In the first of a series of looking back, looking forward, with Nottingham Hoods Basketball’s Head Coach Ben Stanley, the Nottingham Sport looked at their first game of 2022, a 94-82 road win at Loughborough Riders, and ahead to this coming weekend’s double-header, at home to the Essex Rebels, and Oaklands Wolves.
Against the Riders, on Saturday gone, the Hoods saw top performances across the court as Joshua Guddemi, Johde Campbell, Andrew Vickers, and Kyle Jiminez, posted decent game-scores, Guddemi himself registering 27 points, 5 points, and 4 assists in the Notts’ clubs’ 12-point win.
Both the Riders, and the Hoods, had players missing for the game, Diogo Soares not appearing for the visitors, but they both came out of the blocks from the off, Guddemi being the early points-scorer with a pair of three-pointers in his opening, eight point salvo.
The hosts were quick in reply, registering a number of three-pointers themselves to keep themselves within touching distance, Jiminez with the decisive play that would see the Hoods lead at the end of the first quarter, 26-25.
The second quarter would be a more aggressive one from Ben Stanley’s side, taking a number of steals, and converting them quickly at the other end with both Vickers and Campbell coming up trumps throughout the quarter, Campbell effective in transition whilst racking up some fourteen points of his own, and ensuring a fifteen point, 55-40, lead at the half.
The third quarter, with the Hoods looking to increase that fifteen point advantage, was being pegged back by the Riders, continuous back-and-forth play seeing the hosts cut the lead to six, but with Vickers and Jiminez controlling the three-pointers, the Riders looked to Harrison Gamble and Greg Wild to keep them in with a shout, however, the free throws despatched by the Hoods saw them through the final straight.
In his post-game comments, Nottingham Hoods Head Coach, Ben Stanley, said: “We need to execute better on both ends of the floor, especially defensively, and with far more consistency.
“Loughborough are a very solid outfit and they could have easily taken the lead in the fourth with the kind of shots we were giving them, they were unlucky not to hit more of them.
“That being said, when we execute correctly and we’re focused I think we look very good, but to compete with the top teams in the league we need to do that for 40 minutes.”
Moving on to this weekend, and the double-header at the Wildcats Arena, with the Rebels, and the Wolves, it’s a pair of contests against sides languishing at the wrong end of the division – however, as Stanley and his team know all too well, it’s a talented, tight National Basketball League.
The Rebels lost narrowly to table-toppers, Worthing Thunder, last time out, whilst the Wolves were badly beaten at the shooting of Hemel Storm, so both will no doubt be looking to prove a point against the Hoods.
A trio of tough guards in Ben and Rory Winter, and Rebels captain Tom Childs, make up the Hoods first visitors at the weekend, bringing aggressive style, and strong, three-point shooting to the court, game which the Hoods will need to counter well to get the victory.
In addition to the afore-mentioned trio, the Rebels can also count on Lee Hodges, and Morakinyo Williams, their HC, Ross Norfolk, looking for pace and aggression to quell the Hoods tide.
Meanwhile the Wolves are a club committed to their youthful, academy set-up and will be looking to progress during the second half of the season, their HC, Lee Ryan, placing emphasis on recent signing Tola Okiki and Jonathan James, as well as stand-out youngster, Kane Daley, and veteran forward Jordan Jackson, all of whom can cause problems, if the timing works in their favour.
With Stanley looking for some big performances from his stars, across the court, in both games this weekend, he added: “We’ve had some issues the last two weeks, but the guys are working through and focusing on the tasks ahead in what we know is a big month for us.
“Victor Olarerin is due for a break-out game soon, and this could be that weekend for him.
“I also think we could see Moyo Adekeye, and Jacob Cirtautas, step up and contribute this weekend, they’re young talents with a lot of upside and we’re excited to have them at the program.”
The Nottingham Hoods take on the Essex Rebels on Saturday 15 January at 3pm, and the Oaklands Wolves twenty-four hours later, on Sunday 16 January, also at 3pm, both games at the Nottingham Wildcats Arena – ticket for both games are available via the Groubook App,
Hoods players’ stats vs. Loughborough (08.01.22)
- Joshua Guddemi: 27 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists
- Johde Campbell: 18 points, 9 rebounds
- Andrew Vickers: 16 points, 4/6 3 point shooting, 6 rebounds
- Kyle Jiminez: 12 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @EvieC_94 the Hoods won out at Loughborough and are eighth in the league.