Cheshire College South & West vs Allerton High School

Allerton High School come away with a dominant 51-126 victory on the road against Cheshire College South & West.

Both teams started hot in a closely contested first quarter, as Cheshire’s Wesley Annan was dominant in the paint and made his presence known with a couple of huge dunks. Allerton were not to be shaken though, with an impressive shooting performance against a tough interior defence that forced them to drive and kick. It was the outside shooting and relentless effort to draw fouls that kept the visitors out of trouble, as the first quarter ended with Allerton leading by three.

A slow start offensively and a lack of defensive communication saw Cheshire’s grasp on the game slowly slip as the half-time buzzer sounded. Late defensive rotations and an abandoning of the offensive game-plan saw Allerton take full advantage as they pushed their lead to double digits, working well to pick apart the hosts lackadaisical zone defence and limit their scoring options at the other end. As the teams entered the locker rooms at half-time, Allerton held a 25-49 advantage.

After the half it looked as though Allerton had drained all the fight out of the Cheshire side who came out flat. Other than some impressive individual efforts from James Mansell, Cheshire did not look mentally tough enough to dig themselves out of the hole. A relentless Allerton side took no pity on the players and consistently piled on the points – fully exploiting poor transition defence to score on the break. Mansell had to exit the third quarter with cramps – he would return in the fourth, but only as a shell of his true abilities.

As the fourth period began, the game was already won. Aside from some nice moves around the basket for Cheshire, it was all Allerton as they poured in 44 fourth quarter points – many coming in the form of uncontested fast-break layups. With the defensive effort dwindling from the hosts, all that was left to do was wait for the final buzzer.

Allerton played some great basketball to grab the victory, but Cheshire will be left wondering what could have been – if they had been able to keep up their pace and focus from the early stages.

The Allerton win was paced by 26 points from Harry Resendez, while Bailey England was not far behind with 23 points. Cheshire had a couple of strong performances as James Mansell led with a team-high 24 points, while Wesley Annan chipped in 21 in the loss.

Both sides will now await the New Year to resume ABL Northern Conference play, as Cheshire head on the road to Archbishop Beck Sports College on Wednesday 16 January for a North West derby, while Allerton visit John Leggot College a week prior on Wednesday 9 January.