The Jr NBA programme held its regional finals last week at the Lagoon Leisure Centre, this event saw some of the best schools from Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire come together for one final day of competition. The program is ran in partnership with Basketball Scotland, the official jr NBA program, basketballpaisley and local authorities.
Two separate tournaments were held during March/April and May to determine what teams would advance to the regional Finals. The East Renfrewshire tournament got underway back in March with the Jr NBA official draft taking place in Clarkston Hall.
The draft allows representatives from each school to come together and have the chance to get the first pick of what NBA kit their school wants to have. After the East Renfrewshire draft the 7 teams who were ready to start competing in league play were;
Our Lady of the Mission Calavliers (OLM)
St Cadoc's Pacers
St John's Bulls
St Thomas Raptors
The teams played three nights worth of league games at Barrhead high school and also competed in an All Star skills challenge. The games were used to determine a league table for the playoffs which took place at the Foundry. The seven teams played a total of 50 games over 4 nights of competition with all schools managing to win games at various stages, however it was the Carolside Hawks who proved too good for the rest as they were unbeaten across all games cruising their way to a place in the regional finals. Earning the right to join them there were the Carlibar Pistons and the OLM Cavaliers.
When the schools returned from Easter Holidays, it was time to get the Renfrewshire competition started with their draft. Their draft and competition nights took place at the On-X, Linwood. The team at ONEREN managed to secure a fantastic 12 teams to partake in the league and the draft results are listed below
St David's Timberwolves Lochwinnoch grizzlies
Cochrane Castle Suns Fordbank Mavericks
Auchenlodment Jazz St Catherine's Lakers
Thorn Spurs Rashilea Clippers
St Anthony's Nuggets Houston Rockets
Howwood Kings Our Lady of the Peace Warriors
Over the course of three nights each of the 12 teams would play each other once and just like in East Renfrewshire all teams managed to secure at least 1 victory in the league table. Five teams advanced to the regional finals with the St David's Timberwolves running through league play undefeated in all 11 of their games. The other 4 qualifiers were
Cochrane Castle Suns
St Anthony's Nuggets
The Regional finals took place at the Lagoon leisure centre in front of a great crowd made up of parents, grandparents and teachers. All teams were scheduled 5 games to find out who would make it to the semi finals. After almost two hours of fast paced, intense basketball all unbeaten records were out the window and there were only 4 teams left standing.
Semi Final 1 - The Thorn Spurs managed to hand St Davids their first loss of both competitions in the last game of league play to get themselves a spot in the semi final. Their prize however was a rematch with the Timberwolves just minutes later. St David's managed to get back to winning ways after a gruelling match up between the two schools with only two baskets separating them at the final buzzer.
Semi Final 2 - The Carolside Hawks continued their spectacular run of play from the league to the regional finals and found themselves in the semi finals against familiar foes, the OLM Cavaliers. The Cavaliers entered the day missing one of their best players but managed to advance to the semi finals with some great team work. Carolside played a great game in closely contested matchup to set up a fantastic finale.
The Final - Both teams undefeated in league play, both teams with only one loss across all competitions heading in to the match, this was the match that looked on the cards from very early on in the respective competitions. The teams would have been inseparable if not for the fact that St Davids managed to edge Carolside in a game just an hour before however with that game decided by just a few points, the final was set to be an equally intense matchup. Both teams performed to an incredibly high standard in the final with some impressive passing, dribbling and amazing shots. The two teams showed why they were the competitions most consistent and when the final buzzer sounded it was only fitting that it was tied and the final would need to be decided by a golden basket in extra time. After a nerve wracking, pressure filled couple of minutes, Carolside made an excellent inbound pass and managed to score the tournament winner in a fantastic final.
St David's were presented with their trophy for the Renfrewshire champions and Carolside took the trophy for East Renfrewshire along with the overall Jr NBA champion trophy capping a remarkable few months for primary school basketball in the area.
None of this would have been possible without incredible contributions from the teams at ONEREN, Active Schools East Renfrewshire, Basketballscotland and Basketballpaisley. There were also numerous volunteers that were vital in the program's success giving their time to officiate. Special thanks goes to Matthew Ross, Freya Schoffield, Rebin Topcu, Emily Wilson, Lee Pollard, Eden Duff, Jack Thomson, Sean Kodra, Archie Wilson, Ewan Mcgivern and Chris Cleary from Basketballpaisley. We would also like to thank the staff at the Foundry, the On-X and the Lagoon Leisure Centre.
Medals and trophies provided by Hamish-Mclean, Paisley.