12th November 2015
Congratulations to the York College Basketball Development Centre on their victory at the Yorkshire College Basketball Championship. After a frenzied final held in Grimsby on 11th November 2015, York College defeated Sheffield College 14 - 12.
York College started the regional tournament with hopes of a good performance but recognised that Sheffield College were the clear favourites, having lost to them by over 30 points the week before. Preparation for the tournament included a ‘How to win at Basketball Tournaments’ sheet and the tournament rules specifying shortened games proved to be the answer.
York were in a pool with Greenhead College, John Leggott College, Grimsby College and Wilberforce College and realising that defence was vital in the limited time format, the College progressed quickly with few problems to reach the semi-final as the winner of their pool.
York College players were not as effective in offensive play as they were in defence and in the semi-final against Wyke College this led to a tense match. Both teams cancelled each other out but in the end York scraped through with a victory by a single point to set up a final against Sheffield College.
Sheffield have National League and England international players and this showed from the outset of the match. York’s initial poor finishing appeared to set the tone that the match was going to be a repeat of the previous fixture between the two teams. York College Coach Dave Smith encouraged the team to work to their strengths, frustrating Sheffield in their attacking forays and snatched many points on fast breaks as Sheffield became more exposed. With just two minutes left the score was 14-6 to York College and a massive giant-killing was on the cards however this led to nervousness in the York ranks. Sheffield took advantage of this and with 24 seconds remaining the score was 14-11 to York. The tension was immense and with five seconds remaining Sheffield College shot a 3 point attempt to tie the game – only to discover that an infringement led to this final attempt only being awarded 1 point and York College were victorious!
The Sheffield players were naturally frustrated by the defeat but York College can be very proud of their achievement, having tackled a technically superior opponent. The York College team are delighted to be progressing to the National finals.
Mark Smith, Head of Division for Sport at York College said: “This is a wonderful victory for our Basketball players, the whole college and the sports department are very proud of the team and we look forward to supporting them at the National finals.”
York College Basketball Development Centre players: Victor Dunem, Steve Gannon, Jack Lane, Kane Curtis, Harry Weeks, Moses Banda, Tyler Pottage, Fenton Mutotela, Will Prince and Sean Wilcox
York College 13, Greenhead College 8
York College 15, John Leggott College 4
York College 10, Grimsby College 5
York College 15, Wilberforce College 0
Semi Final: York College 12, Wyke College 11
Final: York College 14, Sheffield College 12