Wednesday 18th April:
U12A Top 4 Semi-Final: Fr Mathew’s 39 – 38 Blue Demons
Every now and again a game takes place that has it all, that showcases what an incredible sport the game of basketball is, that has people on the edge of their seats (or indeed up off their seats) throughout. Normally these games take place in the higher echelons of the sport such as Super League or Division I, to have a game of such excitement and drama occur at U12 level is quite remarkable indeed.
Last night two squads of players aged between 10 and 11 years of age stepped out on the court in the Parochial Hall to decide who would go forward to this year’s U12A Top 4 Final. For the duration of the hour they were on court each and every one of the players had the large crowd in attendance on tender hooks as they played out one of the most exciting games on the season – at any grade.
The game ebbed and flowed from the off and from the early stages it was clear that the spectators were in for a treat as both sides had players capable of hitting big buckets for their teams. Mathew’s won the tactical battle, however, as players such as Bryce Solis and Gavin Burke did outstanding jobs in minimising the threat of Demons main scorers while on offence Derek Emelifeonwu was quite simply outstanding. His 4th quarter performance was of a standard far above his grade. Alexander Harley was another player to shine and his basket in the dying seconds was the stuff of legends.
As the game entered the final quarter there was still nothing between the sides as they swapped baskets at both ends. With less than a minute remaining Mathew’s finally got the break. Alexander Harley took advantage of a gap in the Demons defence to sneak in with a sublime basket to put Mathew’s one point ahead.
Mathew’s then, through some tenacious defence, managed to win back possession and with the ball in Derek Emelifeonwu’s hands there was only ever going to one outcome. His basket put Mathew’s 3 points clear with seconds remaining but in keeping with the incredible standard of the game Demons made one more basket to bring the deficit back to just a solitary point. Nerves were now in tatters and the tension was at fever pitch as Mathew’s brought the ball in and managed to hold possession until the final buzzer sounded. The scenes of elation in the ‘red’ corner were quite extraordinary and understandable but it has to be said both teams made this the classic it turned out to be.
For the Coaches of our U12A’s, Don Solis and Mark Walk, it was a fantastic result and fitting reward for the many hours of hard work and dedication they have put in over the course of the season. For our superb players it is a magnificent achievement particularly when you consider they were competing in the U11B league last season. To make the step up to U12A grade and to perform at such a high level is outstanding.
The result now means we will have 6 boys’ teams competing in Top 4 Finals later this month – an incredible achievement indeed. Our U12’s join our U14A, U16A, U16B, U20 and Div. I Men in this year’s Top 4 Finals.
More details to follow on these finals so keep an eye on this website for further news.