Under-14 basketball girls fly flag for Suffolk

TOP TEAM: County Upper Under-14 Girls
TOP TEAM: County Upper Under-14 Girls

County Upper’s Under-14 basketball team have become the first Suffolk side to be crowned east of England champions for more than 12 years.

A 70-42 victory over Brentwood Fire, who they will meet again this weekend in the play-offs, on Saturday clinched the National League East Conference title.

FRONT FOOT: Grace Spooner sets County Upper on the attack

FRONT FOOT: Grace Spooner sets County Upper on the attack

Delighted coach Darren Johnson said: “It’s crazy really considering the team has only been in existence for four years.

“Four years ago, we were getting hammered by 50 or 60 points every game, so it just goes to show how far this team has developed.

“There has been a real good chemistry throughout the side and I’m proud of the team and the journey they’ve been on.

“Our girls’ program has gone from strength-to-strength and with now more girls than ever playing at under-12 level, the future looks bright.”

STUBBORN DEFENCE: Kayleigh Brown attempts to intercept a pass

STUBBORN DEFENCE: Kayleigh Brown attempts to intercept a pass

The National play-offs will involve the top sides from the North, East and South Conference, but there is no promotion on offer for the winners.

Alex Popova grabbed 24 points and was supported by Grace Spooner and Lizzy Sanders with 18 and 17 points respectively.

n County Upper’s Under-16 Boys’ team suffered a heartbreaking end to their league campaign with a narrow defeat against Lynn Fury.

The youngsters trailed 65-59 with two minutes left on the clock, but were unable to make the most of a number of chances as they eventually went down 68-65.

JUMPING FOR JOY: The County Upper team celebrate

JUMPING FOR JOY: The County Upper team celebrate

Coach Johnson said: “We are still young and these games are good learning experiences for all of our players.

“We had multiple chances in the last minute to take the lead but unfortunately it was not meant to be today.”

Luca Beadle helped himself to 31 points, supported by Brandon Marshall and Patrick Laycock with 12 and 10 points respectively.

n County Upper Under-14 Boys finished the season on a high with a 104-49 point victory against the Braintree Blue Devils in the National League East Conference.

Ethan Doward registered 38 points and was backed up by Sam Doherty and Tom Roberts with 27 points between them.