May 24 2013 Latest news:
By John Hutchinson, Sports Reporter
Friday, May 4, 2012
HERTFORDSHIRE Warriors U16 girls are on track to make club history by being the first to reach a national final.
The teenagers have progressed to the final fours of the England Basketball Nationals following a 60-52 victory over Southend Swifts.
Warriors, who train at Queens’ School in Watford, and include girls from Brookmans Park, Hatfield and Potters Bar will now meet Sevenoaks Suns in Sheffield this Sunday (May 6) for the chance to play either Haringey Angels or Manchester Mystics in the final.
Hertfordshire have had an outstanding season with 16 league wins and no losses.
The girls knew they faced a tough challenge against Southend, as they had lost to the Essex outfit by a point in a tense cup game earlier in the year.
However, they made a lively start to the contest and found themselves 23-6 up at the end of the first quarter.
In the second period Southend came back fighting and by half-time had managed to pull back the score to 30-29.
Coach Tony Marmo’s half-time team talk reaped its rewards as the Warriors increased their lead with some three-point shots as well as frustrating their opponents by running down the shot clock with their passing style.
At the end of the third quarter Warriors were up by nine to lead 45-36, however a dramatic final quarter saw Southend hit three three-point shots in a row to pull the score back to 54-52.
With one minute to go on the clock Southend had no other option but to deliberately foul to force Warriors to the free throw line.
Herts remained calm under pressure and scored their free throws and a timely basket on the final buzzer allowed Warriors to claim their place in the final four.
The girls will now be working hard to get past Sevenoaks when they meet in Sheffield. Sevenoaks will prove tough opposition, but Warriors will be dreaming of a chance to beat them in the semi and make club history to be the first team to get to a national final.