WEST Craven Turbines’ womens side have recently held their first-ever home games at Marsden Heights Community College after starting from scratch a mere 10 months ago.
Last week the locals went down 117-27 against Holy Cross Angels of Bury, before facing an even tougher test against MMU Cheshire - a university team that had many players with experience and talent.
The Turbines were missing two guards, one of which was star guard and top scorer Ashleigh Tatersall, and the ladies were a little short on players, with just one on the bench.
Turbines started the game shakily with MMU taking advantage of the scoring and taking comfortable control of the game early on.
Turbines struggled to show any signs of scoring on the offence, and had to play most of the first quarter on defence, which had seen a number of improvements throughout both the week’s practices.
Forward Katy Watson was the only player to score in the first period with a well-earned free throw, taking the first quarter score to 22-1 to the visitors.
The second quarter saw a step up on defence, however offence was still lacking, with the ball being turned over numerous times.
Most of the problems came from a lack of patience and not making good decisions when passing the ball, and at the half the score was 36-1.
The third quarter began with Watson going strong to the hoop with a couple of good moves to earn her points on the boards.
MMU had to work hard to find the basket as the Turbines defence stepped up with some good play from Pickles and Watson.
The offence still lacked as Turbines would still turn the ball over with some tough attempted passes and poor spacing, and the majority of MMU’s points came from continuous fast breaks.
The fourth quarter saw Turbines run out of steam and MMU take full advantage of the scoring, where they ran away with the game 101-11.
The scoring lacked for Turbines as forwards Watson and Jackson shared the points.
Although Turbines lost the game by 90 points, the result didn’t show how they stepped up on defence as two thirds of MMU’s points came from transition.
However, big improvements must be made on the offence to prevent this problem in future games.
West Craven now enter the Christmas break with a number of things to work on, accompanied with new players to be brought in.
They have a good benchmark as their next game in the New Year is on the road against MMU.
Against Holy Cross Angels, the first quarter saw the Turbines get off to a shaky start as they lacked confidence in dealing with Angels’ impressive, well-structured offence.
Angels had to work hard in the early stages of the game as Turbines defence was stronger than expected, however, lapses in concentration would then see baskets scored inside by the opposition.
On offence Turbines struggled to score and see any way to break through Angels’ impressive defence. But they had some good spells with rising star, point guard Ashleigh Tatersall, providing some excellent passes into centre forward Steph Jackson.
The second quarter consisted of more scoring but still Turbines conceded baskets as coach Ireton rotated the bench and brought on young guards Kirsty Goodwill and Amelia Ward to fill in for key player Tatersall, as her hard work unfortunately took her into foul trouble.
The half-time score was 58-9 to Angels.
As the third quarter began the home side tired as they lacked in rotation of the bench due to foul trouble and only having seven players available. However, signs of potential became clear as West Craven increased scoring, with Goodwill scoring an inside two and Jackson claiming some strong offensive rebounds, while forward Katy Watson added four points.
The Turbines began the fourth quarter well, but the game ran away from them with some continuous fast breaks by Angels. At the offensive end the Turbines set themselves a target of scoring over 25 points, which they achieved with hard-working guard Pickles shooting a long two.
Now free of her earlier foul problems Tattersall was free to show what she is capable of, making some quick, slicing moves to the hoop. Sarah Rowland put in another solid performance after being moved into a starting spot.
Coach Ireton made sure all his players got the most out of a really tough game, and noted: “We clearly have a way to go but the improvements made from each game have been very impressive as a team and individually, particular the second half performance from Ward.”
The final score was 27-117 with Angels taking a comfortable win.