U15 GIRLS NATIONAL BASKETBALL CHAMPIONS
The U15 girls have matched the U16 girls’ achievement by becoming National Champions on Saturday 17 May at the Nottingham Wildcats Arena where they commenced their road to victory with a semi-final against Aylesbury. After a slow start, the girls’ confidence began to increase and they eased to victory winning 58-24. After watching the last 6 minutes of the other semi-final which saw Reddish Vale overcome Greig City Academy by 2 points in a fast, intense and highly competitive game, Greensward knew that they would need to up their game in the final to overcome what would be very stiff opposition.
Knowing this the girls were ready and focused to start the final. The game was close from start to finish but they started strongly to take a narrow lead before Reddish Vale took a time out to regroup. However, Greensward were able to adapt to the minor changes made by Reddish Vale to take a 21-15 lead into the second quarter which saw both sides exchange point for point. Greensward took a narrow 6-point lead.
Reddish Vale had the stronger third period and their tactics to try and stop captain, Zoe Willis, driving to the basket were effective and they closed the margin to a single point by the end of the third quarter. So the game was nicely poised going into the final period of the National Final and Greensward rose to the challenge. Strong offensive play by Zoe Willis, supported by Chelsea Locke and Rhian Simpson saw Greensward take a 6-point lead with 5 minutes remaining. It took a tremendous defensive display led
by Amber Evans and Summer Osborne to thwart Reddish Vale’s comeback and they were able to hang on and score their foul shots in the final minutes to win the national final by a score line of 72-65.
Congratulations to Zoe Willis who was awarded MVP in the final, scoring 31 points. Zoe has also been selected for the England squad that will travel to Copenhagen later this year.
Congratulations to Rhian Simpson who alongside Zoe has also just been selected for the U15 East of England squad following a recent East of England U15 tournament when they played for the Essex Girls U15 team. The Essex team beat Norfolk, Suffolk, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire in the group stages before easily beating Bedfordshire in the final. They will now attend training sessions in Ipswich over the next 4 months.
U16 GIRLS NATIONAL BASKETBALL CHAMPIONS
Congratulations to the U16 girls on becoming National Basketball Champions on Saturday 10 May, for the second time in three years. The team travelled to the University of East London to play in the final fours of the competition. They started the competition by winning all of their games progressing quickly into the regional round. More success led them to the zone rounds and finally into the final fours. Although the first game against NSG was tough and they trailed until the last quarter, the girls gave a final push to win 52-43.
The team continued with the pressure in the semi-final and fought valiantly to win 64-46.
With a couple of hours rest, the girls were ready to face the final. Superb defence and fast breaks saw them take the lead at the end of the first quarter. This continued and by the time they reached the final quarter they knew they were home and dry. For Megan Jones, Abbie Miloslawer, Kate Vaughan and Sophie Kay it would be the last time that they would be playing a competitive basketball game for the Academy. Emotions were flowing and the girls wanted to go out on a high. A special mention must go to Megan Jones (captain) who won the U16 girls MVP for the final. She scored 30 points had countless assists and endless rebounds.
Mr Stevenson said; “It shows how much this team have gelled this year, there were Year 9, 10 and 11 students playing in this team and they saved their best basketball for the finals. The Year 11 girls that have represented Greensward in a number of sports in their time at the Academy deserve to finish their sporting careers at the Academy on such a high; it was a very proud moment.”