Harris Academy Beckenham won the 2013 EB/BCS Under-19 Premier title on Wednesday, after cruising past South Gloucestershire & Stroud (SGS) Academy 80-56 in the final at Fenton Manor Sports Complex, Stoke on Trent.
The side from South London were led by an MVP performance from Terence Mustre, who finished with 21 points, all on three pointers, as he connected on 7 from behind the arc, 5 after the halftime break.
Rowell Graham had 21 of his own, on a number of big dunks, whilst Kavell Bigby-Williams added 14. Harris Academy proved too big and strong for both Barking Abbey in their semi, and SGS in the final, as they dominated the glass and overpowered their opponents.
SGS were led by Jack Griffiths’ 12 points whilst England Under-18s, Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye and Tamas Okros, were held to just 12 points between them.
2013 EB/BCS U19 Premier League Final Standings
1) Harris Academy Beckenham
2) SGS College Academy
3) Barking Abbey Basketball Academy
4) Copleston High School (Ipswich Basketball Academy)
3rd Place Playoff
Barking Abbey beat Copleston High School 85-78
In the third place playoff, both teams gave their benches a good run as BA came away with a 7 point victory.
Abbey had 5 players reach double figures, led by Paulius Satkus’ 14 points. Joe Lockwood added 13, and Roy Downey and Calvin Kintu added 11 each. Jake Eynon led Copleston with 25 of his 28 points in the second half, whilst David Metcalf hit five threes for his 15.
Harris Academy beat Barking Abbey 83-73
It was a case of third time lucky for Harris Academy, after losing both regular season match-ups against Barking Abbey.
Harris, who were without England Under-18 Dwayne Orija, took advantage of the absence of BA’s David Akibo inside, dominating on the offensive glass.
Harris were led by Terence Mustre, who had 28 points on 7 threes, including some ridiculously tough ones, whilst big man Kavell Bigby-Williams added 20 and Rowell Graham had 12. The young Josh Steel (’97) had 21 points to lead BA, with Niall Hegarty adding 18 and Ryan Addison 14.
SGS College beat Copleston High School 78-73
Despite going down by as many as 15 points in the third quarter, SGS College had a remarkable comeback to beat Copleston High School by five to book their place in the final.
Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye, who led the rally, finished with 24 points to lead SGS, whilst Jack Griffiths added 15 and Tamas Okros finished with 14.
Ben Mead had 21 points to lead Copleston, with Jake Eynon adding 17.
- Harris Academy were just too big and physical for everyone. Rare for one junior team in England to have so much size and strength, they attacked the glass and the rim, finishing with at least 15 dunks across both games.
- Mustre was the deserved MVP, after hitting fourteen threes across both games; providing an important outside threat to complement Harris’ bigs.
- Across the four teams, there are no less than 18 players (as far as I’m aware) involved with England/GB national team links: Harris – Rowell Graham, Kavell Bigby-Williams, Myles Laurent-Smart, Legend Robertin, Dwayne Orija (absent)/SGS – Jack Griffiths, Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye, Tamas Okros, Oliver Hannam/Barking Abbey – Josh Steel, Calvin Kintu, Joe Mvuezolo, Joe Lockwood, David Akibo (absent)/Copleston – Ben Mead, Dylan Johns, Joel Keeble, Luke Mascall-Wright. Additionally, BA have players with other NT links; Robinson Idehen is being looked at by Spain’s Under-16s, Niall Hegarty and Roy Downey have represented Ireland, and Paulius Satkus is on Lithuania’s U19 long list for this summer’s World Championships.
- Recent Texas A&M commit, Dylan Johns, is an athletic freak. Had two posters, and was getting his head near rim level in warm-ups; has a world of potential.
- With it being an Under-19 league there was a big age range in participants; from the likes of Barking Abbey’s ’97 born Josh Steel to ’93 born MVP Terence Mustre.
- Couple of videos already up; Rowell Graham’s nasty putback, and Kavell Bigby-Williams’ two dunks. Much more to come.
- Absolutely crazy to put an event like this after exams have started. At least two junior internationals; Akibo and Orija were unable to play, in part, to this, whilst all those who did take part lost valuable revision time.
- The U19 Premier league is the top junior competition in the country; has a real chance to be made into an attractive league for spectators and sponsors…but needs a lot of work. Putting a marquee event in the middle of nowhere in Stoke, during exams, in a venue that was just terrible, and then having write-ups like this to reward the participants, is far from ideal. I’m always told that a lot of this is down to BCS being involved; if that is the case, and I’m EB – I just set up my own league with no BCS involvement (maybe I’m simplifying matters, but am sure it’s possible if an effort was made)!
- Saying that, I know EB are considering changes to the competition next year to try to maximise its potential; there will likely be a better choice of venue, a semi-final and final spread out across two days, and no exam clash. Onwards and upwards!
Did you make it to Stoke? Thoughts?