ABL Semi-Finals Round Up

 

With the Semi-Finals under wraps, the stage is set for the ABL Finals at the Essex Sport Arena on April 3. Lets take a look back at Wednesdays Semi-Finals match-ups to see which teams have made it through to the big game!

 

Game 1: Stoke On Trent College 68 v 69 Haringey Sixth Form College

Stoke-on-Trent College were stunned by an incredible last second 3-point shot on Wednesday, in what might have been one of the most exciting plays of the 2018-2019 season thus far. In a fast-paced game that went down to the wire, Stoke on Trent fell 69-68 to Haringey Sixth Form College in Game 1, crushing their hopes of returning to this years Finals.

The game was speedy from the tip, as Haringey set the pace early by playing their well-known brand of up-tempo defence and fast break offense to take the first quarter 19-23. Stoke-on-Trent found some composure in the second quarter, led by Bayley Guant (26 points) and his accurate 3-point shooting to take the second quarter 17-16. The 3rd quarter saw Alex Tew (12 points, 22 rebounds) establish himself in the paint and Stoke would manage to win the period by a score of 17-16. The fourth quarter was then dominated by the home side who had built a 12-point lead and had silenced the visitors with huge shots from Bayley Gaunt.

However, with around 3 minutes remining in the game, Haringey made their comeback after some sloppy play on the offensive end from the home side which allowed the visitors to bring themselves within 2 points with just 8.1 seconds left on the clock. In the final play that sealed their fate, Haringey inbounded the ball to Andreas Velia who drove baseline and kicked to Owen Young who found Leslie Smith in the corner for the game winning 3 at the buzzer to take the victory by a score of 69-68.

Haringey Sixth Form College now move on to play St. Charles College in the ABL Finals on Wednesday April 3 at The University of Essex.

 

Game 2: St.Charles College 75 v 74 Aston Manor Academy

St.Charles College clinched their place in the ABL Finals on April 3 after defeating Aston Manor Academy in a nail-biter of a game on Wednesday afternoon, taking the game by just one point with a final score of 75-74.

The game was tight from the tip, as both teams were playing their own brand of up-tempo defence and fast breaks. With both sides trading baskets early on, St.Charles’ Adedo (28 points) made the difference for the away side which aloud them to go into the 2nd quarter up 6. The 2nd quarter however, belonged to Aston Manor after some excellent play from Zack Powell (16 points) and a spectacular dunk from Ryan Anglin (18 points, 14 rebounds) that got the home crowd jumping, and brought Manor back to take a 39-36 half time lead.

In the third, Adedo and Powell hit some huge shots and punished Aston Manor for some sloppy play on the offensive end, to take back the lead back with a 56-61 advantage going into the final quarter. St.Charles then extended their lead to 11 points with 4 minutes remaining but their success was short-lived, as Adedo fouled out and Aston Manor capitalised to retake the lead with 40 seconds left on the clock. After Coach Xavier’s final timeout, Aston Manor looked to run out the game but a steal from Mohamed and a game winning layup from Tariq Powell broke the home teams dreams of a final appearance, with Roland Grodkowski’s last second desperation shot hitting the front of the rim.

St.Charles now move on to play Haringey Sixth Form College in the ABL Finals on April 3 at the Essex Sport Arena.