Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

U-18 Hawks Hit Heights

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

U-18 Hawks Hit Heights

Article excerpt

Tees Valley Mohawks Under-18s THE Tees Valley Mohawks Under-18s entered the final weekend of the regular season knowing their play-off place was secure but needing two wins from two games to secure the North East Conference Championship.

The season had started relatively slowly with a hard fought victory over York Vikings by nine points and then a tough trip to York College where the boys recovered from a 10-point deficit with five minutes to play to take the game by three.

The next game handed the team their first defeat against a bigger, stronger Derbyshire Arrows Team but proved to be a turning point.

It was apparent that if the Mohawks had any intention of competing for top spot they would have to toughen up The team and coaching staff worked on improving the defence and exploiting quick transition which paid dividends immediately.

The next game saw the team win by 50 at the much fancied Leeds Tigers, followed by an away win at Durham 113-85.

The first return fixture of the season demonstrated the defensive improvement with a 94-52 win over York Vikings but notably the Mohawks prevented the home team scoring any points at all in the first quarter.

A 20-point win over Bradford at home saw the team on a high and eager to prove themselves against next visitors Derbyshire Arrows.

The tough defence and quick transition proved too much for the Arrows and the Mohawks dominated throughout to come away with a convincing 14 point win leaving them top of the table entering the Christmas break.

The team started slowly after the break winning away at Bradford by 10 but without the same tenacious defence being evident.

The next three games were at home and started with the visit of Leeds Tigers.

This proved to be the toughest home game of the season and saw the Mohawks seven points down with one minute to play.

The last minute saw a fantastic turnaround with eight points from squad captain Jordan Nicholls and some awesome team defence.

The next three games saw convincing wins over Durham, York Vikings and York College before the team's final visit of the season to Derby.

Both teams were guaranteed play-off spots but a win for Mohawks would secure the championship whereas a loss would mean they had to win their remaining three games. …

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