Darren Johnson proud of his County Upper finalists
COUNTY Upper School basketball academy coach Darren Johnson has hailed his young side after they made history earlier this month.
The Bury-based under-17s became the first team from Suffolk to compete in a national final at that age level, losing out 85-63 to St Aloysius in the final of the National School Championships at the Nottingham Wildcats Arena.
Coach Johnson said: “I am really proud of all our players for getting to the final game of the under-17 National Schools Tournament.
“It is a shame we could not of won the last game of the season, but I have found throughout my coaching career that teams will sometimes have to find a way to battle though diversity to win Championships.
“On this occasion though we came up short in finding a way, but will never forget the sweat and hard work we all sacrificed to make it this far.”
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County Upper’s journey began in the Eastern Regional pool, finishing top after defeating St Columba’s, Notre Dame and SEEVIC to qualify for the last 16.
A 66-57 win against Birmingham, followed by a 69-44 victory over Burleigh College from Leicester, ensured they qualified for the final stages.
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Victory over North of England qualifiers Helsby School 96-69 set up the final, where County were defeated by 22 points.
“We battled and up until half time we were only three points down which is a great achievement,” he added.
“I couldn’t ask any more from the team, we just gave everything. It was a great experience.”
For more information on the County Upper School Basketball Academy, visit www.cu-basketball.com