February 2017: Basketball team reaches semi-final in first competition year

OUR basketball team got into the semi-final of the Lancashire Cup in its first full year of competition.

Haslingden High School’s U14s team finished runner up in the semi-final to a team from Longridge High School, but won praise for their ‘fantastic effort’ from coach PE teacher Nick Mooney.

The team, from Years 8 and 9, defeated Rossendale teams All Saints, BRGS A and BRGS B and Alder Grange.

They went on to play Archbishop Temple from Preston when they won with a convincing final score of 37-20.

The semi-final and final were both played at BRGS, but sadly the Haslingden team lost to Longridge – final score 29-36.

Max Harrison, 13, and Freddy Corless, 14, are no strangers to basketball having played for Rossendale Raptors, now called Lancashire Spinners for the past five years.

Max said: “Our neighbour used to have a basketball hoop outside his house and Freddy and I would play so we decided to join a team.

“We are both in the under 14s team and train with the under 16s. It is a fast paced sport and you can get quite skilful.

“We now practise with school every Tuesday and at Alder Grange School with the Spinners every Tuesday and Thursday.”

The team was only formed last year and had a couple of friendly matches before entering the Lancashire Cup.

Mr Mooney said: “It was a fantastic effort for our first time in the competition as a team and I am sure there will be lots more to come.

“The team progressed out of their group, remaining unbeaten in four games. A particular highlight was Max Harrison’s ‘buzzer beating’ three point basket which levelled the score with BRGS and sent our game into extra time with one second to go. We went on to beat BRGS and top the group.

“A special note of thanks must be given to our PTFA who provided funding for our team kits and helped the boys to really look the part throughout this year’s competition and to and Gillian Worthington and Kate Seig-Hogg for helping to secure the funding.”

Max and Freddy are joint captains of the school team and scored the most goals in the competition.

Only five members of the team play on the court at any one time, but there are up to 11 in a team as there are constant substitutions throughout a game because it is a very physical sport.

Twelve-year-olds Jack Waters, Josh Basford and Matthew Worthington also compete in the school team and have been members of the Lancashire Spinners for three years.

The squad comprises: Year 9s, Max Harrison, Freddy Corless, Jack Thompson, Andrew Trevillion, Harrison Webb, Ben Gammack and Josh Wainwright and Year 8s, Matthew Worthington, Jack Waters, Josh Basford, Toby Smith and Ashton Mcwade.