Heston Community School claimed silver at the Balfour Beatty London Youth Games schools basketball finals at SCORE Centre on Thursday March 19.
The finals at were the culmination of months of knockout competition which saw the top four teams in male and female under-14 and under-16 competitions battling it out for a spot in the National Schools Finals in May.
Heston took on Clapton Girls’ Academy from Hackney in their semi-final in a repeat of last year’s bronze medal play-off. The match proved to be hard fought with Heston showing gutsy defence to hold off numerous Clapton attacks in the final quarter and come through as 43-37 winners.
In the final, Heston took on defending champions Greig City Academy from Haringey, who had Great Britain captain Drew Sullivan passing on advice, and the north Londoners proved to be too strong on the day running out 52-33 victors.
Team manager Bethany Mann was pleased her team had shown their ability to reach the final and feels the knockout format helped her team focus on the task at hand said: “I know our team has potential but I guess that’s the same with the other team or they wouldn’t be here so we knew there would be challenges and hurdles but I’m glad we got to this stage.
“I think it’s really good because it teaches them that sometimes in a game it’s a win or lose situation. You have to put one hundred percent in or unfortunately you will be knocked out.”
Sullivan, currently playing for London Lions in the British Basketball League, watched on spoke about how he got involved in the London Youth Games for Haringey: “I played for Hackney at club level so everybody I competed with lived in Hackney and I was one of the few guys who lived outside the borough.
“When the London Youth Games came around I wanted to compete in it so I went out and found the coach who was running the Haringey team at the time and I asked if I could compete and he was happy to take me on.
“I spent a few weeks practicing and playing with them, went along to the London Youth Games but unfortunately lost to my friends from Hackney!”