Dynamik National Schools Finals 2018 - Saturday Recap

Day 2 of the Dynamik National Schools Finals 2018 saw the conclusion of the Under 16 Boys and Under 16 Girls Conference competitions.

U16 Boys

Final - Bristol Met Academy 54 v 66 St George's Catholic School

St. George’s Catholic School were crowned U16 boys champions after a comfortable 66-54 win over Bristol Met Academy. The game was tight at multiple stages but a 13-4 run in the final 6 and a half minutes of regulation made for a comfortable margin of victory.

MVP honours went to St George’s Abiodun Adedo as the talented young forward scored a game high 22 points and displayed a strong all round game around the basket at both ends of the court.

The London side stamped their authority on this one early as they raced out to an 11-2 lead, but Bristol’s Nassim Ladjimi (16 points) almost single-handedly brought his side back into the game. The shooter hit from the perimeter on more than one occasion to score 11 points in the frame and leave the score as 20-15 St George’s at the first change.

Bristol continued their momentum in the second as they looked to level things up, but St George’s wouldn’t be deterred as both sides began to heat up. Met had the better of the closing stages to the half and would eventually trail by just three at 32-29 going into the break.

The second half would belong to MVP Adedo though as he repeatedly slashed into the lane and found ways to get easy buckets. With Ladjimi slowing down and scoring just six the rest of the way, St George’s were able to stretch their lead up to seven at three quarter time.

Although the difference would get down to a single basket at 53-50 with 6:30 remaining, St George’s Tyler Small (16 points) would immediately knock down a triple to push the lead back up to six. That basket proved to be the decisive blow and St George’s were able to pull away from there.

“We’ve had the majority of this team for a while now and we knew as soon as we got these boys that we had some real talent. At the start of this season we acknowledged this would be our last year together as a group at St George’s and we put in as much effort as possible to win a national title. I’m delighted we accomplished that goal,” said St George’s Head Coach James Markham. “The first few minutes to begin the 4th quarter, they were the longest two minutes of my life as they reeled us in! But the boys pulled it out, I’m so happy and so proud of them for that.”

Bristol Top Scorers – Ladjimi 16, Hafid 9, Ezendu 9
St George’s Top Scorers – Adedo 22, Small 16, Vernon 14

3rd/4th Place Playoff - Durham Johnston Comprehensive 47 v 91 County Upper Suffolk

Semi Final 1 - Bristol Met Academy 99 v 61 County Upper Suffolk

Semi Final 2 - St George’s Catholic School 74 v 46 Durham Johnston Comprehensive


U16 Girls

Final - Aylesbury High School 63 v 67 Clapton Girls Academy

Clapton Girls Academy were able to overcome a six-point half time deficit and a late Aylesbury charge to pick up the U16 Girls title in Manchester. The Final’s MVP was Clapton’s Jade Guidolin-Duncan after she finished with 29 points, including 19 in the 2nd half.

An even game in the early going, both sides traded baskets and tough defence to keep the score line tight. Aylesbury’s Ella Ross had eight and Clapton’s Lauryn Foster seven as the duo made up the bulk of the offence in a 15-14 opening frame.

It was the second quarter when the Buckinghamshire side started to pull away. The gap had grown to double digits with 3:40 remaining in the half thanks to the efforts of Aylesbury’s Isobel Mathews (14 points), though Ross would be held scoreless in the quarter and Foster didn’t trouble the scorers the rest of the way. Clapton did make up some ground before the half time buzzer, trailing by six at 33-27, leaving the game evenly poised.

The second half was all Guidolin-Duncan as the young scorer lit up the score board and helped to break the game open. With the six-point difference intact with five minutes remaining in the 3rd, Clapton would then go on a tear. 43-37 to Aylesbury quickly became 48-43 to their opponents and the 11-0 run was only broken by Ross’s first basket since the game’s opening quarter. The 3rd would end with Clapton leading 48-46 and the game was anyone’s in the final frame.

The London side would continue their momentum in the last with another telling run. This time it was an 11-2 streak, but rather than put the game to bed it simply set it up for a grandstand finish. Aylesbury fought hard down the stretch, making key baskets to ignite their fans and energise the bench, eventually getting their reward. Tying the contest at 63 with less than 30 seconds to go, it was left to Guidolin-Duncan to break the Aylesbury hearts as she knocked down a couple of last gasp free throws to help secure the win.

"It's been a great weekend. The energy level was low coming into this Final, that led to some nerves in the early going but then the defensive effort kicked in and I felt more comfortable that we'd have this one," said Clapton's Head Coach Fe Duhaney-Keown. "I was worried in that final quarter, but I never doubted the team.  I was confident that when we got the ball back we'd know what to do with it. The right people needed to make the right decisions and that exactly what happened."

Aylesbury Top Scorers – Okoye 16, Mathews 14, Ashton 14
Calpton Top Scorers – Guidolin-Duncan 29, Walsh 13, Nkan 10

3rd/4th Place Playoff - Nottingham Academy 53 v 75 Reddish Vale High School

Semi Final 1 - Clapton Girls Academy 58 v 54 Reddish Vale High School

Semi Final 2 - Nottingham Academy 47 v 59 Aylesbury High School