County courting success on their national adventures

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COUNTY Upper School’s basketball teams enjoyed a memorable season with no less than five of their sides reaching the last 16 of the National Schools Basketball Tournament.

The under-17 boys’ team were the stand out performers of the school, reaching the National Championship final, only missing out on claiming the title after a hard-fought 85-63 defeat to London representatives St Aloysius.

Four other teams also enjoyed relative success, including the under-14 and under-16 girls’ teams, who despite still developing, became Suffolk champions back in February. This enabled them to go through to the last 16 of the national competition before both were knocked out by Greenwards Academy Under-14s 84-29 and Shenfields Under-16s 60-39, respectively.

Despite the defeats, coach Darren Johnson was left delighted.

“Our girls team were outstanding this year and thoroughly deserved to finish where they did,” he said.

“I am really proud of how we came together, played great team basketball and I am looking forward to helping this group of girls develop as basketball players.”

The under-18 boys’ team won their domestic pool stages after defeating both SEEVIC from Essex and Notre Dame High School from Norfolk before going on to become East of England champions with a dominating performance against Shenfield High School form Brentwood, winning the game 94-36.

However they could not recreate that form in the National tournament as they knocked out by Northampton School with a 73-59 loss.

Like the under-18s, the under-19s eased through their pool group, only missing out on finishing leaders, due to having their match with Milton Keynes void.

As one of the last 16 teams left in the national tournament, County faced a tough encounter against Barking Abbey Basketball Academy, one of the strongest basketball academies in the country.

And despite a spirited performance from County they were eliminated following a 83-58 defeat.

Johnson went on to hail County’s overall success and stated he is no doubt about the bright future of basketball in the region.

“This has been our most successful season since we began four years ago,” he added.