St Martin’s season proves a slam dunk!
17:05 19 June 2014
Double basketball joy for Hutton school
A season of hard work and passion saw the under-13 and 14 girls’ basketball teams from St Martin’s in Hutton, go on to reach their respective National School’s finals this term.
Both teams were flying high after being crowned Essex Cup champions in March.
The under-14s played their final fours weekend at the UEL SportsDock, taking on Kingsway School from Stockport in the semi-final.
Saints started slowly and both teams traded baskets for much of the first half, but as Tonie Abbott and Eleanor Potter began to find the basket, they went on to win the game 80-53.
Next came a tough test in the final against Haringey’s Greig City Academy, who had beaten Saints to the national title in 2013. Greig City were favourites, but from the start both teams matched each other.
However, Grieg City began to pull away and opened up a double-figure lead, before Tia Stack found her form and helped close the gap to 30-29 at half time.
St Martin’s had their eyes firmly on the prize as the two sides returned after the restart and, with only three minutes to go, took the lead for the first time at 53-50.
Unfortunately, four Saints players ended the game on the bench, having been ruled out of the closing stages for committing five fouls, and Greig City took advantage to win the match by a 64-59 margin.
The under-13s travelled to the Nottingham Wild Cats Arena, knowing their semi-final opponents, Aylesbury High School, were going to provide a tough test.
Saints started slowly, but still managed to create scoring opportunities without putting the ball in the basket.
Aylesbury were scoring at will at the other end of the court, but Skye Stack and Ria Brown, sensing the big occasion, began to give their side some hope.
The duo fought for every ball in defence and worked hard to score on offence. But a few missed opportunities meant St Martin’s narrowly lost 49-42.
The squad had learnt a lot in defeat and took that into the third-place play-off.
It was important for the girls to finish an emphatic season on a high and, despite the disappointment of losing their semi-final, Megan Smalley led her team to third place in the country with a final score of 62-36 against St Aiden’s C of E School from Liverpool.
Lynne Swan, head of girls’ PE at St Martin’s, said: “Two Essex Cup titles and second and third-place finishes in the country is a testament to how hard the girls have trained and played. But they couldn’t have done it without the fantastic coaching from teachers Tara Allen and Sharley Smith.
“I am incredibly proud of their collective achievements.”