On Thursday, Our Year 8/9 basketball team played in the Jr NBA Finals takings place at Nottingham Trent University. We reached this step last year with most of the same students, claiming a bronze medal and finishing 3rd out of 30 schools that took part. This year we had similar faces and a few near recruits help the team reach the finals again.
There were 4 teams taking part in our year group, schools travelling from all over the Midlands. Our first game was against Arnold Hill Spencer (Who we closely beat during the group stage). During the first quarter, we took a brilliant 14-0 lead and were flying through some brilliant counterplay by Jenson Brown and Conal Mcmullan! Steven Azemia with his usual flair also added half the points to our lead. Despite a rebound from our opponents, we managed to ease to a 28-15 victory which saw us do one better than last year and reach the final for the East Midlands.
Onto the final now, and after watching our new opponents earlier in the day we knew it was going to be a tough game. We came up against Twycross House School and it is safe to say I aged a little during this one! Points were scored by a selection of our squad, where all 12 players rotated and got even game time throughout. The energy coming from Keyla Carlsson, running at players and being physical all over the court! We lead 21-18 going into the final quarter where both teams took advantage of not having half-court defence apply anymore. This led to high press in both teams’ defences, and possession being turned over on many occasions. The final minute was slowly ticking away as we lead 27-26. We certainly felt like the away team as lots of the opposing school’s families and staff cheered on. With a couple of missed shots in the dying seconds, Jenson finally got possession of the ball and launched it to the other side of the court signalling the buzzer and a roar of celebration from our bench. This year was Ashfield’s year and we were crowned Jr NBA East Midlands Champions 2023!
Ashton Nix 8HA2, Ayomide Beckley 9TH1, Conal Mcmullan 9BY1, Jenson Brown 8CO2, Keyla Carlsson 8BY1, Riley Taylor 9HA2, Vienna Harvey 8TH2, Gabriel Ifeadike 9CO2, Tia Costello 8TH2, Steven Azemia 9BY1, Oliver Blake 8HA2