End of Season Tournament was again a success this year with 16 teams battling it out at the Copper Box Arena. Plenty of prizes were up for grabs with gold medals, Nike hats and T-shirts and also tickets to watch the London Lions vs Cal Poly Mustang available for the winners. We also knowledge the LBA Coach of the Season, Player of the tournament, and Spirit award at the event. LBA was lucky enough to have Andre Lockhart of the London Lions in attendance to give these awards out to the winners.
The event grew again this year with teams from Nottingham and Luton joining and late entries from the London Lions academy team really meant this year was one to be involved in. Online digital scoring allowed players and fans to be able to check out their stats and scores in real-time and a takeover on Instagram gave you some behind the scenes footage of the day.
Defending champions North School were unable to attend this year but will hopefully be back in 2020 but 2018-19 LBA Playoff champions Haringey 6th Form were in attendance and we’re looking to try and claim an LBA double to add to their ABL title which they won earlier in the year.
The day started with a round-robin format where the 16 teams were split into 4 groups with the winners from each group claiming their place into the Semifinals. There were some extremely close contested games, more noticeably the 31 – 28 game between Oakland College and New City College – Hackney which was actually settled in Overtime.
The four teams to win their groups were Oakland School, Norwood School, New City College – Epping Forest, and Haringey. The matchups were Oakland School vs. Norwood School and Haringey vs New City College. Both were intense games, well fought and well played. Haringey started out their game strong, creating a 6 point gap which they expanded throughout the game. Oakland vs. Norwood was shockingly close; it was either tied or within two points up until the final minutes. With every layup and jump shot Oakland scored, Norwood retaliated with their own. Neither team was afraid to get physical, however Norwood’s reliance on physicality ultimately jeopardized their play. Their aggression put them in foul trouble, giving Oakland precious free-throws which pushed the score in their favour. The final score ending 18-13.
The final games of the tournament were Norwood School vs New City College for third place and Haringey vs Oakland School for first place. The games were exciting to watch, with all the teams playing with genuine resolve. Both Norwood School and New City College played very well for their final game. All players fought extremely hard but it was Norwood School that started and ended the game strong. While Oakland put up an impressive fight and challenged Haringey’s defense, they could not snatch the win. The final score of the game was 25-16, with Haringey becoming the champions of the 2019 College Tournament. If you would like to read more about the tournament in detail, please read this article.
Top left picture: Tournament MVP Ndewedo Newbury, Top right picture: Coach of the Year Lucio,
Bottom left picture: Winners Haringey 6th Form College, Bottom right picture: Second place team Oakland Wolves
All 3 placed teams Norwood college, Oakland College, Haringey 6th Form College
Check out last year’s highlights for an idea of what’s to come in 2019!
RECAP FROM PREVIOUS YEAR
This past March we had the End of Season Tournament. We had a new sponsor for the tournament, Sporch, and they provided the MVP prize for the tournament with a £250 NBA game ball as well as the prize for the team that won the tournament, a set of reversible kits. We also had Brandon Peel from the London Lions as the presenter of the awards. We were unable to get enough teams interested to host a women’s tournament to run parallel with the men’s. We hope to have a women’s tournament next year.
This iteration of the tournament we opened with 12 teams this year with 2 of them coming form outside of London. Defending champs Alec Reed Academy did not participate this year but last year’s runner-up John Ruskin was among the 12 teams and made a spirited run in the tournament. Pool 2 was the most contested as it featured the only undefeated team, North School, and John Ruskin who only dropped 1 game to North School in the their group stage. LBA playoff runner-ups City of Islington College also contested for a top two spot but lost games to Lambeth College and Hammersmith College. Pool 1 featured LBA playoff champ St. Francis Xavier, Harris Academy St. Johns Wood, and North Fleet Tech.
At the end of the Group Stage, Harris Academy St. Johns Wood and North Fleet Tech advanced to the semifinals from Pool 1 while the North School went undefeated in their group stage to claim the top spot in their pool with John Ruskin coming in second. The semifinals saw John Ruskin face off against Harris Academy St. Johns Wood and North School played rival school North Fleet Tech. Harris Academy St. Johns Wood had a fantastic come from behind victory in the dying seconds after getting the initial bucket and the following foul shot to complete the 3 point play and win by 1. North School and North Fleet went back and forth in their rivalry matchup but North School would end up the victors.
In the final it was Harris Academy St. Johns Wood and the North School. Harris Academy played valiantly but North School would come out as victors due to their stunning control and passing. North School maintained a perfect undefeated record on their way to 1st place. Third place was claimed by North Fleet Tech.
For the final awards, North School has claimed 1st place, Harris Academy St. Johns Wood claimed 2nd, and North Fleet Tech got 3rd place. The MVP was claimed by Kai Potts from the North School after having a stellar tournament filled with highlight reel plays, and Jerome Jack from Harris Academy St. Johns Wood claimed the Coaching Award.
Descending: North School in 1st Place, Harris Academy St. Johns Wood in 2nd Place, North Fleet Tech in 3rd Place, Kai Potts gets the MVP Award and NBA Game Ball, Jerome Jack gets the Coaching Award