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Nottingham Academy

Under 19 Women 2017/18 Review

A review of the Nottingham Academy Under 19 Women's Basketball Team 2017-18

The U’19 women have had a tough year in terms of results, but an exciting year in terms of development.  They compete in the Women’s Elite Academy Basketball League (WEABL). With team mainstay and leader Denise Lawal leaving college for other commitments the team has been hit by injuries to all four of our sixth formers; Syra Haque has been out indefinitely with a serious knee injury and has been focusing on her studies this year; Caitlyn Riley needed an operation on her foot that has left her side-lined for the second half of the season while both Brahe Ashton and Ines Guerrerio have suffered with repetitive injuries this year.  With the entire starting five facing issues of one kind or another, the U’16 girls have had to step up in a big way, and they’ve responded.  Once again Mariam Olawoyin and Nicol Sobel have had to perform as starters despite their age, and with Caitlyn and Brahe’s more recent injuries Fola Okanlawon has stepped up as well.  Tasmin Hickling and Savanna McKenna have contributed of the bench, both of them finding roles that play to their strengths in order to help the team.  Barachelle Ogunlade and Rhianna Barret have also really stepped up at this level, and their excellent defensive effort in their last game was prime indicator of their improvement.

Before her operation, Caitlyn Riley was really starting to show what she can do, as she’s become a lights out shooter in her range as well as a capable passer.  Once Caitlyn is back on court full time we are confident she will continue her development at pace.  Despite a number of ankle injuries this year, Brahe Ashton has been prominent for the team when she has played, displaying her creativity with the ball as well as her improved scoring touch both around the basket and from range.  Brahe’s biggest improvements this year have come in her attitude and demeanour, both on and off the court, and if this continues she will only develop further.  The last “senior” member of the team, Ines Guerrerio has overcome a pair of injuries this season and gone on to be named “All-WEABL 3rd Team”.  She has lead the U’19’s all the way through the season and produced some excellent games for us.  Ines came all the way from Portugal to join the Academy and we have been proud of her contributions, on court and off, since she has been here.  Ines and Syra will be moving on at the end of this year and will be missed.

The girls had a tough season competing in the WEABL; Women’s Elite Academy Basketball League.  The league is split into two halves, with regional competitions up until Christmas, and the winner s of those competitions moving on to a second pool, while the losers move into their own pool.  The girls won a pulse raising game against Moulton College in overtime in their first game, with  both teams trading baskets throughout the 4th quarter before the Academy Women could take it away in overtime.  Their second game was a tight loss to Lloreto College before a tough game against local rivals Charnwood College.  The girls went into the second pool where they struggled to begin with, but have showed great resilience by beating Moulton 78 – 45 in the return game.  They also turned a 37 - 63 loss to Greig City into a 37 – 50 loss in the return leg.  This shows the improvements the girls have begun to make, especially as Brahe was out injured for this final game.  With such a young side we can only look forward to their improvement from this group as the years progress.