Noel-Baker School’s U17 Men’s Basketball Team ended their season in style, by winning the Dynamik National Schools Championship Final.
Their 76-63 win over City of London Academy was sparked by a 29 point / 10 rebound double from Brian Amabilino Perez, who also added two steals, three assists and three blocked shots to an impressive stat-line.
Leighton Elliott-Sewell also impressed with fourteen points, eight rebounds, three steals, two assists and two blocks, while captain Callum Singleton netted eleven points and seven rebounds.
Adria Amabilino Perez was the fourth player in double figures, finishing with ten points, six rebounds, four steals and three assists.
Noel-Baker were first to score, but found themselves trailing 6-2 after three minutes. Several lead changes followed, before Sam Coles swished a three-pointer to give the Derby school a 15-12 first quarter lead, after which they never trailed again.
Their advantage had been stretched to 34-23 by half time and peaked at 53-39, with two minutes of the third quarter remaining.
However, City of London fought back aggressively, narrowing the gap to 64-60 four minutes into the final period, off the back of some strong play from James Mitchell and Ben Anthony, both of whom had been hampered by foul trouble.
However, Noel-Baker held their nerve and scored the final eight points of the game to produce a thirteen point win over the Londoners.
“Defensively we were really tuned in which made it really difficult for them and that made a big difference in how the game was played out,” said Head Coach Matt Shaw.
“We forced them to take tough shots and to be fair to the City of London Academy, they hit some challenged shots too, particularly in the second half, when they kept coming at us and chipping into our lead.
“However, I thought our guys were played really tough and we really battled on defence. As in the previous rounds it was a real team effort.
“As a group we played some decent basketball but we didn't shoot well from the three point line (2/17) or the free throw line (10/22), both of which were not like us, so it was pleasing the guys found other ways to get it done at the offensive end.
“We attacked the basket well in transition and the half court and also had some success in the offensive glass.
“I thought we showed some guts and determination. We had the lead for most the game, but they kept on coming back, but each time someone stepped up, we made some big plays to counter what they were doing.
“It's been a long season for these guys, all of whom have played a lot of games across a variety of teams. They have committed to practice and a heavy training schedule in addition to their academic studies and they've shown great commitment.
“To end the season by winning their last game in a National Final is fantastic and something they can remember forever.
“Now the lads have to turn all their attention to their studies to make sure their on-court achievements are matched in the classroom. If they can do that, then we can consider the season to be a real success,” he said.
Congratulations to all at Noel-Baker from your friends and colleagues at the Trailblazers!
Noel-Baker: B. Amabilino Perez 29, Elliott-Sewell 14, Singleton 11, A. Amabilino Perez 10, Coles 8, Alexander 2, Wroe 2, Balfour 0, Forbes 0, Gordon 0, Jeziskei 0, Rinder 0.
CoLA: Segwai 19, Juozapaitis 16, Mitchell 10, Anthony 9, Mohammed 5, Komagun 4.