it difficult for the guards to find them and the ball was intercepted numerous times.  It was left to Tammy Greeno to score 13 points from loose balls around the edge of the key with jump shots. Archenoul are well poised to mount their challenge for the title, tucked in just behind leaders Giants.

Rabobank qualified to meet La Fraternelle in the 1st division knockout but they found it tough going before falling 52 – 92.  They lacked the physical presence under the basket to prevent Olly Kuehberger from scoring 20 points and Chris Bale 23.  When pace was required Andy Battle went away to slot home 16 points.  The Rockets were led by Phil English who harried hard and was rewarded with 18 points, along with Chris Simms whose contribution was 13.  La Fraternelle now face Archenoul Blue in the semi-finals.

The Lower divisions knockout plate competition featured two matches, Red Onion against Archenoul and Woolwich against NRG.  In the Red Onion / Archenoul game it was Charlie Archenoul’s boys who partied with a 98 –30 win, owing to the usual duo of Beausire and Rowe with 26 and 24 points respectively and 20 from Luke Sheehan.  Their failure to score hampered the efforts of Red Onion, but they will have learnt that putting a team on the baseline makes defending easier. 

In the other plate match Woolwich scraped a win over NRG by 42 to 37.  A balanced first quarter saw a change of fortunes for Woolwich as they dominated the second and ran up a 7-point lead, but within 6 minutes of the third had frittered it away b failing to score.  The remainder of the match was gritty if not entertaining as both sides tried to gain the upper hand, but a brace of baskets from Jo Savident sealed the win for Woolwich before the end.

Week ending 25th February 2001

Xtel showed why they are currently joint top of the 1s division when they took on Archenoul Blue and disposed of their threat easily with a solid if not spectacular display by 96 to 64.  Archenoul were without Lee Ogier and they played as though only 3 cylinders were firing.  At the start of the match Xtel set up play and fed the ball into the key for either Nick Lawlor or Chris Lamb to score, whilst the Blues relied on individual flair to find their baskets.  As the game progressed Archenoul failed to defend well enough and Jim Rowe was given more freedom to fast break, he finished up with 26 points.  Simon Le Blancq had a leisurely workout to score 17 points and Lamb ended up with 18.  The only other player to reach double figures was Joel de Woolfson who included a brace of 3-pointers in his 13 points.  Archenoul’s captain, Andy Stephens, kept his side going forward with 19 points and he had some support inside the key as Adam Farish scored 16 points, but there was little cohesion to the Archenoul team who let Xtel control the game.

La Fraternelle kept in pole position with a win over Richmond Jazz by 89 to 49.  The depleted Jazz side must find it difficult to play when they have no bench players; once again there was no respite for any of them on court.  Tom Colley had a good game scoring 21 points and James Robert showed excellent touches at guard with 15, but apart from these two there was little threat and little defence.  Kerry Smyth again scored the bulk of La Fraternelle’s points with 33 and Olly Keuhberger was very effective under the basket to register 19 points. 

In the 2nd division Rabobank Rockets shot up four places to second with a win over bottom team Red Onion by 69 to 31.  It was another opportunity for other players to shine as the Rockets rested Torsten Kordt and Pat Ogier.  Lee Blampied ended a lean spell of games with 18 points and hussling from Phil English was rewarded with 12 points.  Red Onion played reasonably well but had an off day when it came to applying the finishing touches to their offence.

Still ahead in the 2nd division are the Giants who dealt with La Fraternelle’s second string by trouncing them 97 to 38.  The Giants found plenty of space under the basket and Keith Dorey scored 28 points, Jason Bean through breaks scored 17, Pete Henry scavenged 14 and Jason Savident swept up the loose ball to convert 12 more.  It was left to Nick Brocklebank with 16 points to be the only one to reach double figures for La Fraternelle as he was repeatedly fouled when going to the basket, but they were soundly beaten.  The Giants will be looking to their next encounter with the Rockets confidently.

Woolwich continued their good run of results in the 3rd division with a win against Kleinwort Benson.  The game should have been over by the break but continual misses from Woolwich meant that Kleinwort were still in the game.  Things improved for Woolwich after the interval and did manage to impose their authority on the game but it was hard work against a tenacious Kleinwort Benson team who never admitted defeat.  Kath Hyman’s team all laboured to find some sort of form but they took it in turns to miss everything from lay-ups to free throws.  Eventually Hyman restored some semblance of order with 15 points, but Kleinwort Benson, for whom Emma Henry made life unpleasant for Woolwich inside the key, made it a hard won game when it should have been easier.

NRG received a walkover from Martel~Dunn who had too few numbers from the effects of half-term holidays.

Week ending 18th February 2001

In the 1st division knockout match between Xtel and the qualifiers from the 2nd division, Giants, it was a second ton on the run for Xtel, superseding their 112 last time out.  After 13 minutes the scores were level at 20 each and it looked as though a close game was scheduled, but a little pressure from Xtel and the ball-handlers of the Giants developed the basketball equivalent of the ‘yips’, and they proceeded to turn the ball over ten times in the next four minutes to allow Xtel to score nine lay-ups to seal the match from there onwards.  Jim Rowe was the recipient of the ball after each mistake and scored 20 points in the second quarter alone, all from simple lay-ups.  The Giants failed to regroup after their disappointing second quarter and transferred their lack of scoring into the third, when Xtel once more capitalised on poor ball handling to add another 39 points.  The Giants could not come to grips with the speed of Xtel who scored virtually at will, Rowe ending up with a huge 49 points. After a quiet first half Simon Le Blancq turned up the heat to add 32 points for Xtel, including five 3-pointers, Robin Smith replying for the Giants with 15 points in their 43 – 125 defeat.  Xtel now play Archenoul Red in one of the semi-finals.

In the Lower Division Plate CIBC Cougars progressed to the next round when they overcame Martel~Dunn by 71 to 24.  The Cougars managed to score easily when their taller players rebounded successfully and converted the put-back, brought about when they missed so many of their first time shots.  Martel~Dunn defended well, getting back to prevent the fast break and making the Cougars work for each of their baskets.  Ursula Veron was the mainstay of the girls’ team toiling hard to cover the whole court, with Natalie Whitty and Mariki Zietsman effective in penetrating the token zone from the Cougars.  Nick Laker always appeared to be in the right place at the right time as he scored 30, and the rest of his team were content to allow him to dominate the key.  Cougars will now play La Fraternelle 2 in the next round.

Brock Road Renegades gave Richmond Worriers a shock before succumbing by 42 to 55 in their Plate match.  Tactics were predictable, Richmond using a zone defence whilst the juniors would use the outside shot to keep in touch.  So it transpired.  Brock Road, denied access to the basket, moved the ball around the key until a good shot presented itself.  They were successful 8 times and had they taken this option more frequently it needed only another 4 to make Richmond worry.  As it was Ken Davey used his size to good effect and scored 25 points, which was sufficient to see off the challenge from the Renegades and Richmond progress to play the winner of the Red Onion and Archenoul 1 clash.  There are one or two players who caught the eye from the young boys team, Glen Shepherd continued to be prominent with 17 points and the point guard J Boscher looked to have a good deal of promise as he pulled the strings in offence.

Week ending 10th February 2001

Xtel made it five out of six with the demolition of Richmond Jazz by the highest score of the season so far at 112 to 37.  Richmond shot themselves in the foot somewhat as they failed to appreciate that the fundamentals of any team is good defence.  On this occasion they must have thought that the game was an exhibition, as they played virtually no defence at all, and allowed Xtel to walk through to the basket countless times. After their hard-fought win over Archenoul Red the Jazz must have thought that they had little chance of winning and were lethargic in the extreme.  The exception was James Robert who acquitted himself well at guard but he was alone in stemming the tide at the top of the key.  Xtel took it in turns to score, so much so that seven of their team scored double figures.  Leading the way was captain Simon Le Blancq who made 21 including 5 long-range shots, but there were cameo performances from Chris Lamb with 16, Nick Lawlor with 14, Joel de Woolfson adding 13 and Peter Buck 12.  Xtel’s execution of the final shot was every coach’s dream; they hardly failed to find the basket whenever the shot was taken. 

Archenoul Red made La Fraternelle sweat a little before La Fraternelle finally securing the points in their 77 – 40  win.  To say that the eventual winners were profligate with possession of the ball was to understate the number of turnovers they made.  Archenoul started slowly, but they were still in the game at 21 each near the end of the first half.  La Fraternelle awoke from their slumbers in the second half, but it was a far from inspiring.  Kerry Smyth scored 21, Chris Bale 13 and Andy Battle 12 for La Fraternelle, whilst the Red were led by 13 from Jamie Roussel and 12 from Andy Maiden.

In the 2nd division Patrick Ogier as coach to Red Onion had one of those games that you hope come round every decade, if not longer.  His team, by their own admission, were atrocious, failing to score double figures in any quarter.  In a match where, had they played to their potential, it could have been a very close contest indeed, they capitulated for no apparent reason to hand La Fraternelle 2 the game by 94 points to 24.  Captain Kath Hyman put a brave face on it and hoped that they had now got it out of their system.  “If lessons can be learnt from a game like that then we will be a better team for it” was her candid remark.  La Fraternelle grasped the opportunity to gorge themselves on a points bonanza with Nick Brocklebank netting 22, James Draper 17, Paul Battle 18, and Richard Davey 12.

The top of the 2nd division is boiling up nicely as their season nears the halfway mark.  The new favourites, Giants, were impressive in their defeat of Richmond Worriers.  If they are to continue to play like this their only opposition will come from Rabobank.  In a game that became over-physical at times there was little to choose between the two in the early tussles.  By the break the Worriers trailed by just 5 points after a late surge from the Giants, but Andy Creed picked up an injury and subsequently not feeling too well took no further part in the game.  His loss placed more pressure on the rest of his team yet despite their best efforts were always going to miss his presence under the basket.  Giants were generally more controlled in their play than sometimes is the case and it paid dividends with a trio of players all scoring 14 points and setting up a comfortable win by 59 points to 38.  Peter Henry, Andy Lamb and Chris Dorey were at the heart of the Giant’s scoring, Henry in particular using his neat jump shot just inside the key to good effect against Worrier’s zone.  Ken Davey tried his best to urge Richmond on but even his 13 points could not close the gap sufficiently.  The Giants switched to a man-to-man defence in the second half and from this stage the game swung their way.  Not only the match but also possibly the league if they continue in similar vein.

In the 3rd division Youth Service continued their improvement with a nervous-looking win over HamburgLB by 47 points to 29.  Stand-in coach Nick Leale nearly saw his young Youth Service side squander a first half 14 point lead as HamburgLB came right back into contention, but three quick baskets from Glen Shepherd settled them down again.  Youth Service are now in second place in the division on 13 points, close on the heels of Woolwich.

CIBC Cougars’ eventful season continued, this time with a defaulted win over NRG.  With only five players NRG always stared defeat head-on, but when one player had to leave and then they suffered an injury to another the three remaining players meekly faced reality and called it a day.  It was hard on Nick Laker who had already scored 15 points in 15 minutes.

Week ending 3rd February 2001

In the HamburgLB basketball leagues Xtel kept their interest in the 1st division with a win last week, Rabobank jumped 3 places to second in the 2nd division, and Woolwich kept their 100% record in the 3rd.  In the 2nd division knockout matches Giants and Rabobank will contest the final after their respective successes.

Xtel secured the league points with their win over Archenoul Blue by 80 points to 70 thanks to a stirling performance from their senior players Simon Le Blancq with 27, Chris Lamb with 21 and Toni Cranchi with 13.  The youngster of the side Jim Rowe helped out with 15.  The Blues lost the game in the last few minutes sliding from 59 each to a 10-point loss.  Liam Smyth scored 21, Lee Ogier 14 and Andy Stephens 13.

Rabobank inflicted the first defeat of the season in the 2nd division to Archenoul 1 with a comfortable 62 – 43 point victory.  From the tip-off Rabobank took control and raced into a 14 – 4 lead, which was then whittled away by Archenoul to tie the game as the starting five took a breather on the bench.  The second quarter was a repeat of the first as the Rockets again stretched out a 7-point gap.  Torsten Kordt was monumental inside the key, posting up and doing the simple things well.  He governed the pace of the attack, the distribution, and control and it was easy to see why he had played top-level basketball in Germany in his ‘younger’ days.  If the game had not been bad enough for Archenoul it was to become even worse in the 3rd quarter when they were hit 19 to 4, and ended any thought they may have had of a come-back.  Chris Simms for the Rockets showed his mettle with 24 points and Archenoul can count themselves lucky that Pat Ogier decided to take a back seat after his exploits of the previous game’s eight 3-pointers.  Rabobank, since their early season losses, are the team in form and on this evidence will be vying for the title in May.

Woolwich continued in division three with another win, this time over Martel~Dunn by 60 to 30.  Despite having two players on holiday and two injured Woolwich had enough to spare as they clocked up their 7th win out of seven league matches.  The dangerous Kath Hyman was restricted to just six points by effective defence from Mariki Zietsman and Rosy Corbin, which gave the opportunity for others to shine.  Kirsty Hardman made shooting look easy with 18 points and Gemma Marquand, fresh from a few weeks inactivity, had a worthwhile game inside the key for 17 points.  Jo Savident worked relentlessly for Woolwich and Debbie Hunter territorially commanded the ‘interim ground’.

Neither of the semi-finals of the 2nd division knockout were particularly enthralling.  First the Giants brushed aside Archenoul 1 and then Rabobank were equally dismissive of La Fraternelle.  The Giants and Archenoul match was not however devoid of its moments.  Frustrated at their lack of scoring Archenoul became impetuous and tetchy, and the maladroit Giants showed that they possessed hidden talents.  Acting on evidence from their previous match Archenoul started with a zone defence, but it was rendered impotent by the sharp-shooting Giants who netted everything from around the edge of the key.  By the time Archenoul switched to a man-to-man the damage had been done and they lost heart in a game they had found it difficult to penetrate into the key.  Only the tall Peter Beausire had the confidence to take on the Giants under the basket as he came up with 22 points.  At the other end the Giants mixed their play, either taking the outside shot or else driving to the basket.  Andy Lamb carried off the scoring responsibility with 19 points, Pete Henry sneaked 18 and Robin Smith cut inside for 15 more in their 73 – 41 point win.

Giants opponents in the final will be Rabobank Rockets who toyed with La Fraternelle before inflicting a 64 – 42 point win.  A poor first quarter saw La Fraternelle virtually hand the opposition the game as they struggled to a 14 – 5 scoreline.  Thereafter the flow of the game was more even but La Fraternelle appeared confused as to who does what in their side, so much so that even the major scorers did not reach double figures.  Without their main inside man Rabobank were still able to coast to victory.  Phil English harried and generally caused a nuisance to the ball handler, and it was his enforced errors that gave the Rockets the initiative.  The remaining quarters all went the Rockets way with Pat Ogier scoring 21 points and playing a central role in his teams win.  A thrilling pairing is promised in the final between the Rockets and the Giants.

Week ending 27th January 2001

Richmond Jazz’ win over Archenoul in the 1st division could be put down to some sloppy play from Archenoul and a controlled display from Richmond.  Jim de Bertrand was on song with a match-winning 33 points, and despite 20 points from Andy Maiden and 14 from Andre de Carteret Archenoul fell below their best and succumbed to a jubilant Jazz side 66 – 58.

The previously known Pentagon Fliers, now known as the Giants, jumped to second place in the 2nd division with a solid performance against Red Onion.  The old adage that size matters was certainly true in this game when Red Onion were unable to get inside the key and were forced to use a strategy to suit the situation.  They moved the ball quickly round the zone until a good shooting opportunity came along and were able to get their shot away.  Unfortunately they then came up against the tall Giants who dominated the boards to prevent any second possession.  Coach Pat Ogier was pleased the way the women had moved the ball about, the speed of their play, and the intensity of the defence.  The combination of Mark Huntingdon, Pete Henry and Robin Smith led to many baskets from just rebounds, but they were also not averse to cutting and receiving the ball under the ring.  When swiftness was called for they also had Jason Bean and Jason Savident on hand to oblige.  If only the score was important then the game was over at half time with the score at 41 – 5, but for the purest the scoreline is not always as important as the way a team plays.  Kath Hyman scored 13 for Red Onion but she was well supported by Debbie Hunter, Jenny Hall, Helen Todd and Lynsey Hardman.  Huntingdon finished with 24 points for the Giants, Henry 19, Bean 18, and Smith 14, and on this form, winning by 89 to 28, there should be a real contest between themselves, Richmond Worriers and Archenoul 1 for the title.

In the 3rd division Youth Service controlled the game against Kleinwort Benson for three-quarters of the time and then allowed the opposition to come right back into the match in the fourth quarter, but it was too late by then for Kleinwort to make an impact.  Greg Shepherd plugged away for 17 points, popping up to score when it was needed, and with Jenny Hall scoring 14 they were the mainstay of the Youth Service team.  At 43 – 13 to Youth Service it was time for Kleinwort to make their move, which they did to some effect.  Had they played as well as this throughout the match the result may have ended differently.  Kate and Emma Henry decided to attack the basket at every opportunity and were rewarded with 22 points between them.  Youth Service hung on and ended 51 to 35 to the good.

Wednesday’s matches were knockout games, the highest score of the season going to Archenoul Blue when they demolished Richmond Jazz by 117 to 50.  Archenoul were a lot more focussed than on their last game, relentlessly bearing down on any mistakes made by the Jazz, who were handicapped by having no out-and-out point guard on court.  The pressure defence from Archenoul forced errors by the ball handler and it was another routine two points every time.  Having four island players in your team always helps, Andy Stephens, Lee Ogier, Liam Smyth and Adam Farish scoring 90 of their points.   Stephens enjoyed his time on court, sinking 5 three-pointers and posting 27 points altogether, Ogier showing agility and speed to register 25, Smyth fast breaking for 20 and Farish rebounding well for another 18.  The Jazz mirrored King Canute in that they were equally unsuccessful in stemming the tide, only Jim de Bertrand with 18 points any real threat to Archenoul’s party.

In the 2nd division knockout CIBC Cougars, by virtue of successful qualification from the 3rd division knockout competition, stepped on court to see how they would fare against Archenoul 1.  It was certainly an experience as Archenoul dictated most of the play, shading each quarter sufficiently to build up a substantial victory by 81 to 43.  The second quarter was particularly significant, Archenoul stamping their authority with an 18-2 score, that ended any hope the Cougars had of staying in the game.  Tom Rowe for Archenoul shot 3 long-range attempts in his 23 points, whilst Peter Beausire was happier scoring 22 points from under the basket.  Usually the Cougars rely on Nick Laker to score the majority of their points and he did not disappoint in this game making 23 points.  Unfortunately the rest of his team mates spectacularly illustrated just how much they do rely on his points.

In the lower divisions plate event Youth Service continued their recent improved spell with a win over HamburgLB by 46 to 35.  The game was a bit of a scrappy affair, the added height of Hamburg upsetting the usual confident Youth Service team.  Each quarter was edged by Youth Service who showed better shooting, until Hamburg decided to compete more in the fourth.  By that time it was too late for Torsten Kordt’s team to turn the game round but they demonstrated that they could achieve the sought after aims of scoring and then stopping the opposition by taking the quarter 11-7.  Lynette Le Cocq top-scored with 16 points, but needed someone else to help out with the scoring.

Week ending 20th January 2001

A convincing win for La Fraternelle by 99 – 46 saw them move ahead of Xtel in division 1 thanks to 33 points from Kerry Smyth and 29 from Andy Battle.  It gave the opportunity for all the players to gain court-time against a weakened Richmond Jazz side. Tim Roberts emerged with 18 as well, but the Jazz found offence difficult as La Fraternelle took control.

Rabobank Rockets secured the first league points of the season when they defeated Richmond Worriers by 67 to 40.  The win was set up from the first jump ball when the Rockets sped into a 17-0 lead, and the Worriers appeared somewhat shell-shocked by this onslaught.  To make matters worse Pat Ogier then took over the rest of the game with an exhibition of high quality shooting by scoring eight 3-pointers in his final tally of 33 points.  The Worriers found it difficult to close him down as he bided his time before unleashing a telling shot.  Inside the key Torsten Kordt used his vast experience to deny easy baskets for Andy Creed and dominated the key.  Hussling and harrying, the Rockets used their quicker players to break down court to score on a break and Phil English was particularly effective with 19 points.  Ken Davey instilled some sense of determination and application with 17 points but overall the Worriers were up against a slicker and more proficient opposition on the day.

In the 3rd division CIBC Cougars once again showed themselves to be the best in the league with a competent win over HamburgLB by 75 points to 31.  Lynette Le Cocq shouldered the main responsibility of Hamburg’s points with 21, and she desperately needed someone else to assist on offence.  Nick Laker notched up another 30 points and this time 18 points were added by Matt Chick and 13 from Lee Gallienne as the Cougars hauled themselves off the bottom of the league.

In the 2nd division knockout matches the closest game was between Rabobank Rockets and Richmond Worriers before the Rockets eked out a narrow 6-point win by 50 to 44.  Richmond started well with a 10-0 run only for the Rockets to reply with a similar run to tie the scores after the first quarter.  Rabobank then took the game by the scruff of the neck to take the 2nd quarter by 22 to 8.  Stung into action Richmond retaliated with a 17 to 6 third quarter run of their own to set up an intriguing last quarter.  With the game poised for either side to win Rabobank made it difficult for themselves when their leading scorer Chris Simms, who had already slotted home 18 points, was ejected from the game after 7 minutes.  His indiscipline might well have cost the Rockets the game but fortunately the rest of the team held out sufficiently as Richmond sensed the chance of victory.  Dave Legg rolled back the years to score 22 points mainly via lay-ups, and Ken Davey added 14 for the Worriers.  The Rockets’ win though was achieved by preventing Andy Creed scoring more than 4 points thanks to an effective zone defence where Torsten Kordt was solid.  His performance was a model for those aspiring to play in the post position who would do well to watch and emulate.

Pentagon Fliers made light work of Red Onion when their physical size alone was sufficient to secure easy baskets.  Pete Henry who has not been a regular for a couple of seasons showed his touch had not deserted him with 28 points, but Robin Smith and Mark Huntingdon also gave evidence that big men inside the key are dangerous.  They were able to pull down the rebounds at both ends, thus ensuring and preventing baskets with their superior height.  When speed was called for Jason Bean and Jason Savident answered with 26 points.  Red Onion’s approach play looked good but when faced with a tall zone they will have to find players who can shoot from outside in order to give the opposition something to think about.  Without Sarah Stonebridge and Kath Hyman they were short of height and experience and suffered a 25 – 86 defeat.

In the last knockout match La Fraternelle 2 beat Woolwich with an all-round team display by 68 to 33.  A close game vanished after 3 minutes of the second quarter when La Fraternelle put together a 16-0 stretch to seal Woolwich’ fate, the points being shared around, 12 from Nick Brocklebank and Ben Lamb.  The injured Sarah Stonebridge and Gemma Marquand were sorely missed, as was Kath Hyman for Woolwich, and their return will not be too soon. La Fraternelle now play Rabobank in the semi-final.

Week ending 12th January 2001

The rearranged game between the two Archenoul colours in the HamburgLB basketball league division 1 produced a nail biting finish.  Favourites to win the game Archenoul Blue had to rely on a ‘get out of goal card’ before they eventually secured the points.  Expectations were high prior to tip-off and both sides suffered pre-match nerves, as first Red named 11 on the bench in stead of the statutory 10, and secondly a surprise appearance of Martin Yabsley donned in a Blue vest.  Once the game got under way Archenoul Blue put together some slick passing and began to stretch out a not unexpected lead by the end of the first quarter, 20-16.  Lee Ogier for Archenoul Blue was causing problems with his drives on the basket, and with Andy Stephens converting from the perimeter the Reds looked to be heading for a hefty defeat.  Ashley Ward’s introduction to the game gave the Reds more control though and with Jamie Roussel and Gavin de la Mare they slowly denied the Blues the command they had previously enjoyed. 

As the second half started many thought that the 36-27 lead by the Blues would be extended and a comfortable win was in the offing.  Charlie Archenoul, back from his Caribbean holiday, fired his Red team up during the interval and it wasn’t long before the deficit had been wiped out through Ward and Andy Maiden.  The rest of the quarter was nip and tuck but the teamwork of the Reds was paying dividends, and a surprise win for the Reds looked more likely than the secure win by the Blues.  The start of the final quarter saw no respite for the Blues as the Reds’ lead was extended by 6 points from Ben Hill, and frustration began to creep into the Blues game.  There was the odd skirmish between the two sets of players but referees Barry Robilliard and Jules Le Gallez held a close rein on proceedings.  Time was running out for the Blues when their outside shooting finally paid off.  In the space of 3 minutes they shot four 3-pointers on the bounce to seal the Reds’ fate.  Now finding themselves suddenly 9 points down there was no way back, and on the final buzzer it was the Blues who were more relieved to have snatched a victory by 72 to 65 to keep their hopes alive of contesting the title.  Ogier with 20 and Stephens with 16 points were the mainstay of the Blues offence but Reds shared it round with de la Mare scoring 13 and Maiden 12.

Week ending 6th January 2001

After their defeat at the hands of La Fraternelle during the week Xtel were in action again against the Red variety of Archenoul.  They bounced back to register their 3rd win of the season and hold on to first place thanks to a vintage display from Chris Lamb.  Archenoul welcomed back Ashley Ward from Bath University and they had high hopes of improving on their lean season to date as he was immediately in the action and for 9 minutes of the first quarter held the threat of Simon Le Blancq at bay.  Unfortunately for Archenoul they could not stop Lamb, his inside work proving too strong for Andy Maiden, Ben Hill, Phil Sweet and Andre de Carteret.  His dominance was highlighted by a 3-minute spell in the second quarter when he scored 11 points, and with Nick Lawlor he combined well in both defence and offence.  At the turn-round Xtel led 38 to 26 and if Archenoul were to get back into the match they would have to defend better as a unit around the basket, but they failed dramatically.  Their play was unsuccessful, only Maiden demonstrated the effort required under the basket to keep Xtel within reach.  Lamb took a well-earned rest but returned in the fourth to turn the screw for the last time as he completed his haul of 31 points and move into pole position as the league’s leading scorer.  As Archenoul tired Xtel flourished, the game became more open and there were more scoring opportunities for both sides.  Gavin de la Mare top scored for Patrick Ogier’s side with 12 points but they posed few threats to the opposition who seemed to score at will.  When they required someone to score heavily inside to help spread the responsibility the Reds were found wanting.  A late burst from Xtel saw Le Blancq finish with 18 points to complete a one-two for the veterans in their 86-56 win.

Archenoul 1 in the 2nd division took another step towards the title with a narrow win over La Fraternelle 2.  A very even match boiled up to an intriguing finish, but La Fraternelle, having held the initiative for most of the second half, fell away in the last quarter and will rue their inability to score easy baskets.  As early as the 3rd minute of the second quarter the advantage seemed to swing towards La Fraternelle when defensive indiscipline from Archenoul forced a more restrained approach.  The interval arrived at 28 each, the team who could maintain their focus probably ending victorious.  La Fraternelle began brightly at the outset of the last period and with only 4 minutes to play were leading by 7 points thanks to Paul Battle with 16 points.  At this point the proverbial wheels went absent for La Fraternelle.  With the fifth foul on Nick Brocklebank who retired to the bench with 15 points they lacked height and with it the game.  In the space of 4 minutes they failed to score at all while Archenoul put together a 14-0 run to win with something to spare 54-47 with Peter Beausire especially on form with 21 points.  Had La Fraternelle been anywhere near par from the free throw line they would have probably won, only 8 from 28 will not have pleased their coach at all.

The 3rd division was busy with three games.  First in line was the top of the table clash between Woolwich and NRG.  Without the dependable Karen Jehan NRG missed an influential player and her experience in defence was decisive.  Ominously Wendy Van Katwyk opened the scoring for NRG but Woolwich settled quickly to take a first quarter lead.  The second was even but the third was crucial as Woolwich eased ahead with Jo Savident always available for the quick offence. Karen Buck tried hard to keep her side in touch feeding Annette Marriott, Annette Hainsworth and Van Katwyk at every opportunity.  Woolwich counteracted with fast breaks, Kath Hyman getting on the end to score 16 critical points.  Towards the end of the last quarter NRG’s fatigue had become too much to make up the deficit, but never write off Van Katwyk as she netted 11 of her 25 points inside 3 minutes.  Had there been a little more time NRG might have sneaked a win but Tracey Martel calmed Woolwich down as they saw the clock run out on a 51-41 win.

Youth Service overcame their encounter with Martel~Dunn by 60 to 15.  A depleted Martel~Dunn side were without their leading scorers and they struggled to put the ball away when they had the chance, while Youth Service had Marcus Queripel and Greg Shepherd to score for them, 17 and 23 respectively.  Patrick Ogier must have been pleased with his young side with their first win since the beginning of the season.

CIBC Cougars celebrated 2001 with a comfortable win over Kleinwort Benson by 49-22.  Adie Clay’s side made it difficult for the Cougars to instil their brand of basketball and restricted the usually prolific scorers to just 49 points.  Matt Chick led the way with 16 points but he had ample support from Ben Betts with 13 and Nick Laker 12.

Week ending 15th December

The opening stages of this high-octane game gave no indication of the drama to follow. Lee Ogier opened the scoring with two baskets for Archenoul to indicate his intentions for the rest of the match, but Chris Bale broke La Fraternelle’s duck with the first of his five 3-pointers. Apart from a lone basket by Nigel Govett however, La Fraternelle failed to score another field goal in the quarter. Archenoul moved the ball around with purpose and looked a better team than on their last visit to the court. As the game entered the second quarter Chris Mountford’s Fraternelle team reduced the arrears to 2 points and then played possibly the worst basketball ever seen at Beau Sejour and even below that witnessed daily in school gyms. If a statistician had been present they would have run out of paper for turn-overs and missed shots. Archenoul pressed relentlessly on, scoring on nearly every shot that went up. With two seconds to go the Blues led 36 – 17 and without Andy Battles running 3-pointer on the buzzer the ‘yellows’ would have been staring down the end of the barrel, humiliated and receiving their worst ever defeat. Archenoul were pleased to go into the break with such a lead, and as long as they kept focussed they had nothing to fear.

Coaches usually don’t make that much difference to the outcome of a game, but whatever Mountford said to his players it was probably unrepeatable but had an immediate effect. As if there were a different team on court, Harry Potter had used a particularly good magic potion on this occasion. La Fraternelle cut out the bad passing, were more forceful in offence and continued to defend strongly. Gradually the deficit was reduced but not before Ogier had scored all Archenoul’s points in the third quarter. Smarting from La Fraternelle’s comeback Archenoul suddenly became more nervous and with Ogier on 4 fouls he was forced to sit on the bench. Worse was to follow as the driving of from Liam Smyth was removed when he received his 5th penalty and had to endure the rest of the game from the sidelines. Still 9 points up Archenoul then failed to score more than two points in the quarter as La Fraternelle, now on a roll, edged gradually closer. Bale tied the game with a 3-pointer and with Kerry Smyth knocking down 20 points the tide had turned, and it was Archenoul who were coming from behind. Having led comfortably throughout the match Archenoul were a little shell-shocked and were unable to respond, losing by 7 points in the end 57-64. Coach Patrick Ogier expressed disappointment with his side having lost a 19 point lead at one stage, but Mountford was equally pleased at the way his team had responded and turned it round by a massive 26 points. Ogier was at the heart of Archenoul’s performance making 26 points, and with Smyth and Andy Stephens playing well it was difficult to see where Archenoul had lost the initiative. La Fraternelle were grateful to Bale as he stepped up to score 25 points, his best for longer than it should be, and to Smyth for his 20 points and unorthodox approach. Archenoul will have to put this one down to experience and bounce back if they are to remain a real challenge, whilst La Fraternelle cannot afford to give any side this sort of lead, next time the mountain will be too hard to climb.

Woolwich kept ahead of the rest in division 3 with a win over Youth Service by 55 to 33. After last week’s knockout defeat by the same team Youth Service were determined that they could atone for previous results. They had begun the season with two wins and with confidence high it has been something of a learning experience as they suffered the taste of defeat in their next three games. They possess good skill and as they play together more they will undoubtedly improve, but as yet they give the opposition a good game. Eventually they will convert these games into victories. A very low scoring first quarter was tentatively played out by both sides and at 5-4 to Woolwich the final score could have seen Bazza delving into the record books. The game perked up though and as the teams settled so the scoring improved. Each side possessed its seasonal bright star; Kath Hyman angelically scoring 20 for Woolwich and Marcus Queripel shepherding 17 for Youth Service. Neither side gave much support to these two but Woolwich outscored Youth Service in this department 35 to 16 and with it the match.

The 3rd division knockout match between NRG and CIBC Cougars saw the Cougars progress to the final when NRG could not raise a starting team.

Week ending 8th December

Archenoul Red picked up their first win of the season in division 1 of the HamburgLB basketball leagues this week with a win over new boys Richmond Jazz. The league points were welcome but it was a far from convincing victory as the Jazz pushed them close until the last few minutes. Lack of consistency from both teams contributed to their problems, either side could have secured their first win but in the end Archenoul held together long enough to move off the bottom of the league with a 75-65 victory. Archenoul began as though they had a point to prove after their previous disappointments, and rattled up a 21-10 first quarter lead with Andy Maiden inspiring his teammates with 10 early points. He drove strongly to the basket on many occasions to finish off good approach work from Gavin de la Mare and Tom Hill. The Jazz began to organise themselves into a team during the second quarter and cut the deficit in the last minute to just three points mainly through Tom Colley and Will Jones bearing down on the Reds basket. Two late baskets from de la Mare however saw Archenoul into the break with a 7-point lead, but the quarter had gone to the Jazz by 4 points and they looked to have brought themselves back into contention. Better was to follow. The Jazz blazed the third quarter with a 21-4 run, deservedly going into the final quarter confidently at 53-47 to the good. Jazz captain Jim de Bertrand, after a quiet first half in which he scored only 6, had taken it upon himself to lead by example with 19 points, and inspired James Robert with 14, Tim Bacon with 10, and Colley with 12 to punish slack marking from the Reds as they racked on the points. Unfortunately for the Jazz events swung quickly and they did not help their cause when they failed to score for five minutes a the beginning of the last quarter with a combination of poor shooting and turn-overs, while Nick Leale’s team seized the initiative to take the lead themselves. It was the turning point of the game, with just 6 minutes to play the Jazz ran out of time, failing to score and allowing Archenoul to convert at the other end as they moved the score from 49-55 to 63-55. Maiden finished off the game with a strong 16 points in the last 7 minutes to bring his total for the game to 32, the best of the season in division 1 so far. De la Mare prompted from guard position scoring 14 points, but realising Maiden was in prime form he settled for supplying the ball at every opportunity, and at the same time thankfully recording their first win.

The match between Xtel and La Fraternelle was played out with La Fraternelle struggling to find any form and Xtel not having to extend themselves to any degree. By half time Xtel had knocked out a comfortable 8-point margin and held a late challenge from the ‘yellows’ who came within 2 points on a couple of occasions. Xtel’s defence was little troubled and they controlled the match with Simon Le Blancq securing 18 points. The main difference between the two sides was that whereas La Fraternelle squandered their scoring chances, Xtel converted theirs with Tony Cranchi picking up 15 points from around the basket. Kerry Smyth scored 13 points for La Fraternelle and Chris Bale 16 who looked to have made a recovery but trailed away to allow Xtel to complete a second victory to the season by 67 to 58.

The 3rd division knockout progressed through its early stages with fine wins for Woolwich, CIBC Cougars and Martel~Dunn. It was a particularly good win for Martel~Dunn when within two weeks their results have matched the frequency of buses. They had never won before last week and now two consecutive wins announced their arrival. It is to be hoped that their performances will not be affected by the vagaries more commonly associated with the transport system. The game lived up to the expectations of a knockout, a closely matched game that had to go to overtime before Martel~Dunn secured their win by 49 to 44. It was a thrilling encounter when Martel~Dunn took the first quarter, Kleinwort Benson replied by edging the second, the third quarter went Martel~Dunn’s way again only for Kleinwort to win the fourth. The final quarter saw Adie Clay’s Kleinwort side pull ahead to 43-40 and with time running out Mariki Zietsman who finished with 15 points shot a last ditch 3-pointer to save the game for MD. Emma Henry after making 16 points then contrived to miss two free throws that forced the game into an extra 5 minutes. Laura Gaukroger was in no mood for a second period of extra time and scored all 6 points for a total of 14 to kill off any chance of Kleinwort making a comeback.

HamburgLB put up a spirited display against favourites CIBC Cougars before succumbing 59-19. As a game it was one sided when it came to scoring but competitively HamburgLB matched the Cougars for effort and organisation. Torsten Kordt’s side permutated the bench but they all came up against the taller, faster Cougars side for whom Nick Laker rebounded well at both ends of the court. He ended up with 20 points but there were moments from Matt Chick who scored 16. The Hornets can take heart from a good defensive display, on many occasions they thwarted Cougars attempts with effective blocking and rebounding.

Woolwich and Youth Service served up an intriguing match before Woolwich held on to a precarious lead to win 58-45. Throughout the match it was uncertain whether a 5-strong Woolwich would have the legs to last out all match against a younger and no less skilful Youth Service team. Woolwich got off to the start they wanted, 12-2 up at the end of the quarter, after which it was evenly contested. Youth Service have one or two ‘nuggets’ who will develop over the next few years and it was Jenny Hall, Greg Shepherd and Matt Queripel who caught the eye. Shepherd emerged during the second quarter to score 9 of his 15 points and began to give them hope of an upset. They had in Island captain Kath Hyman a never-say-die opponent and it was she who accounted for 24 points and helped steady a nervy Woolwich who wobbled a few times before progressing to the next round where they play Martel~Dunn.

The division 3 game between HamburgLB and Kleinwort Benson was low scoring but no less competitive before HamburgLB snatched a slender victory by 29 to 25. Defences ruled the day and neither side was able to score as shooting became a rare commodity. Kate and Emma Henry once again did the bulk of Kleinwort’s scoring, 15 out of 25 coming from the sisters. They will have to find additional sources of finding the net if they are to make inroads into the title chase.

Week ending 1st December

La Fraternelle started their campaign with an easy win over the out-of-sorts Archenoul Red team with an 86-55 win. Andy Battle for La Fraternelle with 19 points led the charge as the game lacked method and discipline. The Reds were unable to muster a cohesive defence and La Fraternelle took the opportunity to attack with impunity, reminiscent of a training session rather than a competitive match. After stamping their authority on the game in the first quarter, La Fraternelle sat back to allow Archenoul to tie up the second, but this respite was short lived as the 12-point Jan Renouf inspired La Fraternelle to turn up the heat in the third and fourth quarters to win convincingly. Nigel Govett with 16 points returned for La Fraternelle after an injury and he looked stronger than last year when he struggled to stay fit, and a leaner Chris Bale must have been disappointed with his first outing when he finished with only 3 points to his name. The much improved Kerry Smyth rounded off a competent display with 17 points. Archenoul Reds were shorn of their best players when Nick Leale pulled out with a back injury which is likely to keep him sidelined for several weeks, Ashley Ward who is away at Bath University and Martin Yabsley who is recovering from a knee operation. Despite these absences Jamie Roussel and Gavin de la Mare tried to keep their team moving forward with 14 and 11 points respectively but they were up against a stronger outfit. It may be a long season for the Reds.

Archenoul Blue atoned for their previous disappointment when they accounted for Richmond Jazz who were playing their first game in the first division by 92 to 45. At times Blue demonstrated their undoubted ability with a classy show. Their game is built around pressure defence and this was no exception as they challenged for every ball and put pressure on the lone ball handler James Robert who desperately sought and was given little support from his colleagues. After a close first quarter Archenoul Blue romped away with the game and won at a canter, with the tired looking Lee Ogier scoring 19 points, ably assisted by Andy Stephens and Liam Smyth with 14 apiece. Richmond’s best players, Tim Bacon with 12 points and Jim de Bertrand with 13, gave some sort of reply but their initiation into the top league was a stark learning experience.

In division 2 life does not get any easier for Red Onion as they received their latest defeat at the hands of Richmond Worriers, this time by 62 to 28. With several players short and an injury to Sarah Stonebridge early in the game Red Onion were down to 7 effective players, two of whom had little experience at this level. The first quarter was evenly matched but when Andy Creed stirred himself from the bench after the first break the result was never in doubt as he helped himself to 20 points and distributed the ball with aplomb from the top of the key. Tracey Martel and Kath Hyman stood out for Red Onion but, willing though they were, they faced an impossible task against the huge height difference in the teams.

The highlight of the 3rd division was a first ever win for the team now playing under the Martel~Dunn banner. HamburgLB seemed to be heading for an inevitable win as they stretched out a first half lead of 17-9, but a determined Martel~Dunn side took the third quarter by storm and finished it off strongly in the last. The turning point came as first Emma Atkinson and then Mariki Zietsman capitalised on the tiredness of HamburgLB to make their efforts count, both scoring 10 points, and give Martel~Dunn real cause for celebration which they duly did on the final whistle by 37 points to 29. HamburgLB can thank Island player Lynette Le Cocq for most of their total as she overshadowed everyone with 23 points, a massive 80% of her side’s total, but individuals rarely win matches, demonstrated so well by the team effort of Martel~Dunn.

NRG boosted their title hopes with another win, this time over Kleinwort Benson by 40 to 17. NRG did not have to play particularly well but they did enough to eclipse Kleinwort especially in the 1st and 4th quarters. In between, Adie Clay’s team rallied sufficiently to outscore NRG but they lacked anyone to score apart from Emma Henry who slotted 12. Not that NRG had anyone to score heavily either, Wendy Van Katwyk also notched 12, but their all-round superiority was enough to coast to another win. It was more a case of a solid rather than a sparkling win.

CIBC Cougars took to the court for only the second time this season but they made up for lost time with a 99-27 point win over Martel~Dunn. The predictable Cougars are good at fast breaking and once again they were quickest down court to convert the lay-up. Any rebounds available were picked up by the tall Nick Laker and he added to his already huge points total with another 36. The question to ask is how good is he? Should he be plying his skills in a higher division and aiming for an Island Junior place? These are difficult to assess in the 3rd division. Martel~Dunn gave plenty of effort but could not handle the faster and taller Cougars, who must surely breeze past every team in this division.

Week ending 24th November

Division 1 got off to an intriguing start with Xtel just holding Archenoul Blue to secure a 74 - 63 win.  Archenoul were expecting high things this season and the team received a knock to its confidence as the experience of ex-Generali player Chris Lamb, teamed up with Simon Le Blancq again after several years.   With 17 and 27 points respectively they certainly made a huge difference in the outcome of the game.  Archenoul were always active and competed well but they lost their way at times to give up hard-earned possession by a careless pass.  Once they settle to a disciplined team game then they will be difficult to beat as Lee Ogier, Andy Stevens, Greg Chester and Adam Farish demonstrated at times.

In division 2 La Fraternelle second string sprang a surprise when they defeated Rabobank by 63 to 57 with a late surge in the final minute. Trailing by 2 points with the hooter poised to signal Richard Davey showed his scoring potential with a total of 8 points, including two 3-pointers to stun the Rockets. La Fraternelle had started the game confidently but the lead exchanged hands several times in a close match-up. Neither side was able to relax as both tried to open up a commanding lead, but it was left to Chris Simms for Rabobank and Davey for La Fraternelle to vie for their MVP award. As the game unfolded the greater teamwork of the ‘yellows’ turned out to be superior to the individualism of the Rockets for whom Simms scored 19. Patrick Ogier tried desperately to prevent his side’s defeat with 9 of his 15 points in the last quarter but to no avail. Davey led the scoring for La Fraternelle with 18 but he well supported by Nick Brocklebank with 14, Paul Battle with 13 and James Draper with 12.

Division 3 has been particularly active with Woolwich acquiring two wins, the first against HamburgLB by 62 to 24. A full bench from Woolwich was ideal to permutate the players and dominate the game throughout. Kath Hyman was top of the scoring charts with 16 points with a particularly strong inside game, but most of the team helped her out as they were rotated off the bench. HamburgLB left it to Lynette Le Cocq to make their reply with 12 points, none of their other players notching more than 4 points. Coach Torsten Kordt will be glad when he gets his full team back together again, several have given this season a miss as they prepare for the Island Games concentrating on volleyball.

In their other match Woolwich were given the points when the College side failed to turn out a team on time.

Kleinwort Benson overcame a disappointing first half against Martel~Dunn with a second half recovery to win by 41 to 34. The very low scoring opening half sprang into life during the second as the Henry sisters took it on themselves to avert defeat. Kate finished with 15 and Emma 12 as they accounted for two thirds of their side's score. Martel~Dunn made Kleinwort work hard but were unable to make their opportunities count, the third quarter especially telling when it went Kleinwort’s way by 17 points to 10 and virtually settled the final result.

NRG easily disposed of Youth Service by 56 points to 23 although they were much depleted. Annette Marriott found herself in plenty of space on many occasions to add 21 points, but NRG were too wily and experienced to be put off by the skilful Youth Service side. They, like many others, found the zone defence too hard to break down. When they have their full side out again NRG look to be the team to beat in this division.

Week ending 12th November 2000

The clash between the previously unbeaten heavyweights of the 2nd division, Archenoul 1 and Pentagon Fliers, featured the best game of the season so far when in a close game Archenoul managed to squeeze past the Fliers by just 4 points. Tom Rowe in Archenoul's colours pre-empted Pentagon by scoring three long-range shots within the first quarter to take the lead. Pentagon were slow off the blocks to respond and it took until the final quarter before they had reversed the advantage by 4 points at 38 to 34. Pentagon made it difficult for Archenoul to penetrate the key with their intimidating zone defence, Mark Huntingdon, Robin Smith and Lenka Cervinkova dominating the area under the basket. Jason Bean broke away for 12 points to top score for the Fliers, but as the game approached the final whistle they were guilty of handing the game to their opponents. Firstly they had two players fouled out yet they should still have secured a win. Holding the lead 40 - 38 with 6 minutes to go in the final quarter Pentagon thereafter failed to score a single point and allowed Archenoul to ease past their total for a hard earned victory by 44 to 40 that takes them to the top of the league. Rowe finished with 16 points, Archenoul showing just how vital free throws are when they converted 11 of their 21, and Pentagon only 6 from the same number.

CIBC Cougars in division 3 made their first appearance on court and celebrated by becoming the first team this season to score over a three-figure total as they overwhelmed the diminutive yet previously unbeaten Youth Service by 102 to 31. Nick Laker accounted for 45 points and missed as many again as the Cougars took control both by height advantage and in their ability to fast break and convert at the other end. Youth Service showed dexterity and no mean skill but they were up against a team that will probably find division 3 too much of a breeze. The Cougars weakness may be their lack of strength on the bench and should they run into foul trouble they could suffer the odd defeat, depending on how many points they had scored before they ran out of players. Matt Chick also added 24 points for the College team, but Youth Service relied too much on just two players to do their scoring, and will have to share the responsibility around in future games.

NRG made light work of their first run-out with a 45 - 30 win over the young Martel~Dunn side. Opening up a 16-2 lead after the first quarter NRG were never troubled and dictated the tempo of the game as they went in search of their inaugural victory. For NRG Annette Marriott demonstrated that she has lost nothing over the summer with 16 points and the dependable Wendy Van Katwyk contributed a further 16 by waiting for the easy shot to present itself. Martel~Dunn tried desperately to achieve some success but they were thwarted countless times by the tenacious defence from NRG, although Rosie Corbin made her presence felt under the basket to gain a few rebounds. NRG proved themselves to be a difficult team to beat and it would be no surprise if the carried off the title this year.

Week ending 4th November 2000

The HamburgLB basketball leagues was truncated this week due to the volleyball tournament but there were wins for Richmond Worriers in division 2 and in division 3 both Youth Service and Woolwich maintained their unbeaten season.

Richmond Worriers turned out a full bench for their game against La Fraternelle 2 and produced a workmanlike if not spectacular result. The Worriers began well to open up an 8-nil lead from which point they never looked back. By the end of the first quarter they were in control at 18 to 6. La Fraternelle then made something of a recovery to win the second period by 11 to 7, but the last two quarters consolidated Richmond's advantage to finish 59 to 41 ahead. Andy Creed dominated proceedings with 22 points for the Worriers, no-one else reaching double figures. La Fraternelle were not overawed and had Richard Davey to thank for 15 points and when Nick Brocklebank begins to assert himself then they should begin to pick up. They effectively lost the game in the very first quarter when they found themselves 12 points adrift.

In the 3rd division Woolwich moved to the top of the table with a comfortable win over Martel~Dunn by 85 to 18. The score was somewhat flattering, as the difference between the two sides was not as large as the final score may appear. Whilst Woolwich scored on most of their offences, Martel~Dunn squandered theirs, but youthful zeal will develop into experienced control in the next few years. They have a nucleus of potentially good players and several may be vying for Island places before too long. Tracy Martel with 21 points enjoyed herself but she had adequate support from Kath Hyman (13) and the improved Ginette Blondel (13).

Youth Service kept their unbeaten record and moved alongside Woolwich with another close game, this time with a win by 52 to 43 against HamburgLB. It was Hamburg that stormed away in the early stages as they took control of the opening quarter by 22 points to 11 but tailed off considerably thereafter. At the end of the 3rd quarter the game at 35-34 to Hamburg was evenly balanced but two 3-pointers from G. Shepperd stretched the game beyond Torsten Kordt's side. Shepperd ended up with 21 points and it was left to L. Le Cocq to score 24 of Hamburg's 43 points.

Week ending 27th October 2000

The HamburgLB sponsored basketball season began with predictable wins for Archenoul 1 and Pentagon Fliers in division 2. Youth Service and Woolwich opened their accounts with victories in division 3. This season sees new rule changes, FIBA moving more into line with the NBA, and all the players seemed to adapt well and take them in their stride.

In division 2 Peter Beausire looked as though he had been waiting for the start of the new season for a long time as he scored 34 points for Archenoul against a weakened Red Onion team. Forced to play Kath Hyman in an unusual position at guard summed up Red Onion's problems. Her strength of moving inside to the basket was removed and Sarah Stonebridge, Lynsey Hardman and Gemma Marquand all struggled to stamp any authority under the ring. With only 4 fouls in the entire match Red Onion failed to compete. The final score of 86 to 50 to Archenoul may have been much closer if they had shown more determination to prevent the opposition from scoring. Archenoul's fast break and the ability to gain the rebound off the backboards paid dividends as they fed Beausire repeatedly. Tom Rowe three times gave a brief display of his shooting improvement with shots that made little else except the net move as he converted from well outside the 3-point arc in his total of 23. The game must have been disappointing for Red Onion in a season when they will have to show a lot more commitment and someone to make a real impression on the scoreboard. It was left to Hyman to top score with 12 points, but on the positive side there was a good debut for young Jeanny Hall who showed promise.

Pentagon Fliers with most of their players stepping down from the first division with Generali encountered a spirited Rabobank side but were far too experienced to allow an early upset. Pentagon coasted through each quarter to finish with a comfortable win by 98 to 35. Andy Lamb reached 22 for pentagon but he was well supported by Jason Bean with 18, Robin Smith 17, Lenka Cervinkova 16 and new signing Matt Staples with 15. Patrick Ogier's Rockets side failed to take off despite potentially having a useful team but the side will benefit when they start to function as a team rather than the individualistic approach. Ogier himself was the only player to reach double figures with 15 points.

New team Kleinwort Benson led by Adie Clay gave Youth Service a close game in division 3 before the Youth team clinched victory by 40 to 37. A slow first quarter burst into life during the second and third quarters but then went back to sleep for the final quarter. Clay made her mark on the season when, after rebounding well in her central role in a 2-3 zone, was the first player to be fouled out. The Henry sisters, Emma and Katie, led Kleinwort in the scoring stakes with 14 and 11 points respectively. Youth Service relied too much on one player, M. Queripel, who scored 25 points, 63% of their total, and they will have to play more as a team in future if they are to gain more success.

Last year's division 4 winners, Woolwich, started with a predictable win against Kleinwort Benson by 52 points to 8. Sarah Stonebridge did most of the damage for Woolwich with 14 points but she was ably supported with 12 points from Kath Hyman. Jo Savident has lost no appetite for buzzing around the court and her fast break was responsible for setting up a good number of baskets for her colleagues. Gemma Marquand settled in with her new team as did Ginette Blondel and Kirsty Hardman who replaced her sister Lynsey. Kleinwort Benson competed well and never gave up, always making the effort to get back into their zone defence. Karen Blanchford worked hard as did Karen Tracey, and they will only improve as the season unfolds.

CIBC Cougars got off to an inauspicious start when they failed to turn up for two matches against HamburgLB and NRG. Despite being pre-season favourites for the league the Elizabeth College team will now find it nearly impossible to carry off the trophy.