School Sport: Barking Abbey boys crowned national champions

Barking Abbey's under-16s celebrate their national title (pic Barking Abbey Academy)

Barking Abbey's under-16s celebrate their national title (pic Barking Abbey Academy) - Credit: Archant

Under-16 basketball squad come from behind for title

Barking Abbey’s under-16 boys claimed the National Schools’ title with a 73-58 come-from-behind win over Newham rivals St Bonaventure’s at Leicester Arena.

Arnas Petrauskas was named MVP, finishing with 23 points to take home the individual honours, whilst Josh Ogundele finished with 22.

And the game was a thriller, with neither team able to gain an advantage until St Bons went on a 14-0 run midway through the second period to firmly take control.

However, a rousing half-time talk from head coach Rikki Broadmore saw Abbey come out with rejuvenated energy in the third quarter, turning a 12-point deficit into a one-point lead heading into the final period.

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And they continued to pile on the pressure and pull out an eventuallu comfortable win to the delight of Broadmore, who said; “It was a tough and frustrating first half for everybody involved.

“We couldn’t seem to score and it then reflected how we played defensively. The half time team talk could only be positive, we came out believing that if we played the way we practiced shot the all with confidence we could win the game.

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“For me, the passion the guys come with and the desire to play through adversity and the belief in each other was what they should all be the proudest about.

“It’s been a unbelievable year working with the guys this year, they have taught me and each other that basketball is best played while having fun doing the correct things.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better group of players, and every one of the them has a bright future.

“A big thank you to Phil Russell for assisting me, as I couldn’t have coached this team without him. And also to Josh Steel for coming in at the end of the season and helping to support the players, he has been a great role model since he has been back.

“And obviously thank you to all the coaches at Barking Abbey who have supported me and the players daily; Mark, James, Karen and especially Lloyd. This championship is for the players and all the coaches at Barking Abbey.”

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