Early in the day, Sevenoaks Suns defeat the Southend Swifts 69-45 to retain the U16 Girls Sureshot National Cup, picking up the accolade for the fourth time in the last seven seasons and avenging last year’s playoff final defeat.
Suns coach Richard Surrey said: “I thought we put forth a really consistent effort today. In championship basketball, the team that wins is the team that can stay consistent for the biggest percentage of the game. I thought we had a little lapse at the end of the third quarter but other than that we were very focused and we just executed. I was really thrilled with our performance.”
The U16 Boys Sureshot National Cup final was a hugely entertaining affair, with a rollercoaster game ending in an 82-71 win for Cheshire Wire over North Premier rivals Sheffield Junior Saints.
The title is Wire’s first as a club at any age group, but they were made to work exceptionally hard for it by a Saints side that held an unbeaten record for the season going into the final. Wire gained an early lead in the first quarter and went on to build on that, leading 41-27 at half time. Sheffield came out fighting in the third quarter and managed to erase the 14 point deficit and go onto a five point lead going into the final quarter. Cheshire fought back in the fourth to eventually take to title 82-71, the first title in the club’s history.
The U18 battles saw Sevenoaks Suns add the U18 Women’s Sureshot National Cup to the U16 Girls crown won earlier in the day, defeating City of Sheffield Hatters 62-59 in a fiercely competitive encounter. With the lead never reaching above six points and changing several times, it was a tough and competitive game which saw the Suns secure their third U18 Women’s Sureshot National Cup title in succession, their fourth in the past five seasons.
Meanwhile, Manchester Magic added the U18 Men’s Sureshot National Cup to go with the senior title the club earned three weeks earlier, grinding out a 73-67 win over a spirited London Greenhouse Pioneers.
Manchester has been the dominant force in recent years, with five wins in as many final appearances since 2006. Magic have only lost one final while playing on their home court, but such fearsome history did not seem to intimidate a Pioneers side making their final debut.
The first half saw an extremely close score line going into the break, with Manchester edging very slightly with a 40-39 lead. With the lead changing between the two sides it was a tough battle for Manchester who eventually saw off the fight from the London Pioneers and was able to come out victorious.
Magic coach Aurimas Verbukas added: “Pioneers are a good team, a very well coached team, and I think Alan Keane is one of the best coaches in the country. But for my assistant coach Greg Mpofu and I, the key thing for us was the team spirit at the end of the game and never giving up.”
Most Valuable players
U16 Girls, Gabby Nikitinaite Sevenoaks Suns – 30 pts, 15 rebs and 7 as
U16 Boys, Sam Wilson Cheshire Wire – 34 pts, 17 rebs and 4 as
U18 Girls, Millie Stevens Sevenoaks Suns – 19 pts and 11 rebs
U18 Boys, Hamad Ali Manchester Magic – 24 pts, 12 rebs and 7 sts
City of Sheffield Hatters
London Greenhouse Pioneers
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