School Sport: Awesome Abbey at the double
PUBLISHED: 15:30 13 May 2015
Barking pupils dunk finals rivals
Barking Abbey had two reasons to celebrate as their under-15 boys team and under-19 girls were both crowned national basketball champions at the weekend.
The boys defeated Northants School 81-68 in their final held at the UEL SportsDock.
Barking head coach Rikki Broadmore was proud of his team following their national success.
“It was great to win the championship with this group as they are great to work with and try their hardest to do the right thing,” said Broadmore.
“It’s their first championship as a group which is why it meant so much to them, especially missing out last year.
“I’m grateful that Lloyd Gardner has trusted me with being head coach of this age group and it was a privilege to be a part of this championship.”
Abbey found themselves behind at the break, but dug in to turn the match around and win.
The side’s resilience impressed Broadmore, as did their efforts at stopping star Northants player Jacob Round from influencing the result.
“We started off very slow, but the boys responded well to the team talk at half time and came out with a better work ethic and limited Jacob’s touches,” added Broadmore.
“We played much harder defensively and got loads of deflections that led to easy scores and we finally hit shots from outside which helped us win the game.”
In addition to winning the title, Barking added a personal award to their haul as Jay Kakas was named the final’s most valuable player, scoring 24 points.
“Jay has come a long way from the beginning of the year and deserved to be MVP – he did what he has been doing all year long,” added Broadmore.
The under-19 girls secured a magnificent ninth straight title with a 61-53 triumph against Charnwood.
Evelyn Adebayo top scored with 15 points and also recorded seven rebounds and two assists on her way to collecting the MVP trophy for the final.
Savannah Wilkinson, who had earlier been named as MVP in the Women’s Basketball League, was also in fine form as she notched 13 points.
Barking Abbey were also ably helped on their way by Parris Wilkinson who scored 10 and Sadie Russell who netted nine.
Charnwood took an early lead in proceedings, but Abbey were able to show their class to take a half-time lead.
Despite never conceding their advantage after going in front, Barking were unable to shake off a dogged Charnwood side, who kept up the pressure.
The final buzzer eventually signalled the Barking Abbey win, but head coach Karen Burton was quick to praise the opposition.
“Credit to Charnwood, who are a talented, well coached side. They made us work for it and it wasn’t a pretty performance,” said Burton.
“I’m pleased we managed to pull through in the end and keep the streak going.”
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