Shenfield High School


 Once again, the girls U13 basketball squad have had a superb season! Essex Cup finalists last year meant they had a tough act to follow, but somehow they have managed to do it yet again!

The girls won their group stages of the competition, beating Boswells and Greensward. This meant they drew local rivals St Martins in the semi-final; last year’s winners. The girls knew it was going to be their toughest game of the season but they were determined to succeed. They attended extra training sessions, working on new set plays and team strategies. The game was played on Friday 15th March and the girls gave it their all. At the end of the first quarter, Shenfield were down by 16 points and the girls realised they needed to dig deep. From then on, we gradually narrowed the gap between scores and come creeping back into the game. We were two points down, with a few seconds left on the clock and St Martins gave away a foul. Captain Tonie Abbott stepped up to take the two free throws. She scored the first, meaning the gap was now one point. This was thought to be the last shot of the game. Tonie shot, the ball rebounded and Abbie Rawlins quick reactions meant she was able to score the lay-up, meaning the girls beat St Martins by one point in the dying seconds; a team we had never beat before! The girls were ecstatic; the cheers carried on for the whole minibus journey home!

This then meant we had once again progressed through to the final; a fantastic achievement. Here we drew FitzWimarc School. We travelled to Eastwood on the last day of term – Thursday 28th March to play. The girls knew this would be a close game and fought their hardest from the start. The game was so close, with baskets being scored frequently at each end. Despite the Shenfield girls being the technically better team on the night, some bad luck came our way and we ended up losing the game by one basket.

I am so proud of the girls, for all their hard work and determination they have showed this season. They are a much stronger side than they were last year, and I look forward to coaching them next year already! All of the girls deserve a mention, but especially captain Tonie Abbott as she has done a brilliant job with helping to organise the team, as well as being an exceptional talent on court! Well done girls!