ST BEDE’S Catholic Middle School’s year seven basketball team have a spring in their step after winning the Midland Basketball Junior NBA competition at Worcester Arena.
The team qualified for the finals by winning all of their group games and two knockout rounds against fellow group winners. They were representing the Memphis Grizzlies and had a brand new kit and basketball as reward for entering.
St Bede’s played Alcester Grammar – a team they had already beaten twice this year – both in close games. The semi-final was another close game, with St Bede’s just coming out on top 20-15.
Cameron Campbell again top-scored, while Tom Cronin, Stan Amos and Tom Price also scored.
In the final the boys played William Brookes School from Shropshire – a team who had also reached the U12 national basketball finals.
St Bede’s started strongly and their defence was superb, thwarting some strong William Brookes attacks on a number of occasions.
After captain Cameron Campbell had given St Bede’s the lead, the rest of the boys joined in the scoring, with Amos, Charlie Fearnall and Oliver Cockram all netting important points to give St Bede’s a nine-point cushion during the third quarter.
However, a resilient William Brookes came fighting back in the last quarter to reduce to deficit to just one point, but Cockram – who top-scored with seven points – made the game safe with a superb basket with one minute to go.
More heroic defending made sure the boys could celebrate being crowned Junior NBA champions for the second time in three years. The victorious squad also included Kristian Kubala, Matt Smith and Haydon Baker.
St Bede’s assistant principal Matthew Russell said: “Credit should go to all the boys who have worked really hard throughout a long season, attending many practices and really developing their skills.
“They have been a pleasure to work with and deserve all the accolades a victory like this may bring.”