Shenfield High School

Having won their first game by 30 points against Boswells, Shenfield’s Yea 9 Basketball team looked to continue their positive start against the unknown team of West Hatch this week.

Having had the benefit of expert coaching from Ex-England coach Humphrey Long, Shenfield started with passion and purpose, showing strong defence and forcing turnovers. This allowed a comfortable lead after the first two quarters, with Oliver and Okwuosa scoring freely. As Shenfield’s ten man squad rotated throughout the final two quarters they managed to maintain their early lead, and continued to work hard to obtain some easy looks in close. At the final buzzer, Shenfield had made it two wins in two, with a final score of 80-22 looking just as good on paper as it did on the court.

Next up for Shenfield was Southend High School for Boys, a team who have had great success over the past two years in the Essex Cup. Having suffered heavily against SHSB in the semi-final two years prior, this provided a great opportunity for SHS to exhibit just how much progress has been made as a team since.

Shenfield came under attack early, with Southend’s star player attempting to control the game but being contained by the commitment and discipline of Joe Oliver. While having to remain focused on defence, SHS also managed to make the most of their attacking opportunities, with Elliot Griffin grabbing six points alone in the opening quarter. With Crowley, Okwuosa and Jordan battling hard in the paint for rebounds, Shenfield had worked tremendously hard to remain competitive at the half time break.

As the game restarted, the effect of playing so hard on defence seemed to of taken its toll, and allowed Southend to acquire a greater lead, with their star player beginning to prove the difference between the two teams. However, a spirited reaction from the Shenfield squad soon closed this lead in the fourth quarter, with Tom Ballington driving the team on from point guard and asking questions of his opposite number.

A final score of 55-44 meant that SHS had suffered its first defeat of the season, but also served as a reminder of how much progress they have made since their Year 7 beginnings.

Squad: Ballington, Oliver, Okwuosa, Von Weilligh, Thomas, Maloney, Kleu, Crowley, Griffin, Jordan