ON FRIDAY, October 20, Westbourne School’s newly formed under 16 basketball team travelled the short distance to St Cyres school to play a friendly fixture.

Westbourne had nine players aged 14-16 years and were keen to see how their skills matched other schools in the area. It was a slow start from both teams with nerves playing a big part and many shots were missed. However, thanks to a great offensive rebound and follow up shot by year 10 pupil, Chahid Evans, Westbourne got the first points on the board and this settled the early nerves. Westbourne went on to build on this lead with determined runs and good baskets and were in a strong position at half time. St Cyres fought back in the second half and had a good run of baskets; the last quarter was particularly well matched, but Westbourne were delighted to get the win 35-12.

The following week, on Thursday, October 26, we played Stanwell School. Stanwell only had a small squad of six players but proved to be much tougher opposition. A great start by Westbourne saw Ukraine student Nazar open the scoring with a long range three point shot. Whilst Westbourne always kept just in front, it wasn’t long before Stanwell hit some form and at the end of the third quarter Westbourne were only four points ahead. A tense last quarter saw the Westbourne team work incredibly hard to keep ahead on the score-board. A timely two point shot from German student Florian kept momentum in favour of Westbourne. With only seconds left Stanwell scored a lay up to get within one point. With less than five seconds on the clock Stanwell put up a shot, but it missed and Westbourne came away as winners 29-28: a thoroughly entertaining match to watch, with some excellent play from both teams and played in a great spirit.

A big thank you to the staff and pupils of St Cyres and Stanwell for the friendly fixtures, and we look forward to playing both schools again in the new year.