Day 3 of the Dynamik National Schools Finals 2018 saw the end of the U14 Boys and U14 Girls competitions, bringing down the curtain on an excellent three days.
Final - Shoeburyness High School 50 v 94 Bristol Met Academy
Pharell Robinson and Louie Tucker combined for 59 of Bristol’s 94 points as they powered to a dominant 94-50 win against Shoeburyness High School to claim the U14 Boys title. MVP honours went to Tucker as he finished with 29 points in a game where his opponents struggled to find a way to slow him down.
Bristol started hot and within minutes of the game’s tip they were building a lead. At 20-9, the difference had already passed into double digits and Shoeburyness were in danger of being blown away. The stature and physicality of both Tucker and Robinson was evident from the outset and the pair dropped 17 of Bristol’s first 20 points.
The second quarter would bring more of the same and, even though both players sat for parts of the frame, Bristol’s defence was helping to extend their advantage as repeated stops allowed for transition points and easy baskets. For all Shoeburyness’ effort to penetrate, they were rarely given the opportunity to do so, having to settle for long range efforts and low quality looks.
D Y N A M I K S C H O O L S. @BMABasketball collect their winner's medals and MVP goes to Louie Tucker! He scored 29 points and notched up double digit assists! What a performance on the big stage!#TogetherWeAreBasketbALL #DynamikSchools pic.twitter.com/xNTnMLftBx— Basketball England (@bballengland) May 13, 2018
The difference passed 20 in the second quarter and hit 30 before half time. That rendered the contest all but over, leaving Tucker and Robinson to battle for the game’s MVP award. Credit to Shoeburyness as they never let their heads drop and continued to fight for the duration of the second half. Vuyo Bango finished with a team high 15 points and was one of two scorers to make it into double digits.
“Unbelievable! It’s been a long time coming and as a school we’ve been trying to achieve this for a long time so we’re delighted,” said Bristol Coach Gareth Williams. “After our first game today, that one was very close and we expected the Final to be the same, point for point and a tactical battle, but we stepped up and blew them away. Both Louie and Pharell have been outstanding for us all year and today they stepped up as well.”
Shoeburyness Top Scorers – Bango 15, Alston 10, Charles 9
Bristol Top Scorers – Robinson 30, Tucker 29, Watson 10
3rd/4th Place Playoff – Philips High School 69 v 71 Greig City Academy
Semi Final 1 - Philips High School 74 v 94 Bristol Metropolitan Academy
Semi Final 2 - Shoeburyness High School 78 v 59 Greig City Academy
Final - Kesgrave High School 53 v 50 Aylesbury High School
For the second day in a row, the girls’ Final at the Dynamik National Schools Championships came down to the very last possession. Unfortunately for Aylesbury, their final shot couldn’t find the basket and Kesgrave were left to celebrate a famous 53-50 victory.
Susannah Rafiu was a worthy MVP recipient as she dropped 27 points including 10 in the 4th quarter to carry her team over the line. She also pulled down double digit rebounds in a do it all performance for Kesgrave.
Early on in proceedings, the Final was shaping up to be an individual battle between Aylesbury’s Onyi Okoye (24 points) and the talented Rafiu. Okoye certainly played her part with 8 of her side’s opening 10 points, but eventual winners Kesgrave looked much more balanced on offence. The Suffolk side led by seven at 17-10 after 1, and by the middle of the second the difference had moved into double digits. Aylesbury fought back though as guard Macy Cook (24 points) joined Okoye as the only other scorer for Coach Jenner’s side, leaving the Final evenly poised at 25-21 Kesgrave by half time.
D Y N A M I K S C H O O L S.— Basketball England (@bballengland) May 13, 2018
Susannah Rafiu takes the last MVP award of the 2018 @DynamikFlooring National Schools Championships! She was unstoppable to finish with 27 points, including 10 in the 4th quarter!#TogetherWeAreBasketbALL #DynamikSchools pic.twitter.com/gj7mnTZOwO
After the break, Cook and Okoye took over as Aylesbury seized the opportunity to pull away. A 13-2 run broke the game open and put daylight between the sides, but that spurred Rafiu into action. Her efforts helped to pull the deficit back down to a single basket at three quarter time before helping her side push on in the 4th.
An 8-2 run to open the final frame swung the game back into Kesgrave’s favour, but both Okoye and Rafiu would get into foul trouble in the game’s final five minutes and both walked a tightrope the rest of the way. As hard as Cook and Okoye pushed from there, Rafiu had an answer. With less than 90 seconds to go Kesgrave were up by 5 and looking to put the result beyond doubt. Aylesbury had other ideas though and pulled with three as Okoye scored yet another basket, but despite getting one last chance to tie the score, it wasn’t to be.
“That was a lot of fun! We put on a show and it was great to see the team perform on the big stage,” said Kesgrave assistant coach Daniel Manning. “It was nervous down the stretch, but the team pulled it out. Susannah is incredible gifted and it was fun to watch her play today, it was a well-deserved MVP performance.”
Kesgrave Top Scorers – Rafiu 27, Manning 8, Asemota 8
Aylesbury Top Scorers – Okoye 24, Cook 24, Banda 2
3rd/4th Place Playoff – Reddish Vale High School 66 v 57 Heston Community School
Semi Final 1 - Reddish Vale High School 60 v 76 Kesgrave High School
Semi Final 2 - Aylesbury High School 80 v 51 Heston Community School