‘Captain Fantastic’ Isaac Askwith led by example as Derbyshire Arrows U14s won a battle royal between two teams with unbeaten records at the top of the National League, North Division table.
Askwith amassed 29 points as Arrows triumphed 80-68 to become the first team to defeat East Durham Lions and make it five wins out of five so far this term, with four of those away from home. They head the table by five clear points.
The first quarter lived up to the pre-game build-up as both teams traded baskets in a close contest. Harry Lynch made some strong drives to score Arrows’ first six points before Danny McCurdy showed his strength as he bullied his way to basket with six points of his own.
Despite their strong play, Arrows found themselves down 18-14 at the end of the quarter, but they really turned on an impressive display in the second quarter to go in at the half-time break 38-29 up.
Jack Godbar got them off the mark with two baskets, and then the team’s defensive intensity increased, allowing Aidan Abbottspooner and Askwith to force East Durham into multiple turnovers.
Arrows dominated the first six minutes of the second half through more defensive effort as they extended their lead with a 17-4 run. Declan Abbott, who scored eight points during the contest, worked hard to grab a couple of offensive rebounds, which he converted into six important points, while Lynch, who finished the match with 12 points, and McCurdy also scored. But it was Askwith who took over the game, scoring 13 straight points in a variety of ways to lead Arrows into the fourth quarter with a 66-56 lead, despite a late fightback and a 10-0 run from East Durham.
The high scoring of the third period was not repeated in the final one as both teams started to tire. But Askwith found Adam Kemali backdoor for his first basket of the game before the experienced trio of Askwith, McCurdy, who ended up with 19 points, and Godbar took over the offensive load.
Askwith and McCurdy worked well together to score eight of Arrows’ 14 points in the quarter, while Godbar, who finished with ten points, showed nerves of steel to score two free throws in the final minute to secure an impressive victory.
Next up for Arrows is a local-derby match against Chesterfield Flight as their pursuit of the league title continues.