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County Upper teams in good shape at season’s midway point

County Upper Basketball Academy have enjoyed the first half of the season, with one of their teams unbeaten.

The U16 Girls sit top of the South East Conference of Basketball England’s National Leagues after winning all eight of their league fixtures so far.

The team also made it to the quarter-finals of the U16 National Cup before bowing out to Richmond Knights 84-52 on December 2, the only blip on their record so far.

And they bounced back in the league on Saturday, seeing out the year with a win in a top-of-the-table clash with Brentwood Fire 58 - 41.

BASKETBALL - County Upper U19s Boys' v Moulton College..Pictured: Jonathan Boume....PICTURE: Mecha Morton... .. (6136464)
BASKETBALL - County Upper U19s Boys' v Moulton College..Pictured: Jonathan Boume....PICTURE: Mecha Morton... .. (6136464)

A solid 21-4 first quarter, followed by a 13-11 second quarter, gave County Upper a 19-point lead at half-time.

Brentwood responded well in the second half, trading blow for blow with County Upper as they won both the third and fourth quarter by one point, but the home team were unable to close the gap as CU saw out the game.

County Upper were led in scoring by Lizzy Sanders with 26 points and supported by Alex Popova and Grace Spooner with nine points each, and Jenna Wright with seven points.

Meanwhile, the U19s were narrowly defeated in the last 16 of the National Cup (story, right) to end their year but the U14 Girls were able to bow out on victory.

They beat Northants Lightning II 92-55 on Sunday to consolidate third place in the league, which has only one, national, division.

Head coach Darren Johnson said: “It is great to see both the U19 Elite and the girls doing so well this season.

“To have three of our five teams sitting in play-off positions halfway through the season is great.

“We still have half the season to go so it will be interesting to see how our teams do and how our players respond to the two weeks off.

“To also have one player signed with a US college so soon in the season is also good and with four other players gaining interest, it will be interesting to see how many players follow Bradley Day’s footsteps.”

It was a disappointing end to the year for the U14 Boys, however, who fell to a 79-50 loss in the East Conference.

The team have had a mixed season, with five wins and five losses on their record, and lie sixth in the league.

They were led in scoring by Charlie Smythe with 27 points, supported by Tia Causton and Lewis French with 19 points and 12 points respectively.

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