The McDonald’s Nottingham Hoods pulled off a vital 55-70 win over London Westside to keep their play-off hopes alive, whilst Junior Hoods u14 picked up their second win of the season against BBL based team Leeds Force.
After a 5 game losing streak in all competitions, the Hoods traveled to the capital knowing nothing less than a win would do to keep their play-off hopes alive, against a very good London Westside team that were looking to secure a home play-off berth.
It was the Hoods who started strongest, playing unselfish basketball and moving the ball around in the way Coach English had drawn up as they took an early 18-13 lead. The lead never dropped below 8 for the rest of the game as the Hoods played the brand of basketball they have been capable of all season, with tight defence and a flowing offence. Tintin sealed the win with a big dunk with 1.15 to go as the Hoods jumped up to 6th in the table with a 70-55 win.
The Hoods now have a key double header next weekend as they travel to local rivals Killamarsh Derbyshire Arrows on Saturday with a 4.15 tip, before heading back home to take on Tees Valley Mohawks on Sunday with a 4.30pm tip. The 3 teams, together with London Greenhouse Pioneers are all locked on the same record at 7&11 and all playing for the final 3 play-off positions. Hoods have the best points difference at the moment, but they must take the confidence from this weekend’s win into both games.
The Hoods have played Arrows twice this season, narrowly taking both games at home, firstly in the Patrons Cup 70-66 and then in the league 80-77. With both games being so tight and the Arrows with the worst points difference, they will be keen to leapfrog the Hoods and put themselves in pole position for the play-offs.
On Sunday, Hoods take on a Tees Valley Mohawks team they have met only once, a 70-89 away win in December, but as the season nears its close anything can happen so the Hoods cannot be complacent. If they emerge from the weekend with two wins, they will all but be assured of a play-off berth, two losses and they are all but out. What a weekend it is going to be.
Elsewhere, after a weekend off, Hoods II take on Kings Lynn Fury at the Nottingham Wildcats Arena with a 2.30 start. Both teams have a 5&11 record and will be looking to cement a mid-table finish to the season. The last time the teams met, Hoods II cruised to a 68-89 victory and they will be looking for a similar result with just two games left in the season.
McDonald’s Junior Hoods u18 (9&12) had a tough double header weekend, losing to Northants Thunder (7&12) 59-54 on Saturday and West Bromwich Albion (11&9) 69-52 on Sunday. They now have a weekend off to re-group and prepare for their final league game of the season on the 11th March
McDonald’s Junior Hoods u16 (11&2) eased past local rivals Mansfield Giants II (5&9) 43-60 to keep their push for the title alive and with Leicester Dynamite (13&1) beating Northants Thunder (12&3) they now have the second best record in the league and the head-to-head over Dynamite who sit in 1st. They will be looking to keep the pressure on Dynamite on Saturday when they take on Leicester Riders (5&8) at 1pm at the Nottingham Wildcats Arena, a team they have already beaten 39-63 in Leicester. With only 3 games left in the regular season, Hoods will be hoping Dynamite slip up along the way.
McDonald’s Junior Hoods u14 (2&13) had a very successful weekend. After being promoted last season to the Premiership they have found life very tough at the top, but have improved with every game and are becoming competitive. On Saturday, they traveled to top of the table City of Birmingham (16&1), a team that had beaten them by 28 and 31 points earlier in the season, but the Hoods showed how far they have come as they lost out 61-44 with a much improved performance. On Sunday though, the Hoods hard effort paid off as they took on a Leeds Force (7&9) team with 7 wins in the season and beat them 69-56. Their second win of the season lifts them off the bottom of the table and gives them real hope for survival. It could all hinge on Saturday’s game, when they travel to Chesire Wire (1&15), a team who beat them 80-74 the last time they met in Chesire, but which Hoods beat 74-49 in Nottingham. On Sunday, they are back up North for a pop at BBL based team, Manchester Giants (8&9), who beat them 51-40 in Manchester and 60-74 in Nottingham, but with the confidence of beating a BBL based team with them, Hoods will be looking forward to both journeys this weekend.
Saturday March 4th Division 2 4.15pm Killamarsh Derbyshire Arrows vs Nottingham Hoods – Killamarsh Sports Centre u16 Boys 1.00pm Nottingham Junior Hoods vs Leicester Riders – Nottingham Wildcats Arena u14 Boys 2.00pm Chesire Wire vs Nottingham Junior Hoods – Culcheth High School Sunday March 5th Division 2 4.30pm Nottingham Hoods vs Tees Valley Mohawks – Nottingham Wildcats Arena Division 4 2.30pm Nottingham Hoods II vs Kings Lynn Fury – Nottingham Wildcats Arena u14 Boys 11.00am Manchester Giants vs Nottingham Junior Hoods – Oldham Sixth Form College