On a Monday evening before half term, two Bridgewater teams participated in the Premier Stars U9 Basketball Tournament. With an A and a B team having being selected and playing on home ground, both teams were optimistic about going far in the event. However, the lowering of the baskets and the generous laws on traveling and double dribbling applied, meant that Bridgewater lost any advantage they may have had. Nevertheless, both teams began their first round of fixtures enthusiastically and keen to get a win. Bridgewater B started well against Grovesnor School and with Sabri and Sebastian winning many of the defensive duels, the team had plenty of opportunities to score. However, it was to be a Toby basket late on in the game that was to give the team the points with a closely fought 2-0 win. The A team hit the ground running in their opening game against St John’s A team and were rarely troubled in defence, where Molly was proving to be almost impassable. Two baskets from Alfie and a third from Luca B was more than enough to give a 6-0 victory and both teams were relieved to get their first win of the night.
Round two brought about the clash that both teams were really looking forward to… Bridgewater A versus Bridgewater B! This was a fiercely competitive game with both teams cancelling each other out in attack and defence early on. With time running out, the A team finally broke the deadlock, with quick baskets from Luca B, Alfie and Josh proving to be crucial to securing a 8-0 win. The B team were now under pressure to win all their remaining games if they were to qualify for the final and next up was the impressive Lightoaks Primary School. Despite a terrific performance the team finally fell to two late baskets to lose 4-0. On the next court, the A team produced a comfortable 4-0 win over Grovsenor A, with baskets from Luca B and Jackson.
In the fourth game the B team finished their night in style with a fine 6-0 win over St John’s B. Two baskets from a delighted Sabri and another from Toby ensured third spot in the mini league, narrowly missing out on the semi-finals. The A team had to face the unbeaten Lightoaks to see who would claim to spot in their division. Both teams attacked with aggression and determination, with neither team wanting to lose. An Alfie basket looked to have sealed the win until a late equaliser gave both teams a share of the points. The result gave Bridgewater a semi-final against St John’s and from the first minute the outcome was never in any doubt. A brilliant five baskets from Jackson put Bridgewater into the final with a 10-0 win.
The final found the best two teams on the night deservedly meeting each other for the title. The first game was a close and to end game and this was the expectation for the final. However, Bridgewater defended brilliantly and Lightoaks barely got out of their half. When they did, Molly, Luca B and Josh were like terriers in defence. This allowed Alfie, Jackson and Luca C to counter and press in attack, which is exactly what they did. Despite dominating possession and throwing shot after shot, with time running out, that elusive basket would not come. With a penalty shoot out on the horizon, Alfie threw in a spectacular basket from distance to secure the win and send the team into joyous celebrations. A fabulous team effort was topped off with the Premier Sports coaches selecting Alfie to collect the Player of the Tournament award. Well done to both teams and all players from Bridgewater and the other schools for producing a high quality tournament all round.