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Coach Jim's Report

Coach Jim’s Report: Mystics U14 at Junior Final Fours

During our first meeting at Belle Vue for the week-end get together, I stressed the need for it to be an enjoyable experience. Players perform better when they enjoy themselves and this was an occasion relatively few across the board are good enough to be involved in. Looking back now, being a group who are as obedient as a highly trained sheep dog, that’s exactly what all 15 of Mystics U14 1 did.

Having performed admirably all season, M1 (the team, not the motorway), we now faced the daunting task of competing with the cream of the south (sounds like a Scottish football team) in the form of Kingston Lions and then, possibly, Milton Keynes (Leg) Breakers. Would these two highly reputable teams rise to the top or curdle?

Fortunately, I was in possession of a lot of very useful information on Kingston from a close coaching friend. This had the potential to see us into another final if I composed an effective game plan. We went into the semi-final having prepared for their press, as well as having plans to nullify their talented left-handed guard and their rebounding potential. On first sight, it was immediately apparent they had a long line (literally) of tall players. I could either ask some of our team to play on stilts or ask them all to jump higher. As the stats show, we opted for the latter to win the battle of the boards 65-54.

For any young athlete, representing one’s club in a show piece event can be as nerve-racking as being forced to climb a mountain when you suffer from vertigo (which is not a star sign.) We were also playing on an unfamiliar court against one of the country’s top four sides. It was, therefore, understandable that we weren’t at our best in the initial stages. (To quote Winston Churchill, the man not the dog: ‘Only mediocre people are always at their best.’) Even so, we did enough to win the first quarter 21-14.

This helped calm the inevitable nerves of both players and parents. As when you are unfortunate enough to go on holiday to the very much mis-named Weston-super-Mare, I knew that better thing were on the horizon. They were. Similar to how a friend of mine takes his coffee, two dashes, one of 11-3 and one of 10-5, afforded us with a comfortable 20 point half-time lead.

I now had scope to be even more liberal with my substitutions and give our starters (3 of whom had rushed over having represented our u16s) a prolonged rest. To their great credit, those off the bench, as opposed to on the bench would would make them lawyers, played well enough and hard enough to extend our lead further. With the lead now a massive 32 points, I had scope to ensure that all 12 players had sufficient time to have an impact. As expected, with Kingston still playing the majority of their starters, including the excellent #33 who now cashed in big time, the lead was reduced down to 25 to leave us with an impressive 89-64 victory.

Predictably, Milton Keynes Breakers had broken down Sheffield to win the other semi-final. James and I (I, not myself!) had watched the game intently and had taken notes from which to formulate our game plan for the Final. It was evident we had to find ways to break their relentless, merciless full court press which had terrorised greater numbers than the Kray twins. They were generally considered to be firm favourites to be crowned as the 2023-24 National Champions by anyone who was unaware of how determined we all were for this not to happen. Our resolve was hardened further by the way they needlessly crushed our u14 II in the quarter final in April. Someone’s unbeaten record had to go. I had to devise a way for it to be theirs, not ours.

Our press break , although simple, worked a treat for all but the last couple of minutes. Their 2 guards had scored 27 points apiece in the semi by driving hard right in a straight line. Our plan to make them go left. In the event, this restricted both unbelievably well until tiredness set in during the last quarter.

In what was all set to be a titanic struggle, the question was who was it that would sink? There were no clues in the first quarter which had three lead changes. The first five minutes was owned by Mojan. For me, she is the best player for her age in the country and she certainly looked like it in the opening skirmishes. We led 12-10. Mojan scored 10 of those, shooting 5 from 7 two pointers. Milton Keynes subsequently did all they could to triple team her in and around the key so that all we could muster for the next five minute were an impressive 5/6 free throws from Anya and Mojan who had to sit out the last three minutes due to being called for two fouls. The second of these was when she was charged with a charge which, if I’d been in charge would have gone uncharged!

Two three pointers from our illustrious opponents, one of which thundered off the backboard with enough force to clean all of the dust on it, helped Milton Keynes (which could be a good name for a comedian?) steal the first quarter 17-18. I stressed the need for a positive start to the second period. More obedience from the girls manifested itself by way of a 13-4 five minute burst which was more explosive than the Gunpowder Plot. Akeala and Mya hit from medium range. More accurate free throws from William Tell and Robin Hood (aka Mojan and Anya) who were getting to the foul line regularly thanks to their positive drives to basket without any need for a chauffeur, plus phenomenal all-out effort from Tiana and cameo appearances from  two of our most improved players, Sophie O and Neeusha with an earlier one from Eniola, all contributed to a one point deficit turning into an 8 point advantage by half-time.

During the interval, I apologised to Lola, Alycia, Elsa and Adele for not being able to get them on court. There was no negative reaction from any of them and each one contributed by demonstrating what an awesome team spirit this team has from the bench. (The same can be said for the trio not involved- Sophie B, Fatima and Lola P.) They are all as responsible as anyone else for our successful season.)

Having effectively countered our opponents’ plan A, I full expected a change of approach from them. They would continue to press, despite it being as ineffective as my attempts to carry out any DIY task. ( For me, it’s Destroy It Yourself.) It came from two unexpected sources. Their # 9 and # 11 had featured as little as an extra in a block buster film in the semi-final and during the first half. To begin the third quarter, however, they became the star turns as their guards finally stopped trying to act as battering rams in vain attempts to smash their way through our excellent interior team defence. They now opted to pull up higher in the key and dish the ball to the weak side low post to score. And score they did, initially.

This prompted me to call a time out to offer up a solution which was acted upon to such good effect that it subsequently worked no better than a broken clock (which is only correct twice a day!) As a result, we increased our lead to 10 going into the crucial final stanza (which isn’t a variety of pizza.) Worryingly, we came out seemingly unprepared for the inevitable onslaught which was bound to be thrown at us. For a couple of minutes, it looked as though Breakers were firing rocket launchers at us while we were trying to respond by waving sparklers at them. Earlier than I would have liked, I called a time out after just three minutes to stop the bleeding.

A ten point lead had been whittled down to a dangerously close five. Understandably, the five players I’d felt the need to use almost exclusively against such challenging opponents, were experiencing a high degree of fatigue due to the enormous physical and mental effort they had put in. I asked each one if they needed to be rested in a ploy to get them to dig even deeper. Each of them declined the offer. I now requested that they go back on court and demonstrate that they had sufficient energy and ability to get the job done.

What a response. All five played out of their skins immediately after the lead had shrunk to 3. An almost super-human team effort, spurred on by fantastic support from the bench and our supporters, inspired an incredible 12-2 run which meant we went into the last 60 seconds 13 to the good. They scored to bring it down to 11 but I now let my heart rule my head by intending to get as many of the four players on court who had yet to appear at all. I brought two on. Then, through no fault of theirs, two quick baskets against us caused widespread panic in the crowd with one or two heart monitors doing overtime as we were now like a fizzy drink and 7 up. This obviously prevented me from bringing the  other two on but calm was instantly restored as Akeala, Mojan and Anya sealed the deal with late baskets to see us through 78-69.

Although we only trailed for 2 minutes 13 seconds in the whole encounter, a breakdown of just how tight each quarter was clearly demonstrates, unfortunately, how difficult it would have been to give all  12 Mystics reasonable court time. After the game and the wild celebrations which ensued, I apologised to the players and parents I failed to use in the game. They all appeared to accept this in good grace in the knowledge that our success wasn’t based on this one game. All 16 squad members are to be acknowledged and appreciated as having contributed in positive fashion.

Post-game, we then had an award I have never been a fan of and see little point to. Victories are achieved by teams, not one individual. We had 5 MVPs on the day and for it to be limited to just one player can be unnecessarily divisive and cause disagreement. All that really matters is that Manchester Mystics are the 2023-24 National Champions, not who should (or shouldn’t) be like David Beckham and have a golden ball. On the same tack, I have been fortunate enough to have 16 MVPs on our rosta. A huge thank you to them, their wonderfully cooperative parents for their unfailing support as well as to James and Louise over an unforgettable season. Congratulations team. You have achieved what we set out to accomplish. You are officially the best U14 girls team in England! 

best wishes

Jim

The Weekend Wrap

The Weekend Wrap 2023-24 Week 29

This weekend saw the 2023-24 season come to a close with the Junior Final Fours, with six teams representing the Magic and Mystics, one in every age category, find out how they all got on below.

Saturday 4th May

Manchester Magic U8 44-77 Canterbury Academy Crusaders

Manchester Magic U18 advanced to the third-place game against Islington Panthers on Sunday after a loss against Canterbury Academy Crusaders in the Play-off Semi Finals on Saturday afternoon, find out how they got on below.

Magic U18 were led by Ronney Ani 10 points, 8 rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block, Spike Noden 8 points, 2 rebounds and an assist, Osarumwense Iguma 6 points, 9 rebounds and an assist and Daniel Laycock 6 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists.

Manchester Mystics U18 70–62 Endeavour Ipswich Basketball

Manchester Mystics U18 advanced to the National Championship Final against CoLA Southwark Pride on Sunday after a win against Endeavour Ipswich Basketball in the Play-off Semi Finals on Saturday afternoon, find out how they got on in the final below.

Mystics U18 were led by Elizandra Costa 22 points, a rebound, 2 assists and 10 steals, Isobel Robinson 17 points, 7 rebounds, an assist, 2 steals and a block and Irene Oboavwoduo 8 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.

Manchester Magic U16 88–55 Manchester Giants

Manchester Magic U16 advanced to the National Championship Final against Newham Youngbloods on Sunday after a win against Manchester Giants in the Play-off Semi Finals on Saturday afternoon, find out how they got on in the final below.

Magic U16 were led by Oluwademilade Babalola 12 points, 14 rebounds, an assist, a steal and 3 blocks, Nathan Brown 13 points, a rebound, 4 assists, a steal and a block, Sami Sidi-Boumedine 13 points, 2 rebounds, an assist and a steal, Jack Walton 10 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and a steal and Henry Phillpotts 11 points, 2 rebounds, an assist and 2 steals.

Richmond Knights 53–50 Manchester Mystics U16

Manchester Mystics U16 advanced to the third-place game against CoLA Southwark Pride on Sunday after a loss against Richmond Knights in the Play-off Semi Finals on Saturday afternoon, find out how they got on below.

Mystics U16 were led by Irene Oboavwoduo 15 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, 8 steals and 2 blocks, Mojan Malek 12 points, 5 rebounds, a steal and a block and Maisie Keyes 8 points 13 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and a block.

London Stars 1 54–73 Manchester Magic U14

Manchester Magic U14 advanced to the National Championship Final against London Elite on Sunday after a win against London Stars 1 in the Play-off Semi Finals on Saturday afternoon, find out how they got on in the final below.

Magic U14 were led by Camran Hanson 22 points, 15 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and a block, David Akhidime 22 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 6 steals and Ege Cakmakkaya 12 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal.

Manchester Mystics U14 89–64 Kingston Lions

Manchester Mystics U14 advanced to the National Championship Final against Milton Keynes Breakers on Sunday after a win against Kingston Lions in the Play-off Semi Finals on Saturday afternoon, find out how they got on in the final below.

Mystics U14 were led by Mojan Malak 31 points, 19 rebounds, 3 steals and a block, Anya Williams 16 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists and a steal, Tiana Walker 13 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 steals and a block, Akeala Daniel 13 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal.

Sunday 5th May

Manchester Magic U18 44–69 Islington Panthers – 3rd/4th Place

Manchester Magic U18 finished in fourth place in the U18 Men’s National Play-offs after a loss against Islington Panthers in the third/fourth place game on Sunday afternoon.

Magic U18 were led by Osarumwense Iguma 17 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals, Luca Lara-Sanchez 12 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals and Jake Smith 4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks.

Manchester Mystics U18 46–62 CoLA Southwark Pride – Play-off Final

Manchester Mystics U18 came up short at the final hurdle in the U18 Women’s National Play-off Final after a loss against CoLA Southwark Pride on Sunday afternoon.

Mystics U18 were led by Irene Oboavwoduo 15 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals, Isobel Robinson 9 points, 3 rebounds, an assist and a steal and Success Odemwingie 8 points, 6 rebounds, an assist, 3 steals and a block.

Manchester Magic U16 90–73 Newham Youngbloods – Play-off Final

Manchester Magic U16 were crowned U16 Boys’ National Champions after a win against Newham Youngbloods in the Play-off Final on Sunday afternoon, to add to their National Cup win earlier in the season to make it the double.

Magic U16 were led by Oluwademilade Babalola 19 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, 4 blocks and earning the MVP award, Jack Walton 17 points, 4 rebounds, 11 assists and 2 steals, Rufus Everatt 15 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks and Tom Richardson 21 points, a rebound, an assist and 3 steals.

Manchester Mystics U16 59–30 CoLA Southwark Pride – 3rd/4th Place

Manchester Mystics U16 finished in third place in the U16 Girls’ National Play-offs after a win against CoLA Southwark Pride in the third/fourth place game on Sunday afternoon.

Mystics U16 were led by Maisie Keyes 16 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 blocks, Irene Oboavwoduo 11 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists and Anya Williams 12 points and an assist.

Manchester Magic U14 79–105 London Elite – Play-off Final

Manchester Magic U14 came up short at the final hurdle in the U14 Boys’ National Play-off Final after a loss against London Elite on Sunday afternoon.

Magic U14 were led by David Akhidime 26 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals, Ege Cakmakkaya 14 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and a block and Camran Hanson 14 points,  3 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal.

Manchester Mystics U14 78–69 Milton Keynes Breakers – Play-off Final

Manchester Mystics U14 were crowned U14 Girls’ National Champions after a win against Milton Keynes Breakers in the Play-off Final on Sunday afternoon.

Mystics U14 were led by Aleala Daniel 16 points, 3 rebounds, an assist and earning the MVP award, Mojan Malek 32 points, 15 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 steals, 2 blocks, Anya Williams 18 points, 18 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals, and nearly a triple-double from Tiana Walker 8 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists, 7 steals and 2 blocks.

That concludes the 2023-24 National Basketball League season, on top of the two National titles won this weekend, the two won last weekend in the North West Regional Finals and the Manchester Magic U16 won the National Cup in January, taking the season title total to five and the club’s historic total to 107 Titles since 2000.

We would like to take this moment to thank all the players, coaches, officials, volunteers, and parents for your dedication to our collective success this season, we hope to see you all again next season. And to those who are moving on to pastures new, we wish you all the best, stay in touch, once a Magic and Mystic, always a Magic and Mystic!

Image credits: Basketball England

The Weekend Wrap

The Weekend Wrap 2023-24 Week 28

This weekend saw the last time the Magic and Mystics U12s and Magic U14 3 compete in the Junior North West Junior Final Fours, find out how they got on below.

Saturday 27th April

Manchester Magic U14 3 54-52 Congleton Grizzles Red

Manchester Magic U14 3 advanced to the North West Regional Final after a win against Congleton Grizzles Red in the Play-off Semi Finals on Saturday afternoon, find out how they got on in the final below.

Manchester Magic U12 62-23 Manchester Magic U12 2

Manchester Magic U12 advanced to the North West Regional Final after a win against Manchester Magic U12 2 in the Play-off Semi Finals on Saturday afternoon, find out how they got on in the final below.

Manchester Magic U12 2’s play-off run came to an end at the Semi-Final stage after a loss against Manchester Magic U12 on Saturday afternoon, bringing to an end a highly successful season.

Manchester Mystics U12 84-42 Lancashire Spinners

Manchester Mystics U12 advanced to the North West Regional Final after a win against Lancashire Spinners in the Play-off Semi Finals on Saturday afternoon, find out how they got on in the final below.

Sunday 28th April

Manchester Magic U14 3 54–42 Horwich Locos

Manchester Magic U14 3 were crowned U14 North West Regional Champions are a win against Horwich Locos on Sunday afternoon, bringing the 2023-24 season to a satisfying end.

Manchester Magic U12 52–55 Manchester Giants

Manchester Magic U12 came up agonisingly short at the final hurdle in the North West Regional Final after a loss against Manchester Giants on Sunday afternoon. The future is certainly bright for this group of players.

Manchester Mystics U12 79–61 Mersey Mavericks

Manchester Magic U12 were crowned U14 North West Regional Champions are a win against Mersey Mavericks on Sunday afternoon, bringing to a close an epic season for the young Mystics side.

The National Junior Final Fours take place next weekend at the National Basketball Performance Centre, with Semi-Final on Saturday 4th May and Finals and third/fourth place games on Sunday 5th May buy your tickets here, Magic and Mystics Semi-Final fixtures are as follows:

Manchester Magic U18 vs Canterbury Academy Crusaders at 4:00pm

Manchester Mystics U18 vs Endeavour Ipswich Basketball at 2:00pm

Manchester Magic U16 vs Manchester Giants at 12:00noon

Manchester Mystics U16 vs Richmond Knights at 10:00am

Manchester Magic U14 vs London Stars 1 at 2:00pm

Manchester Mystics U14 vs Kingston Lions at 12:00noon

The Weekend Wrap

The Weekend Wrap 2023-24 Week 27

This weekend saw the last time the Junior teams will play at home, or away, before the Junior Final Fours in May (and North West Junior Final Fours next weekend for the Magic and Mystics U12s and Magic U14 3).

Saturday 20th April

Manchester Magic U16 67–60 Richmond Knights – Quarter Final

Manchester Magic U16 advanced to the Junior Final Fours after a home win against Richmond Knights on Saturday afternoon.

Manchester Magic U16’s Semi Final opponents are to be confirmed, the Semi Final is to be played on Saturday 4th May at 12:00noon at the National Basketball Performance Centre, with the Final or 3rd/4th Place game to take place on Sunday 5th May at 12:15pm, buy tickets here.

Manchester Mystics U16 80–38 Kingston Lions – Quarter Final

Manchester Mystics U16 advanced to the Junior Final Fours after a home win against Kingston Lions on Saturday afternoon.

Manchester Mystics U16’s Semi Final opponents are to be confirmed, the Semi Final is to be played on Saturday 4th May at 10:00am at the National Basketball Performance Centre, with the Final or 3rd/4th Place game to take place on Sunday 5th May at 10:00am, buy tickets here.

Manchester Mystics U14 88–59 Sussex Storm – Quarter Final

Manchester Mystics U14 advanced to the Junior Final Fours after a home win against Sussex Storm on Saturday afternoon.

Manchester Mystics U14’s Semi Final opponents are to be confirmed, the Semi Final is to be played on Saturday 4th May at 12:00noon or 4:00pm, TBC, at the National Basketball Performance Centre, with the Final at 4:45pm or 3rd/4th Place game at 12:15pm to take place on Sunday 5th May, buy tickets here.

Milton Keynes Breakers – Manchester Mystics U14 2 – Quarter Final

Manchester Mystics U14 2 drop-out of the Under 14 play-offs after an away loss against Milton Keynes Breakers on Saturday afternoon at the Quarter Final stage.

Sunday 21st April

Myerscough 57-61 Manchester Magic U18 – Quarter Final

Manchester Magic U18 advanced to the Junior Final Fours after an away win against Myerscough on Sunday afternoon.

Manchester Magic U18’s Semi Final opponents are to be confirmed, the Semi Final is to be played on Saturday 4th May at 4:00pm, at the National Basketball Performance Centre, with the Final or 3rd/4th Place game to take place on Sunday 5th May at 4:45pm, buy tickets here.

Trafford Magic U18 51–74 Islington Panthers – Quarter Final

Trafford Magic U18 drop-out of the Under 18 play-offs after a home loss against Islington Panthers on Sunday afternoon at the Quarter Final stage.

Manchester Mystics U18 85–34 Sussex Storm – Quarter Final

Manchester Mystics U18 advanced to the Junior Final Fours after a home win against Sussex Storm on Sunday afternoon.

Manchester Magic U18’s Semi Final opponents are to be confirmed, the Semi Final is to be played on Saturday 4th May at 2:00pm, at the National Basketball Performance Centre, with the Final or 3rd/4th Place game to take place on Sunday 5th May at 2:30pm, buy tickets here.

Manchester Magic U14 90-59 Milton Keynes Breakers – Quarter Final

Manchester Magic U14 advanced to the Junior Final Fours after a home win against Milton Keynes Breakers on Saturday afternoon.

Manchester Magic U14’s Semi Final opponents are to be confirmed, the Semi Final is to be played on Saturday 4th May at 10:00am or 2:00pm, TBC, at the National Basketball Performance Centre, with the Final at 2:30pm or 3rd/4th Place game at 10:00am to take place on Sunday 5th May, buy tickets here.

North West Junior Final Fours fixtures upcoming next weekend hosted at the Manchester Basketball Centre with Semi Finals on Saturday 27th April:

Manchester Magic U14 3 vs Congleton Grizzles at 2:00pm

Manchester Magic U12 vs Manchester Magic U12 2 at 12:00noon

Manchester Mystics U12 vs Lancashire Spinners at 10:00am

The North West Finals will be on Sunday 28th April at the Manchester Basketball Centre

Coach Jim's Report

Coach Jim’s Report: Mystics U14 Play-off Quarter Final

Following our decisive victory over a spirited, well-coached opponent in the play-off quarter finals, I am disinclined to specifically give name checks to a number of players who undoubtedly deserve recognition for their outstanding performances as it is likely that spies from the south might gain insight. Suffice to say that it wasn’t Sussex Storm who gave such a thunderous display throughout the first quarter to render the contest all but over after only 10 minutes.

The impressive firepower contained within our five starters was there for all to see from the outset, despite one of them being so unwell that she looked paler than a bottle of milk! Our first quarter tall of 32 points constituted a massive 21 point lead. This rose to 31 by half-time, despite using all 12 Mystics in the second quarter (and subsequent 3rd and 4th).

The margin extended to 40 and it became clear that we could almost certainly have pushed it to many more using solely our stronger combinations of players. However, I have never been an advocate of relentlessly grinding less experienced teams into the ground by running up a cricket score. For me, it is far more productive all round to give all of one’s own players extended minutes to show their worth.

It mattered little that this enabled Sussex to close the gap enough to bring an air of respectability to the score line at 88-59. Our bench gained useful court time, which may stand them in good stead if we need to call on them at Final Fours on 4 and 5 May at Belle Vue. Our schedule for this climax to the season is as follows:

Saturday 4 May v the winners of Kingston Lions and Lancashire Spinners at either 12.00 or 4.00.

If we lose that, we play for 3rd or 4th place on Sunday 5 May at 12.15 but if we win on Saturday, we progress to the National Final at 4.45 where our opponents are expected to be Milton Keynes. 

Congratulations Mystics. You have done yourselves and the club proud. Sincere thanks to all our supporters but with one reservation from a grumpy old man. Whoever decided that banging drums for 40 minutes is helpful is, in my opinion, misguided. It causes two types of headache – one from the incessant noise and another because it makes in-time coaching impossible. The players are unable to hear advice or praise. If anyone feels the need to bash something at the Finals, please make it a triangle or a marshmallow!

Many thanks to James, Louise and Laura plus the excellent table officials.

Best wishes

Jim

The Weekend Wrap

The Weekend Wrap 2023-24 Week 26

We have reached that time of the year when the regular season has now ended, and we move onto the play-offs, where the winner advances and for the loser, the season is over.

Saturday 13th April

Team Solent Kestrels 95-65 Manchester Magic D2 – Quarter Final

Manchester Magic D2 drop-out of the NBL Division 2 play-offs after an away loss against Team Solent Kestrels on Saturday evening at the Quarter Final stage.

Magic were led by Andre Gayle 24 points, 2 rebounds, 4 steals and a block, with support from Pharroh Gordon 19 points, 3 rebounds and a steal, Martell Elly 8 points, a rebound and 3 assists, Tyme Regent-Bascombe 6 points, 11 rebounds, an assist and a steal, Dan Davies 6 points, 11 rebounds and an assists and Bailey Goodall 7 rebounds and a steal.

Manchester Magic U16 88–70 Bristol Academy Flyers – Round One

Manchester Magic U16 advanced to the next round of the Under 16 play-offs after a home win against Bristol Academy Flyers on Saturday afternoon.

Manchester Magic U16’s Quarter Final opponents for next weekend are to be confirmed, the date and time to be confirmed.

Manchester Magic U14 83–53 Bristol Academy Flyers – Round One

Manchester Magic U14 advanced to the next round of the Under 14 play-offs after a home win against Bristol Academy Flyers on Saturday afternoon.

Manchester Magic U14’s Quarter Final opponents for next weekend are to be confirmed, the date and time to be confirmed.

Manchester Magic U12 71–18 Barrow Thorns – Quarter Final

Manchester Magic U12 advanced to the next round of the North West play-offs after a home win against Barrow Thorns on Saturday afternoon.

Manchester Magic U12 face Manchester Magic U12 2 at home next weekend in the Semi-Final, date and time to be confirmed. 

Sunday 14th April

Manchester Magic U18 89–85* St. Helens Saints – Round One

Manchester Magic U18 advanced to the next round of the Under 18 play-offs after a home overtime win against St. Helens Saints on Sunday afternoon.

Manchester Magic U18’s Quarter Final opponents for next weekend are to be confirmed, the date and time to be confirmed.

Trafford Magic U18 73–61 Manchester Giants – Round One

Trafford Magic U18 advanced to the next round of the Under 18 play-offs after a home win against Manchester Giants on Sunday afternoon.

Trafford Magic U18’s Quarter Final opponents for next weekend are to be confirmed, the date and time to be confirmed. 

Magic U14 3 67–44 Manchester Kings – Quarter Final

Manchester Magic U14 3 advanced to the next round of the North West play-offs after a home win against Manchester Kings on Sunday afternoon.

Manchester Magic U14 3 face the winner of Congleton Grizzles Red vs Barrow Thorns Blue at home next weekend in the Semi-Finals, date and time to be confirmed. 

Manchester Magic U12 2 86–27 Preston – Quarter Final

Manchester Magic U12 2 advanced to the next round of the North West play-offs after a home win against Preston on Sunday afternoon.

Manchester Magic U12 2 face Manchester Magic U12 away next weekend in the Semi-Finals, date and time to be confirmed. 

Stockport Lapwings 70-39 Manchester Mystics U12 2 – Quarter Final

Manchester Magic U12 2 drop-out of the North West play-offs after an away loss against Stockport Lapwings on Sunday afternoon at the Quarter Final stage.

Quarter Final play-off fixtures upcoming next weekend not mentioned above, dates and times to be confirmed:

Manchester Mystics U18 vs Sussex Storm, Manchester Mystics U16 vs Kingston Lions, Mystics U14 vs Sussex Storm and Milton Keynes Breakers vs Mystics U14 2 (Saturday 20th April 1:15pm)

Manchester Mystics U12 face Lancashire Spinners at home in the Semi-Finals.

The Weekend Wrap

The Weekend Wrap 2023-24 Week 25

Saturday 6th April

Anglia Ruskin University 75-58 Manchester Mystics D1

Manchester Mystics D1 finished the regular season with a 8-14 record in the WNBL Division One after an away loss against Anglia Ruskin University on Saturday afternoon. Mystics finish in 9th place in the WNBL Division 1 table, and just miss out on a spot in the play-offs.

Mystics were led by, Rheana Khalil 16 points, 8 rebounds, an assist and a steal, with support from Elizandra Costa 15 points, 4 rebounds, an assist and 2 steals, Success Odemwingie 11 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals, Carina Costa 10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal and Hannah Alty 2 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals.

Sunday 7th April

Magic U14 3 70–27 Northwich Play-off R1

Manchester Magic U14 3 advanced to the next round of the North West play-offs after a home win against Northwich on Sunday afternoon.

Manchester Magic U14 3 face the winner of Manchester Kings vs Stockport Falcons at home next weekend, date and time to be confirmed.  

Round one play-off fixtures upcoming next weekend, dates and times to be confirmed:

Magic U18 vs St Helens Saints, Trafford U18 vs Manchester Giants, Magic U16 vs Bristol Academy Flyers, Magic U14 vs Bristol Academy Flyers, Manchester Magic U12 vs Barrow Thorns and ManchesterMagic U12 2 vs Preston.

Manchester Magic Seniors face Solent Kestrels away on Saturday 13th April at 6:00pm.

Manchester Mystics U12 2 face an away trip to Stockport Lapwings on Saturday 13th April at 10:00am.

All other Mystics play-offs commence the weekend after next weekend.

Coach Jim's Report

Coach Jim’s Report: Mystics U14 at Sheffield Hatters

Following our comfortable victory over Conference side Stockport last Monday, we returned to the more competitive world of the Premier League to face our main rivals Sheffield Hatters. As we knew from the two previous contests against them, they are a strong, powerful, well-coached outfit who are ranked in the country’s top four at this level.

Without the blistering pace of Jane, the shooting prowess of Adele and the rebounding capability of Elsa, we needed to be at our best if we were to remain unbeaten. Sheffield is a city renowned for steel but on this occasion it was Manchester who showed its mettle!  Much of this was due to the make-up of our side which was as well-balanced as an expert tight-rope walker with all players on show capable of filling a variety of roles.

Despite the efforts of Sheffield’s excellent point guard and their size advantage, Mystics hard-working team defence and highly skilled offensive firepower enabled us to win all four quarters for a convincing 83-50 win. We now move on to the business end of the season with a home tie, on either 20 or 21 April, versus the team who finished fourth in the south, Sussex Storm. Will they be lightning quick or full of wind? I will endeavour to find out.

If we win that, next up will be either Kingston Lions or Lancashire Spinners on the first day of the Final Fours, 4 May. With 3 or 4 friendlies lined up in preparation, there remains plenty to play for, both for the team and individuals, as I finalise what I consider to be the most effective all-round combination of players likely to give us the best chance of success.

Thank you to my erudite assistant James, to all parents who gave lifts and their support as well as to Laura for standing in so seamlessly as team manager.

Just one training session, tonight at the Centre 5.30-7.30pm, before we all tuck in to our over-priced Easter eggs, after which we play Spinners away at 7.00pm on Thursday 4 April.

The Weekend Wrap

The Weekend Wrap 2023-24 Week 24

Wednesday 20th March

Manchester Giants 118-53 Trafford Magic U16

Trafford Magic U16 moved to 6-15 in the Premier North after an away loss against Manchester Giants on Wednesday.

Up next for Trafford U16 was an away game against York Eagles on Sunday afternoon, their final game of the regular season, find out how they got on below.

Saturday 23rd March

St Helens Saints 77-81 Manchester Magic U18

Manchester Magic U18 moved to 17-4 in the Premier North after an away win against St Helens Saints on Saturday afternoon.

Up next for Magic U18 was an away game against in-house rivals Trafford Magic U18 on Sunday afternoon, their final game of the regular season, find out how they got on below.

Leeds LDM 45-109 Trafford Magic U18

Trafford Magic U18 moved to 18-3 in the Premier North after an away win against Leeds LDM on Saturday afternoon.

Up next for Trafford U18 was a home game against in-house rivals, Manchester Magic U18 on Sunday afternoon, their final game of the regular season, find out how they got on below. 

Bristol Academy Flyers 47-90 Manchester Mystics U18

Manchester Mystics U18 finished the regular season with a 12-0 record in the Premier North after an away win against Bristol Academy Flyers on Saturday afternoon. Mystics U18 were crowned Premier North Champions heading into the playoffs.

Sheffield Hatters 50-83 Manchester Mystics U14

Manchester Mystics U14 finished the regular season with a 12-0 record in the North 1 after an away win against Sheffield Hatters on Saturday afternoon. Mystics U14 were crowned North 1 League Champions heading into the playoffs.

Mersey Mavericks 78-48 Manchester Mystics U12 2

Manchester Mystics U12 2 finish the regular season with a 0-10 record in the North West League after an away loss against Mersey Mavericks on Saturday afternoon, despite their record this team showed great promise for the future.

Sunday 23rd March

CoLA Southwark Pride 76-51 Manchester Mystics D1

Manchester Mystics D1 moved to 8-13 in the WNBL Division One after an away loss against CoLA Southwark Pride on Sunday afternoon.

Mystics were led by, Success Odemwingie 15 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal, with support from Hannah Alty 10 points, 2 rebounds and a steal, Daisy Bryan 6 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and a block, Natalie Feurtado 5 points, 3 rebounds and a steal, Carina Costa 5 points, a rebound and a assist, Favour Elabor 4 points, a rebound, 2 assists, a steal and a block and Rehana Khalil 4 points, 2 rebounds, an assist and a steal.

Up next of Mystics D1 is an away game against Anglia Ruskin on Saturday 6th April at TBC, their final game of the regular season.

Trafford Magic U18 81–92 Manchester Magic U18

Trafford Magic U18 finish the regular season with an 18-4 record in the Premier North after a home loss against in-house rivals Manchester Magic on Sunday afternoon.

Manchester Magic U18 finish the regular season with an 18-4 record in the Premier North.

Final league placings are awaiting confirmation.

York Eagles 104-52- Trafford Magic U16

Trafford Magic U16 finish the regular season with a 6-16 record in the Premier North after an away loss against York Eagles on Sunday afternoon, to finish in 9th in the Premier North.

Manchester Magic U14 3 71–43 Bromborough Bulldogs

Manchester Magic U14 3 finish the regular season with a 9-3 record in the North West Dee League after a home win against Bromborough Bulldogs on Sunday afternoon, to finish in 2nd in the North West Dee League.

Manchester Mystics U12 81–76 Mersey Mavericks

Manchester Mystics U12 finish the regular season with a 10-0 record in the North West League after a home win against Mersey Mavericks on Sunday afternoon, to finish in 1st in the North West League heading into the playoffs.

Your team performance of the week last week was Trafford Magic U18 with 66.6% of the vote.

Who was your team of the week this week?

The Weekend Wrap

The Weekend Wrap 2023-24 Week 23

Saturday 16th March

Manchester Magic D2 70–64 Teesside Lions

Manchester Magic D2 finish the regular season with a 14-8 record in the NBL Division Two after a home win against Teesside Lions on Saturday afternoon, finishing third in the table and await an away tie against second in the South in the play-offs.

Magic were led by, Andre Gayle 20 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists, with support from Tyme Regent-Bascombe 17 points, 18 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal, Martell Elly 16 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals, Dan Davies 6 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal, Saul May 4 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists, Bailey Goodall 4 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals and Rylan Bawden 3 points, 2 rebounds and an assist.

Sheffield Elite 72-84 Manchester Magic U18

Manchester Magic U18 moved to 15-4 in the Premier North after an away win against Sheffield Elite on Saturday afternoon.

Up next for Magic U18 was a home game against York Eagles on Sunday afternoon, find out how they got on below.

Manchester Mystics U18 20–0 Bristol Academy Flyers

Manchester Mystics U18 moved to 10-0 in the Premier North after a home win via forfeit against Bristol Academy Flyers on Saturday afternoon.

Up next for Mystics U18 was a home game against Cardiff Met Archers on Sunday afternoon, find out how they got on below.

Milton Keynes Breakers 52-94 Manchester Magic U16

Manchester Magic U16 finished the regular season with a 22-0 record in the Premier North after an away win against Milton Keynes Breakers on Saturday afternoon. Magic U16 were crowned champions of the Premier North and await their fate in the play-offs.

Trafford Magic U16 71–108 City of Birmingham Rockets

Trafford Magic U16 moved to 6-13 in the Premier North after a home loss against City of Birmingham Rockets on Saturday afternoon.

Up next for Trafford U16 was an away game against City of Leeds Gold on Sunday afternoon, find out how they got on below.

Manchester Magic U16 2 113–51 Cheshire Wire Green

Manchester Magic U16 2 moved to 6-11 in the Conference North West after a home win/loss against Cheshire Wire Green on Saturday afternoon.  

Up next for Magic U16 2 was a home game against Cheshire Phoenix Blue on Sunday afternoon, their final games of the regular season, find out how they got on below.

Sheffield Hatters 56-79 Manchester Mystics U16

Manchester Mystics U16 moved to 13-1 in the Premier North after an away win against Sheffield Hatters on Saturday afternoon. 

Up next for Mystics U16 was an away game against Milton Keynes Breakers on Sunday afternoon, find out how they got on below.

Sheffield Hatters 77-42 Manchester Mystics U14 2

Manchester Mystics U14 2 moved to 3-8 in the North 1 after an away loss against Sheffield Hatters on Saturday afternoon.

Up next for Mystics U14 2 was an away game against Newcastle Eagles on Sunday afternoon, their final game of the regular season, find out how they got on below.

Lancashire Spinners 68-21 Manchester Mystics U12 2

Manchester Mystics U12 2 moved to 0-9 in the North West League after an away loss against Lancashire Spinners on Saturday afternoon.

Up next for Mystics U12 2 is an away game against Mersey Mavericks on Saturday 23rd March at 12:00noon, their final game of the regular season. 

Sunday 17th March

Manchester Mystics D1 50–69 Reading Rockets

Manchester Mystics D1 moved to 8-12 in the WNBL Division One after a home loss against Reading Rockets on Sunday afternoon.

Mystics were led by, Carina Costa 17 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals, with support from Elizandra Costa 11 points, a rebound, 2 assists and 3 steals, Success Odemwingie 9 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists, Rehana Khalil 8 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals, Remi Idowu 2 points, 11 rebound and an assist and Hannah Alty 2 points, 2 rebounds and 2 steals.

Up next of Mystics D1 is an away game against CoLA Southwark Pride on Saturday 23rd March at 2:15pm.

Manchester Magic U18 91–51 York Eagles

Manchester Magic U18 moved to 16-4 in the Premier North after a home win against York Eagles on Sunday afternoon.

Up next for Magic U18 is an away game against St. Helens Saints on Saturday 23rd March at 11:00am, followed by an away game against in-house rivals, Trafford Magic U18 on Sunday 24th March at 3:00pm, their final game of the regular season.

Sheffield Elite 81-94 Trafford Magic U18

Trafford Magic U18 moved to 16-3 in the Premier North after an away win against Sheffield Elite on Sunday afternoon. 

Up next for Trafford U18 was an away game against St. Helens Saints on Monday evening, find out how they got on below. 

Manchester Mystics U18 20–0 Cardiff Met Archers

Manchester Mystics U18 moved to 11-0 in the Premier North after a home win via forfeit against Cardiff Met Archers on Sunday afternoon.

Up next for Mystics U18 is an away game against Bristol Academy Flyers on Saturday 23rd March at 1:00pm.

City of Leeds Gold 71-51 Trafford Magic U16

Trafford Magic U16 moved to 6-14 in the Premier North after an away loss against City of Leeds Gold on Sunday afternoon.

Up next for Trafford U16 is an away game against Manchester Giants on Wednesday 20th March at 7:00pm, followed by an away game against York Eagles on Sunday 24th March at 3:00pm, their final game of the regular season.

Manchester Magic U16 2 53–61 Cheshire Phoenix Blue

Manchester Magic U16 2 finish their regular season with a 6-12 record in the Conference North West after a home loss against Cheshire Phoenix Blue on Sunday afternoon, awaiting confirmation of league placing.

Milton Keynes Breakers 77-68 Manchester Mystics U16

Manchester Mystics U16 moved to 13-2 in the Premier North after an away loss against Milton Keynes Breakers on Saturday afternoon. 

Mystics U16 have one remaining game to play away against Nottingham Wildcats date and time to be confirmed.

Newcastle Eagles 58-40 Manchester Mystics U16 2

Manchester Mystics U16 2 finish their regular season with a 5-11 record in the Premier North after an away loss against Newcastle Eagles on Sunday afternoon, awaiting confirmation of league placing.

City of Leeds Black 37-67 Manchester Mystics U16 3

Manchester Mystics U16 3 moved to 9-6 in the Conference North after an away win against City of Leeds Black on Sunday afternoon.

Mystics U16 3 had one remaining game to play at home against Teesside Lions, this game has now been forfeited in favour of Mystics, meaning Mystics U16 3 finish with a 10-6 record, finishing in 4th place in the Conference North league.

Tameside Vikings 51-54 Manchester Magic U14 2

Manchester Magic U14 2 finish their regular season with an 11-3 record in the North West 1 after an away win against Tameside Vikings on Sunday afternoon, to finish 2nd in the North West 1 league.

Newcastle Eagles 49-59 Manchester Mystics U14 2

Manchester Mystics U14 2 finish their regular season with a 4-8 record in the North 1 after an away win against Newcastle Eagles on Sunday afternoon, to finish in 4th in the North 1 league.

Cheshire Wire 41-70 Manchester Magic U12

Manchester Magic U12 finish their regular season with an 11-1 in the North West Irwell League after an away win against Cheshire Wire on Sunday afternoon and await confirmation of league placing.

Stockport Lapwings 48-53 Manchester Mystics U12

Manchester Mystics U12 moved to 9-0 in the North West League after an away win against Stockport Lapwings on Sunday afternoon.

Up next for Mystics U12 is a home game against Mersey Mavericks on Sunday 24th March at 12:30pm, their final game of the regular season.

Monday 18th March

St. Helens Saints 100-101 Trafford Magic U18

Trafford Magic U18 moved to 17-3 in the Premier North after an away win against St. Helens Saints on Monday evening.

Up next for Trafford U18 is an away game against Leeds LDM on Saturday 23rd March at 4:45pm, followed by a home game against in-house rivals, Manchester Magic U18 on Sunday 24th March at 3:00pm, their final game of the regular season. 

Your team performance of the week last week was a two-way tie between Manchester Magic U14 2 and Manchester Magic U12 2 with 50% of the vote each.

Who was your team of the week this week? (Vote closed)