One again Cirencester College's basketball team have made an excellent start to the season.
In November the team went to the British Colleges West Midlands tournament to face off against other teams in the region and have the honour of representing the region at the National Championships. The team started comfortably in the shortened games beating Bournville 25-5 and North Warwickshire and Hinckley 24-9. In the last game to decide the group winners Cirencester faced off against Worcester 6th Form (whom they had defeated 4 times last season) and raced out to an early 11-4 advantage only to be pegged back in the final 5 minutes but remained calm to win 14-9.
The quarterfinal opponents, Warwickshire College, came out with some determination and made things difficult for the college side who only held a narrow advantage, 8-7, after 5 minutes. However with the college side now being backed by the Rugby team who came to support after their own BCS tournament had finished the team started to find gaps with in the Warwickshire ‘zone’ defence and eventually prevailed 15-12.
In the semi finals Newcastle Under Lyme College would be the opponents and again the college side were able to gain an advantage early but not be able to pull away. Newcastle threatened to take the game to the wire but the college side showed composure to win 14-11 taking them into the final.
In the final they met national powerhouse Birmingham Met. The Cirencester team had saved their best performance until last and whilst never having a comfortable lead were always in control winning 11-9.
Basketball Coach Ben Roper commented ‘I’m really pleased for the guys today. In my 3 years coaching the team at the college we have made a semi final, final and now taken the final step to become winners. The team worked really hard and deserve the opportunity to represent the West Midlands in the National Championships. I’ve had a lot of comments from opposing coaches, referees and spectators on how impressed they were with our performances. Particular praise must go to our captain Eddie Donmez and point guard Josh Reade who led the team in excellent fashion.’
This year the College was invited into the England Basketball ‘Elite’ League having won the West Midlands Performance League the previous 2 years running. This sees them playing against much tougher competition and against some of the top sides in the country. This has seen a steep learning curve for the team which they are slowly adjusting too having lost their first 3 games. The team acquitted themselves fantastically well in their first game against South Gloucestershire & Stroud (formerly Filton) who featured 3 current or former England internationals. Whilst the depth in talent eventually shone through for SGS the college side managed to keep the game close throughout they could never finally take the final step and really threaten the visitors and eventually fell to a 15 point loss 44-59 They then dropped 2 games to London United Harefield Academy & Aylesbury Grammer School 58-81 & 55-71 respectively in which the team felt they did not give performances that reflected their ability or work ethic.
This meant back to the drawing board before facing Richard Huish 6th Form College. The team stormed to an early lead at the fixture in Taunton and at one point threatened to turn the game into a blow out. This was led by a flurry of points ‘off the bench’ from guard Will Watson. After some interesting refereeing calls put the team in foul trouble and let Huish back into the game the college side made a massive defensive stand to keep the home side at bay whilst keeping the score ticking over just enough to secure their first win in the league 59-55.
Uxbridge were the next opponents and Ciren, despite a sluggish start went into the half time break ahead by 18. The 3rd quarter saw the College side unable to gain any real momentum and push on with the lead and the score remained at 18 go into the 4th period. Uxbridge changed their defence to a very aggressive zone which caught the team off guard and allowed Uxbridge to put a run together that threatened to derail all of the college sides good work. Thankfully the team managed to gain composure down the stretch and secure a 7 point win 54-47.
Cirencester have also started their defence of the Gloucestershire schools title with a 50 point hammering of Wycliffe College. They face Gloucester College in their next fixture on Monday 10th December looking to keep their 4 year unbeaten streak going.
For further information please conact Ben Roper on firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 2012 Archive