On Friday 24th May 2019 the annual Merton Borough Year 5/6 Basketball competition took place at St Mark’s Secondary School, Mitcham. 16 teams from 12 schools took part with each of the 4 Merton clusters being represented by at least 1 school. Teams were placed in 4 pools for the group stages before progressing onto the knockout rounds.

The opening fixtures produced some stunning matches across all 4 groups. A 7-point draw between Malmesbury and Aragon set the tone for an end to end competition in Group B, followed by a 3-baskets to 1 victory for Pelham A who eventually toped that group over St. Teresa’s C team in 2nd spot.

Garfield produced an outstanding opening win with a 14-2 score in their first game which eventually proved to be a very important points difference result in the battle for 2nd place in group D behind St. Teresa’s A who topped the table with 3 wins and 9 points.

Bishop Gilpin lead the way in group C with 7 points and Poplar B team finishing behind them with 6, but arguably the game of the group stages came in group A between Poplar A and St. Thomas of Canterbury. Both teams had previously picked up 2 wins each leaving it to a head to head clash in their final group game. Nothing could separate the two teams after the 7-minute fixture, which with such a fast-paced style of play, seemed to fly by in no time! 4-4 the final score and only a plus 2 points difference score was between the two sides in favour of Poplar, who pipped first place a retained seed 1 heading into the sunny afternoon knockout stages.

The groups stages finished as follows:

GROUP A

1 Poplar A

2 St Thomas OC

3 SS Peter and Paul

4 Hollymount

 

GROUP B

1 Pelham A

2 St. Teresa’s C

3 Aragon

4 Malmesbury

 

GROUP C

1 Bishop Gilpin

2 Poplar B

3 Liberty

4 St Teresa’s B

 

GROUP D

1 St. Teresa’s A

2 Garfield

3 Pelham B

4 Links

It was evident that all schools had prepared well and did their best to adhere to the rules of play in the ‘mini basketball’ half-court format. Play commenced at such a high pace and continued throughout the whole tournament with all teams in top gear by the quarter final rounds.

As with all of our Borough Finals across Merton, each team are to play a knockout quarterfinal, semi-final and final game, however after each round the winners take the higher ranking into the next stage leaving our medallist matches between the top 4 ranked teams.

Our basketball tournament followed this format with some impressive high scoring results including Liberty’s 8-2 quarterfinal win. Poplar and St. Teresa’s took one win each in the 12-2 and 12-0 results between their teams in the quarterfinals and St Thomas continued their decent form with a 4-1 over Pelham.

The Semi-finals were very even. In the race for the Gold medal, only one basket could separate both games between Poplar A and St. Teresa’s A with the game ending 5-7 in favour of St. Teresa’s. In the other contest, St Thomas’ managed to overcome the speed and precision of Garfield but only by a 2-0 win – the tightest of margins and full credit to both teams.

The tension grew as the final round of fixtures began. Some games even had to be decided by a 3 shot shoot out as they had finished all square after 7 minutes – Pelham pipping Liberty to a shootout win after a 4-4 draw in the place for 11th and Hollymount winning their shootout for 13th place. Well done to Malmesbury for 3 wins from 3 in their afternoon knockout stages leaving them in 9th position overall.

The Bronze medal match needed another shootout to decide the tie with Poplar A claiming 3rd place overall after a 2-2 draw with Garfield. Well done to both squads.

The Gold medal match was a more straight-forward encounter with St. Teresa’s A displaying their dominance with a 10-2 win. A fully deserved victory overall with 6 wins from 6, a total point haul of 53 and, having only conceded 11, St Teresa’s are the worthy Champions for 2019. Well done also to St. Thomas’ who had a wonderful tournament themselves, picking up the Silver medal with an awesome attitude towards their opponents in the final.

Final Standings:

1st St. Teresa’s A

2nd St. Thomas of Canterbury

3rd Poplar A

4th Garfield

5th Poplar B

6th Pelham A

7th Bishop Gilpin

8th St. Teresa’s C

9th Malmesbury

10th Aragon

11th Pelham B

12th Liberty

13th Hollymount

14th SS Peter and Paul

15th St. Teresa’s B

16th Links

Many congratulations to St. Teresa’s A team for becoming Merton Champions for 2019. They will now go on and represent Merton at the London Youth Games.

Well done to Links for being crowned REFSPECT winners for 2019, adding to their 2018 award in the basketball event last year too! The games were all played in a great spirit and everyone was onboard with the REFSPECT campaign that made it more enjoyable for everyone involved.

The MSSP would like to thank the St Marks Academy for hosting and providing the 8 Sport Leaders who officiated each match superbly.

Finally, a big thank you to the teachers and staff for bringing each school to the event and we are already looking forward to 2020’s basketball edition!

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