Monday 7th July 2008 - BRGS versus Southlands from Chorley
The year 10 basketball team were trying to emulate the year 8’s achievement from a few weeks ago and become County Champions by beating Southlands in the Lancashire Final and also go one better than last year.
This was a repeat of the final from 12 months ago where Southlands narrowly won in a close game that BRGS led until the closing minutes. There were lessons to be learned from that defeat and the experience gained was put to good effect in this game.
Joe Jackson marked their best player out of the game in the first quarter and therefore knocked the whole Southlands team out of their stride. With excellent rebounding from Jamie McMullen, Cameron Bradshaw and Jake Campbell, denying the opposition any second chance shots, combined with lots of shot blocking from that same trio, Southlands did not score a single basket in the first quarter. They were limited to just a couple of free throws. This was as good a defensive display from the team as it was possible to get.
Offensively, BRGS scored easily, the opposition defence not up to the job of stopping Cameron Bradshaw or the free scoring Jake Campbell, who finished the game with 26 points, giving BRGS a 15-2 lead at the first break.
The second quarter followed a similar pattern to the first. Excellent defending meaning that Southlands were still struggling to find opportunities to shoot and failed to score any baskets until the last few minutes of the half. With more points from Jake and scores from Tim Bonham, Tom Hulme and Josh Rhodes, BRGS extended their lead to 21 points to go ahead 24 points to 3. Josh had come on to replace Joe Jackson and continued with the excellent defensive work and with Stephen Fletcher running the fast break there was always an outlet for the ball out of defence.
However, in the last three minutes of the half, Southlands showed what they are capable of and scored 5 quick baskets. They were beginning to come to terms with the situation they found themselves in.
It was a great start to the game which was just as well as teams from Southlands never give up whatever the score, so despite having a comfortable 15 point half time lead it was going to be a tough second half.
During the third quarter Southlands started to reduce the margin between the teams and got to within 8, but three quick baskets from David Adams maintained the BRGS offensive momentum and kept the gap high.
The game ended with a late flurry of shots from Alex Jones with the score standing at BRGS 49, Southlands 39.
An excellent performance and worthy of the title “Lancashire Champions.”
Jake Campbell was deservedly awarded the MVP trophy for his all round contribution in both offence and defence but it was the defensive efforts of Joe Jackson and Josh Rhodes that laid the foundation for this excellent victory.