LAZIO PROVE TOO GREAT FOR ST STITHIANS IN FINAL – 4 March

The St John’s College Basketball tournament was capped in style as Lazio Basket School from Mozambique produced a performance not to be forgotten for a long time.

Lazio and St Stithians gave the crowd great entertainment but it was Lazio who walked away the happier of the two when they beat St Stithians 81-50.

The final score of the game is a big margin on the scoreboard and on paper but it took some time for Lazio to really get going in the encounter.

The final had a buzzing start with the spectators adding to the atmosphere at the Wembley Indoor Stadium. The first quarter saw some entertaining end to end stuff with St Stithians starting as the slightly stronger side in the first few minutes, ending the quarter with the score at 15-14.

Lazio however did manage to get into the lead shortly after returning to the second quarter with eventual MVP of the tournament, Heton Bem, proving an elusive menace to the Saints defence. The boys from Mozambique managed to basket 15 points over St Stithians’ 7, eventually leap frogging them to take the lead for the first time going into a new quarter.

The third quarter saw Lazio really stamp their authority on the game with some of their players producing slam dunks that momentarily sent the crowd into a frenzy. A staggering 28 points were scored by Lazio with St Stithians also showing a great deal of tricks of their own to please their supporters. At one point St Stithians looked down and out but somehow kept pushing forward and were eventually rewarded coming within 17 points of Lazio, after being 25 down. The buzzer then sounded and the score was 57-33 to the Mozambicans.

The final quarter was about Lazio maintaining their concentration. St Stithians continued to look for a way back into the final but it proved a tough task as Lazio continued with their swift movements on attack. Defensively Lazio were also on point, always able to rush back when it was necessary with the likes of Fred Bambo swatting anything in front of them. This quarter would prove to be Lazio’s second highest points within the quarter of the game, that eventually propelled them to finish off as the 2018 St John’s College Basketball Tournament champions, taking the cup off to the shores of Mozambique.

The MVP of the tournament, which is given to the most outstanding player in the competition, picked  by a panel of officials, was awarded to Lazio Baskets’ Heton Bem.

 

 

SOWETO CROWNED PREP CHAMPIONS AFTER BEATING ST BENEDICT’S PREP – 4 March

The St Johns College Prep School basketball tournament final, was initially supposed to be between Alexandra development academy and the Soweto development academy, but instead Alex were disqualified after fielding a few ineligible players in the Semi-final. St Benedict’s as their opponents in the semi-final then took their place in the final, only to lose to the first ever U/13 champions, the Soweto development academy 27-15.

The Soweto academy had been ruthless the whole tournament, sweeping past all that came their way fairly easily. The final had a somewhat different feel compared to their other games. This time around they really had to dig deep to get the desired result.

The game took off on a manner the Soweto side were used to in the tournament so far, scoring at free will until about halfway through the first quarter, where St Benedict’s put a brake to the scoring to add a point of their own. The first quarter ended 8-1 to Soweto, whilst in the second each team could only manage 6 points each. The Soweto academy then stretched their lead in the third and fourth quarters, where they outscored St Benedict’s in both. This left the Bennies boys full of regret of why they conceded so many points in the first quarter. The buzzer finally sounded at the end of the fourth quarter, sending the Soweto party straight into celebratory mode. The Bennies boys can be proud of their showing, after producing a great display that was unfortunately eclipsed by fantastic performance from the Soweto development academy who came out as 27-15 champions, being crowned the first ever U/13 champions at the St Johns basketball tournament.

 

LAZIO SECURE SPOT IN THE FINAL DESPITE MICHAELMOUNT CHALLENGE – 4 March

The much anticipated semi-final stage of tournament finally arrived, with current champions Michael Mount taking on the exciting and highly talented Lazio Basket School all the way from Mozambique. The game that was expected to possess a highly entertaining clash did not disappoint as Lazio managed to upset the current holders of tournament Michael Mount 40-30.

The encounter from a neutral and spectators point of view was a wonderful one, with all that excites in a knockout game of basketball being present. In essence it was really a final before a final.

The match got underway with Lazio edging the possession in the game, which saw them set themselves up nicely with a slender 14-8 lead after the first quarter. The second and third quarters were very intense, with both sides playing at a very high tempo and maintaining it. Though if one had to take the score from both those quarters, Michael Mount would have won the game because they managed to outscore Lazio in both. The final quarter in the game, saw the intensity drop slightly from Michael Mount, with Lazio keeping the consistency thanks to their coach on the side lines, always making sure they don’t get complacent in the final stages. The boys from Mozambique showed great intent in the fourth quarter, capitalising on Michael Mounts mistakes to finish the game with a 40-30 victory.

They now await the outcome between St Stithians and Pretoria Boys High to see who they will face in the final at 3.30pm.

 

 

SOWETO ACADEMY TOO GOOD FOR ST PETER’S PREP – 4 March

Game one of the final day of the St John’s College Basketball Tournament saw a prep encounter prommising more great action at the Wembley Indoor Stadium. The fixture saw yet another fine performance from the Soweto Academy, who this time around had to fight hard to secure a 35-22 victory over St Peter’s Prep.

The Soweto Academy had a great start to the game with an 8-0 up in the first few moments of the quarter. St Peter’s however did bring themselves back into the game getting within 5 points of Soweto, before Soweto added an extra 2 points to take a 10-5 lead.

The second quarter was a much tighter affair, with Soweto only adding 1 point to the lead after scoring 8 points in the quarter with St Peter’s lingering close by with 7 points.

The third quarter saw the Soweto boys really rise above their opponents to take a 31-14 lead.

In the final quarter, St Peter’s tried to find their way back into the match and even outscored the Soweto academy but unfortunately the damage was already done. Soweto Academy ran out the 35-22 winners.

 

HIGHBURY AND ST JOHN’S PREP GO DOWN TO ST PETER’S PREP AND THE ALEX ACADEMY – 3 March

The new U13 section in the St John’s College Basketball tournament, features 10 teams, with the likes of  the Alexandra Development team, Saheti School, St Stithians Prep, the International School of South Africa, and The Ridge School in Pool A. Whilst Pool B has included Sacred Heart, Highbury Prep, Soweto Academy, St Peter’s Boys Prep and hosts St John’s Prep, all competing in great spirit.

For the first time this weekend, two prep games took place at the Wembley Indoor Stadium, which is the main venue of the tournament and where all the finals match-ups will take place.  The first game saw St Peter’s Prep defeat Highbury Prep from Durban, 36-28. The second and last fixture of the day, saw hosts St John’s Prep fall to a heavy defeat against an incredible Alexandra academy performance 40-8.

The first fixture between St Peter’s Prep and Highbury Prep was an exciting match up right up until the final buzzer. In the beginning it was hard to tell who would take the clash but it was St Peter’s who raced to a slender 9-4 lead after the first quarter.

The boys from Highbury Prep returned in the second quarter throwing all they could at St Peter’s but their efforts saw them cut the deficit to just 2 points, with the score at 16-14 to St Peter’s. The most exciting basketball of the encounter was in last two quarters, where both sides outscored each other in both quarters. In the end though, St Peter’s Prep mustered enough to push to a 36-28 win.

The last game of the day was a clinical effort from the Alexandra Academy Juniors, who raced to an emphatic 19-0 lead after just the first quarter against St John’s Prep. The hosts’ only really got into the game in the second and third quarter, where they defended far better against a relentless Alex attack. The last quarter saw the Alex academy really run away with the game, bagging 14 points to the St John’s 2 points. The final score was 40-8 to the Alexandra Academy, who had dominated the St John’s Prep side.

ST JOHN’S ON TRACK FOR THE KNOCKOUT PHASE AFTER DOWNING NORKEM – 3 March

The hosts St John’s College look like they’ve recovered well since their forfeited game against Jeppe on the first day of the tournament. Since going down to Jeppe due to technical issues, St John’s have played in a further six fixtures, of which they have won all. Norkem Park High School have not been as fortunate, as they languish towards the bottom of group D, with not much hope of progressing to the last 16 stage of the tournament. The much anticipated game between St John’s and Norkem ended with a clinical St John’s team taking the win with a final score of 37-16.

St John’s College started the game as if they were playing at home, immediately putting Norkem on the back foot in the first quarter as they raced to a 16-3 lead. The handful of supporters on the stands spurred on the hosts on as they continued to trouble Norkem, who, it must be said, defended really well in the second quarter.

The common thread throughout the game was St John’s ability to outscore Norkem in every quarter of the game. However, Norkem did not go quietly as they put up a great fight in the final quarter. St John’s College’s quick counter-attacking and ability to rapidly move the ball around the court proved to be Norkems’ undoing, which saw them eventually fall deeper at the foot of the table, with St John’s guaranteed a spot in the last 16.

 

MICHAELHOUSE KEEP TO WINNING WAYS AFTER ST ANDREW’S MATCH – 3 March

Michaelhouse continued in fine form earlier this afternoon, when they were triumphant against St Andrew’s side that have found it quite difficult to get going in the tournament so far. The 37-22 victory for Michaelhouse helps them edge even closer to a last 16 spot.

Pre-match predictions around the arena would have seen Michaelhouse as the favourites to clinch it against St Andrew’s as they have shown great potential and have grown from strength to strength as the tournament has progressed. The St Andrew’s boys on the other hand have blown hot and cold but more often than not cold. Michaelhouse who hail from the Midlands were fairly even with St Andrew’s in the first two quarters, but the Michaelhouse class really shone through in the third quarter, which wrapped up the game. The last quarter saw both sides scoring 7 points each at the sound of the buzzer as Michaelhouse went on to victory.

 

NORKEM TRUIMPH IN BOTTOM OF GROUP D CLASH AGAINST ISSA – 3 March

The International School of South Africa are still without a win at the St John’s College Basketball Tournament, and their bad run continued when they went down to fellow strugglers Norkem Park High School with a final score of 28-15.

The game got underway in the manner which was expected with both teams vying for the win whilst also exercising caution.

The first quarter was a tight affair with 3 points separating the two sides and Norkem enjoying the lead at 8-5.

The second quarter was much slower with both teams only managing to score a combined 6 points.

The defining period of the match was when Norkem really pulled away from their opponents, by scoring 12 points to 4 in the third quarter.

The final stanza of play was a stalemate, with both sides scoring 4 points a piece, which meant Norkem Park High School had secured a 28-15 win over the International School of South Africa from Mahikeng.

 

EBENEZER RISE ABOVE ST ANDREW’S – 3 March

After having a rather tough day yesterday, playing four games in one day, Ebenezer Secondary School faced a very good opposition in St Andrew’s College from Grahamstown earlier this morning.

Ebenezer have already played five games in the tournament so far, winning only two, whilst St Andrew’s, with the same number of games, have won one more than Ebenezer. The Group D clash between these two talented teams saw Ebenezer rise above their underdog tag to secure a hard fought 45-31 win over St Andrew’s.

Prior to the match-up commencing, many a spectator would have given the points to St Andrew’s before the game had even began. Ebenezer however had other plans, going against many people’s predictions. At first however things were working out well for the boys from Grahamstown, who led at the conclusion of the first quarter 12-5.

The stability in the game came in the second quarter, with Ebenezer clawing their way back and even outscoring St Andrew’s by two points to take the score to 22-17 to St Andrew’s.

After the second quarter, the tone was set with Ebenezer adding 28 points in the last two quarters, whilst St Andrew’s could only accumulate 9 points.

ST JOHN’S EARN VALUABLE WIN AGAINST WELHAM – 3 March

St John’s College and Welham Boys’ School from India got day 3 underway at Wembley Indoor Stadium earlier this morning. The game was important for both schools who were looking to make up ground on the pool leaders Jeppe. The hosts’ however needed it more, as they are the ones closer to Jeppe, just 2 points shy of the summit of the pool. St John’s in the end put in a great performance to run out 40-18 victors and close in on Jeppe, who play later on.

The hosts got off to a dream start in the first quarter where they managed to notch up 7 points with Welham only managing a single point.

The second quarter was Welhams best of the game, where they always looked more dangerous on the attack. The quarter however didn’t see too much of a difference between the sides however Welham did manage to outscore St John’s, 12 points to 11, taking the score to 18-13 against the hosts.

The third quarter saw it play out in a similar manner to the first, with St John’s just making sure they maintained their good lead going into the fourth and final quarter.

Welham were in for the shock of their lives in the fourth quarter, as St John’s kept their best for last, adding a further 15 points to finish on 40 points which has been their highest in a single game so far.

 

ST PETERS MAKE AMMENDS AND GET A WIN OVER SOWETO – 2 March

St Peter’s College got off the mark on day 2 putting themselves in a good position in the second quarter to comfortably beat the Soweto Academy 33-24. This game was not all smooth sailing at the beginning for St Peter’s, thanks to a great balance of defence and attack from the Soweto side in the first quarter.

The first quarter, although low scoring, produced a thrilling encounter with both teams nervously testing each other out before over committing to an attack.

The game however eventually opened up, with the baskets in the quarter leading St Peter’s to a narrow 8-6 lead at the buzzer. As the match progressed, St Peter’s grew in confidence and strength, which saw them put up a bit of difference between them and Soweto.

The Soweto development side must be given credit for showing great spirit as they kept pushing and reducing the deficit between them and their opponents.

The final quarter however saw St Peter’s really flex their muscles as at one stage, they were 13 points ahead of Soweto. By the time the clock had run down, the Soweto Academy had managed to trim the gap to 9 points, with St Peter’s securing their first victory of the day with a score of 33-24.

 

BROOKHOUSE TURN THINGS AROUND AGAINST DOMINICAN – 2 March

After suffering a 21-20 defeat at the hands of St Alban’s College earlier this morning, Brookhouse School bounced back to their winning ways beating Dominican Convent School 31-18.

Prior to the game, many would have maybe put their money on Dominican Convent school clinching the victory over Brookhouse, as they would have been in a better physical condition after Brookhouse had just had their last encounter just an hour before. This however was false, as the boys from Kenya came out all guns blazing, sneaking into an early 7-4 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter saw the points tally increase slightly with Dominican Convent showing a lot more fight to remain in the contest. The agility, pace and power of Brookhouse proved too much for Dominican, who at the third quarter found themselves behind 25-16.

The final quarter of the game saw a consistant showing from Brookhouse who managed to add a further 6 points to their tally, whilst Dominican could only add 2 points to their total.

The buzzer eventually sounded to the delight of Brookhouse, who sealed a 31-18 win to keep their hopes alive in the tournament.  

 

ST DAVID’S TOO GOOD FOR ST PETER’S IN A BATTLE OF THE SAINTS – 2 March

In just the second game of day 2 at the St Johns College Basketball Tournament at the Wembley Indoor Stadium, St David’s and St Peter’s had to take it to over time in order to find a winner, where St David’s managed to edge it at the last second after they were awarded a free throw.

The game which could have swung either way eventually ended 37-36. The first match of the day however saw St Alban’s College from Pretoria earn themselves a 21-20 win over Kenya’s Brookhouse School in a nail biting clash played in great spirit.

The game between St David’s and St Peter’s was a rather exciting one for the neutral but more of a nerve shattering one for supporters of either teams.

The two teams were almost inseparable on the scoreboard in the last two quarters, where the lead exchanged hands regularly. The first two quarters however saw St Peter’s enjoy a lead for a few moments but St David’s would always find a way back.

The encounter reached the fourth quarter with the two sides producing matching scores of 31-31, which meant the game had to go into over time.

In the end it took an error from a St Peter’s attacker who committed a foul as both sides were deadlocked at 36 during over time.

With two seconds left on the clock, St David’s stepped up and bagged one free throw that resulted from the foul, earning them a hard fought 37-36 victory over St Peter’s.

 

ST ANDREW’S OFF TO A WINNING START AGAINST WELHAM – 1 March

The third game of the tournament featured one of the touring teams from India, Welham Boys’ School, who took on St Andrew’s College from Grahamstown.

The encounter between the two sides was rather tight in the beginning but at the end St Andrew’s had more in the tank to sneak away with a 39-29 victory.

Welham Boys’ received a loud cheer at the start of the game as they got off to a dream start bagging a 3 pointer very early in the first quarter.

This spurred them on to add to their score but they didn’t manage to keep the boys from Grahamstown out the game too long as the quarter ended 17-9 to St Andrews.

The second quarter brought a fierce contest that saw Welham clawing their way back but St Andrew’s managed to keep their distance as the buzzer sounded for the end of the quarter.

The last two quarters saw more of the same with both sides exchanging ends rapidly with gap still remaining at 7 points going into the final stanza of the match-up.

The difference in the last quarter stretched as the St Andrew’s boys showed great stamina and physicality to push through to a 39-29 win.

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