London United U18 travelled agonisingly close to Final Four qualification, however failed on the last hurdle. In the quarter final game against Leeds Force, our young Londoners succumbed to the pressure and after a performance punctuated by errors and turnovers found themselves on the wrong side of a 79-90 result. Perhaps there was no more damming statistic than 43 % accuracy from free throw line (20 out of 46) to underline the scale of United’s disappointment.
United started the game very promising reaching a 10 points advantage by the end of the first quarter. However, an athletic and determined Leeds team quickly recovered to hold a slim 3 point lead after the first quarter. The young Londoner’s looked far more nervous and uncertain in the second part of the game, allowing Leeds to take a decisive 15 points lead. Despite the late rally which allow United to reduce the deficit to 4 points in the last minute it was Leeds Force celebrating a deserved qualification to the group of 4 top teams in the country.
Coach Szatkowski said: “There is no escaping the fact that it was a very disappointing defeat and beating Leeds was certainly within our reach. Having said that I must say that working with this group was a pure pleasure. These boys are exceptional young people acting very well on and off the court. I’m sure that whatever they do next they will be very successful and they fully deserve it.”