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Sharp Hulls sinks Teddington

posted 26 Feb 2014, 07:23 by Phil Broughton   [ updated 26 Feb 2014, 07:29 ]

Year 9 SSP Basketball League 

RPA 28 Teddington 26 

Report by Jack Costello 

Just before half term a short-handed Year 9 basketball team travelled to previously unbeaten Teddington for what could turn out to be the title deciding league match. Missing several key players including Rokas, Noah and Josh, RPA started nervously, allowing Teddington several early lay-ups and uncontested shots which saw the hosts take an early 6-0 lead. RPA rallied and began to pressure the ball effectively and use their size advantage to dominate the rebounding contest at both ends. Some passages of play resembled WWE rather than the NBA but RPA's commitment certainly unsettled the hosts and this sparked a strong comeback led by baskets from Kyron and Tainton. At the end of the first quarter, RPA held a one point lead.

Teddington came out firing in the second quarter as Ermir, Jaydon and Alex came on and took a few minutes to adapt to the pace of the game. Teddington's tall No. 2 drove to the basket and finished strongly on consecutive plays to swing the momentum of the match strongly in Teddington's favour. Daniel came on and went man-to-man and did a fantastic job shutting him down effectively for the rest of the match. Despite this, Teddington took a four point lead into the half time break.

The game intensified early in the second half, with a flurry of silly fouls being committed by both teams. RPA's physical approach unsettled Teddington, and RPA became frustrated at the reactions of some of the Teddington players. For a short period RPA lost focus, and by the end of the third quarter this lapse looked like it could be costly. Teddington went to the charity stripe time and time again, and led by 6 points with 3 minutes remaining.

After a well-timed time out (even if I do say so myself), RPA rallied and penetrated into the lane through Qerim and Kyron with Deolu using his reach to rebound the ball, creating several second chance opportunities. The lead was cut to a single possession with a minute remaining and Tainton tied the game up with under 60 seconds left. Both teams were in the penalty at this point but RPA saw out an excellent defensive possession to send the game to overtime.

The extra five minutes was a tense affair, with every foul ending in free throws. Both teams struggled from the line but it was Teddington who took the lead twice and led by a bucket with two minutes remaining. Tainton drove to the basket and corralled his own rebound to tie the game up and with 39 seconds remaining, Daniel popped up to shoot RPA into the lead. The final passage was crazy, with both teams squandering possession, but the ball broke to Qerim who had looked after the ball brilliantly the whole game, and managed to keep it to see the clock run down for a fantastic RPA win!

An excellent result against the odds which showed great character, determination and team spirit. They now must beat Orleans park in their rearranged match to take the title!

Team: Deolu, Daniel, Qerim, Alex, Kyron, Jaydon, Ermir, Tainton