Basketballers through to national finals
Blackpool Sixth’s girls basketball academy team have secured a place in the national school finals.
The Blackpool Sixth team faced Xaverian College, Manchester yesterday in the zone final of the Dynamik National Schools Under 19 Competition. The stakes were high as the winners would get the chance to go to Leicester on March 30th for the final and to be crowned national champions.
With 9 players available, Blackpool Sixth had enough firepower to compete with a strong Xaverian team. The game started at a fast pace with the teams evenly matched for the first few minutes. Team leader, Leila Jepson, scoring the first 11 points for Blackpool. The first quarter was a tight affair with Blackpool coming out on top 23-20. Great team defence from Blackpool coupled with more scoring from Leila Jepson and Cecila Mascione saw the team keep their 3 point lead. At half-time the score was 37-34 to Blackpool Sixth..
Going into the 3rd quarter Emma Luce was a key player, gaining repeated rebounds from Xaverian’s missed shots. Charmaine Cardwell-Wilson’s work rate throughout the game was excellent, and her support enabled Leila and Cecilia to continue to score freely. Xaverian were fighting back though and stayed with Blackpool throughout. The score was 50-52 to Xaverian at the end of the 3rd Quarter.
Into the final ten minutes and the result could have gone either way. Both teams played hard and Xaverian began to foul. This meant Blackpool were gifted with free throws and Cecila Mascione hit them all which secured a thrilling 68-64 win to Blackpool Sixth. Top scorers were Leila Jepson with 39 points and Cecila Mascione with 25 points.
Blackpool Sixth Coach Chris Hodkin said “All the girls contributed something to the game. After working hard in practice over the last few months they really deserved the hard fought win today.”
Blackpool Sixth now face the winners of The John Madejski Academy v The Beaumont School on Thursday 30th March at Leicester Community Arena.