A huge stat line from eventual MVP Leia Edwards pushed Newham Youngbloods to the U16 Girls National Cup, with the talented guard collecting a 17 point, 26 rebound double-double.
Well matched in the early going, Newham grew into the contest as the 1st half wore on. Their lead hit 14, a game high, just before the half time buzzer and left the Richmond bench with plenty to ponder during the break.
The Knights would start the 2nd half strong though, getting the deficit down to just two early in the third. Newham would then move through the gears, stretching their lead back to double digits before comfortably sealing the win.
Edwards MVP performance was supported by Ines Goryanova, who had 15 points and nine assists, and Fatama Jemmah who had 11 points and eight rebounds. Richmond captain Emily O'Connell top scored for the Knights, she had 21 points.
Hear from the MVP of the under 16's final, Leia Edwards! 🏆👏 pic.twitter.com/qGj99tN004— Basketball England (@bballengland) February 1, 2020
A balanced offensive effort from Team Solent Kestrels helped the South coast side beat Manchester Magic 75-63.
Leading by just 1 point shortly after half time, Solent put together a key 13-5 run that put some distance between the two sides. The Kestrels managed their lead effectively for the remainder of the game, though Manchester continued to fight. A five point deficit would be as close the the North West side would come however before their opponents pulled away for good down the stretch.
MVP Rory Urguhart-Hawkins had a game high 23 points plus nine rebounds for the Kestrels, supported by George Clark, who had 16 points to go with 11 rebounds, two assists, two steals and three blocks. Solent also had Leslie Okafor (14 points, 12 rebounds) and Zak Missouri (12 points, 8 assists) reach double digits scoring. Joe Buchanan had a team-high 13 points for Manchester.
A tense and exciting U18 Women's final went the way of Ipswich 60-57, though the result was up for grabs until the final seconds of the game.
The Suffolk side led for almost the entirety of the 2nd half, but were never able to create an advantage of more than 7 points as both teams battled tback and forth. Tied at 52-52 with 2:25 remaining, players and fans alike were unaware of which way the final would swing as the already impressive noise from the stands grew with every possession.
With key plays down the stretch, Ipswich gradually edged ahead, keeping their composure from the free-throw line for another famous National Cup win.
In a game that featured a number of MVP worthy performances on both sides, it was Ipswich's Susannah Rafiu who eventually got the nod. With 15 points and seven rebounds plus two assists and three blocks, Rafiu was impressive at both ends of the court. Ipswich captain Esther Little also had 15 points to go with 13 boards, and Cameron Taylor-Willis had 11 points and 13 rebounds.
Sitota Gines top scored for Reading with 21 points before fouling out late in the 4th, whilst talented forward Anabel Lattore finished with a 12 point, 12 rebound double-double.
An incredible end to the day saw Haringey edge out Myerscough 65-64, with Owen Young sinking the winning free-throw with just 0.9 seconds left on the clock.
Stepping up to the line with the scores tied, Young missed his 1st shot but regained his composure to sink the 2nd, and with it, Myerscough's chances of glory.
The North West side had led comfortably for most of the game, with their advantage peaking at 13 points early in the 3rd quarter. That simply allowed the Hawks to set up a grand stand finish, reeling their opponents in despite trailing 54-44 going into the last.
The final's MVP award went to Haringey's captain Alex Distras who enjoyed a game high 27 points. Ndewedo Newbury scored 13 points to go with nine rebounds before fouling out late.
Great Osobor led the way for Myerscough with a 14 point, 15 rebound double-double, and former Hawk Franklin Agu had 10 points and 15 boards.