Jr. NBA Manchester Finals @ Manchester - Day 1 Recap

Manchester’s Jr.NBA competition went came to a close today at the National Basketball Performance Centre for the Year 7 and Year 8 Co-Ed with a great set of Jr.NBA Finals.

To start the morning off in the Year 7 Eastern division, Wright Robinson College (Miami Heat) defeated St.Peter’s (Washington Wizards) in a back and forth affair. The Wizards made a comeback in the second half before the stellar guard play and lock down defence of the Heat allowed them to pull away with a 24-15 win and book a place in the Year 7 Jr.NBA Finals after lunch.

In the Year 7 Western Final, Helsby High School (New Orleans Pelicans) took down Ellesmere Port Catholic High School (LA Lakers) 32-12, as their strength and size inside proved too much for the Lakers and allowed them to maintain a comfortable lead throughout the game.

With the Year 7 Jr.NBA Final stage set between Helsby High School and Wright Robinson College, it was time for the Year 8 Eastern and Western Finals. The Eastern Finals saw St.Peters RC High School (Cleveland Cavaliers) take on Trinity CE (Miami Heat) in a game dominated by defence. The first quarter saw just one basket and a free throw from the Heat, who took a 3-0 lead going into the second. The Heat were unable to hold their small lead as the Cavs made a comeback, getting to the line and converting to gain a narrow margin. The Cavs would go on to win 12-10 and move onto the Year 8 Finals that afternoon whilst the Heat would have to settle for 3rd/4th place.

In the Western Finals, Wright Robinson College (San Antonio Spurs) showed from the start why they were today's Champions, as they completely dominated the competition from start to finish. Their first game saw them comfortably beat Philips High School (Portland Trailblazers) who struggled to get over the Spurs’ 30 point first half lead. The Spurs would go onto to win 52-18 and advance to play St.Peters in the Final that afternoon, whilst Philips High School would play Trinity for 3rd/4th place.

At midday a shooting competition split up the day’s games as the players showed off their shooting ability. St. Peters' Ronnie Ayo (Miami Heat) was feeling it as he took the shooting competition title back for the Year 7 winners, and Wright Robinson's Stanley Njekwe (San Antonio Spurs), did his best Bruce Bowen impression, winning the competition for Year 8 category.

After lunch, we were treated to the Year 7 and Year 8 3rd/4th Place Playoffs which saw some terrific basketball action with both teams competing hard for a chance to get their hands on a bronze medal. In Year 7, Wright Robinson College (Washington Wizards) defeated Ellesmere Port (LA Lakers) in a nail-biting game that came down to the wire. The game was neck and neck throughout, with the score completely even going into the final period, until the Wizards found a way to take control late in the 4th and hold onto a 1 point lead to eventually win 15-14.

In the Year 8 Playoff game, Philips High School (Portland Trailblazers) got off to a great start against Trinity CE (Miami Heat) with a 9-0 run, which they used to push out a comfortable 16-8 lead by halftime. Trinity fought back hard, chipping away at the lead to bring the score to within 9 in the final quarter, but the size and strength of the Blazers proved too much as they pulled away to victory 34-22 and the third place medal.

The two main events in the Year 7 and 8 Jr. NBA Finals were no disappointment, as all teams played some of their best basketball of the day for a chance to be named Jr.NBA Finals Champions. In the Year 7 age group, St.Peters (Miami Heat) took on Helsby High (New Orleans Pelicans) in another back and forth game that remained close throughout. The Heat lead by 2 point with just 15 seconds left on the clock as everyone in the gym turned to watch the final seconds unfold. The Pelicans had a chance to tie the game at the free throw line, but could only make one, giving the Heat a 1 point lead in the final seconds which ultimately sealed the win as they became the Year 7 Jr.NBA Manchester Co-Ed Champions.

In the Year 8 Finals, Wright Robinson (San Antonio Spurs) continued their dominant play, jumping out to a 6-0 run against the Cleveland Cavaliers (St.Peters RC High School) which extending to a double-digit lead by the end of the first half. Spurs worked the ball inside, using their size and athleticism to over power the Cavs, eventually winning 45-19 to become the Year 8 Manchester Co-Ed Jr.NBA Champions.

Well be back at the National Basketball Performance Centre tomorrow to bring all you the action from the North West Girls Jr. NBA Conference Finals. For a selection of images from today's action in Manchester, please use the button below.