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Nottingham Academy

Under 17 Girls 2017/18 Review

A review of the Nottingham Academy Under 17 Girls Basketball Team 2017-2018

Under 17 Girls

The Under 17 Girls have had a strange pool this year as they only played two of their four games, with the other two teams forfeiting.  The two older girls teams have been hampered by injuries all season with the U’17’s losing Caitlyn Riley to a foot injury while Brahe Ashton has been in and out of the line up all season due to ankle injuries.  This has led to the U’16 Girls having to step up in a big way, with several games at both U’19 and U’17 this year seeing two year 10’s in the starting five! 

Mariam Olawoyin and Nicol Sobel have been required to step up all season long and have both shown their tenacious defence and much improved offence, with Mariam gradually becoming one of the team’s top scorers.  Caitlyn Riley has had a tough season and missed a large portion (including the girl’s second pool game) due to a foot operation.  We are however confident Caitlyn will bounce back and continue to show the improved shooting form and ability with the ball she was showing before her operation.  Fola Okanlawon has stepped up in Caitlyn’s absence, contributing explosive speed and strength alongside her toughness.  Brahe Ashton has taken the helm of the team at the point, and Brahe’s commitment to improving her understanding and attitude have paid off this season despite a number of injuries.  Brahe’s ability to create with the basketball has seen her selected to the England U’16’s last summer, and we hope for more from her in the near future once she is fully healthy again.  As they have in the U’16’s, Tasmin Hickling, Savanna McKenna, Barachelle Ogunlade and Rhianna Barret have all provided huge contributions off the bench for the U’17s, with Tasmin knocking down shots in the first game of the year while Savanna has demonstrated an improved ability to pass the ball alongside her defence.  Barachelle and newcomer Rhianna bring real toughness to the team and a willingness to sacrifice to help their teammates.

With only two fixtures at U’17, the girls faced a perennial powerhouse in Charnwood in their first game in which they put up a valiant performance through three quarters, but simply could not hold on through the fourth and lost 41 – 79.  In their second game against Ayelsbury High School the girls were without Caitlyn, which put extra pressure on the girls due to Ayelsbury’s size inside.  Again the girls were able to stick with the opposition for three quarters, but were unable to hold on in the 4th, losing the game 67 – 82.  With this team made up of three different year groups and many of the girls playing up we are confident we’ll see even more from them in the coming years.