A BUXTON school’s basketball team has completed a fantastic season by securing third place in a national competition.
St Thomas More School’s under-16 boys team claimed third spot in the National Schools Under-16 Conference Finals at Nottingham’s Wildcats Arena, to add to the Derbyshire County Championship title they won last month.
In the semi-finals, St Thomas More (STM) faced a strong Dorothy Stringer team which had won the South of England Zone.
The Brighton team used their size advantage to good effect, and despite a huge three-pointer from Adam Fletcher on the buzzer, at half time STM trailed 50-28.
A spirited display in the third quarter reduced the deficit to 64-45, but it was not enough as Dorothy Stringer proved too strong and won 85-57, on their way to winning the National Finals.
The third/fourth place play-offs gave STM a tie against Heaton Manor (Newcastle) School, who had won the North of England Zone.
STM started the brighter of the two teams and raced into a 7-0 lead, with Joel Frohwein scoring two quick baskets and George Selby hitting a big three-pointer. By the end of the first quarter, STM had built up a 23-8 lead.
In the second quarter, STM were put under much more pressure as Heaton Manor upped their work rate and started to creep back into the game, reducing the deficit to 31-25 at half time.
After the break, Charlie Wild helped get the team back on track with two good baskets and then Elliot Donaghue made his mark with his first two points of the season.
The third quarter finished with STM leading by 12 points, at 47-35, but Heaton Manor dug in and started to increase the pressure again in the final quarter.
With three minutes of the game remaining the lead was down to six points, but the Buxton side managed to keep possession and run the clock down, eventually winning 61-57 to seal third place overall.
Top scorers were Joel Frohwein (23 points), Bradley Hodgson (ten points), Captain Adam Fletcher and George Selby (seven points each), Jordan Hollister and Charlie Wild (four points each), Elliot Donaghue (two points). Eduardo Giglio and Jake Jones completed the team.