The North School vs Northfleet Technology College

In a dramatic and action-packed all-Kent derby, it was Northfleet Technology College who prevailed as they beat The North School 63-68 on Wednesday 5 December.

The North School Lions got off to a fast start as star forward Sean Trumper attacked the rim at will to tally 10 quick points that helped his team take an early 13-7 advantage. As Northfleet tightened their defensive rotations to contain Trumper’s penetration, Kai Potts took full advantage, hitting back-to-back triples that gave the home team a 19-10 lead at the end of the first quarter.

With momentum on their side, the Lions showed their scoring versatility to start the second quarter as Trumper, Jay Parnell and Simeon Fournillier combined for 12 points to stretch the lead to 15, as The North led 31-16. A pivotal moment came four minutes into the period as Trumper picked up his third foul, heading to to the bench, as Northfleet responded by relentlessly pounding the ball inside. Temitayo Fatusin used his size advantage to maximum effect and showed excellent touch around the rim to rack up 12 second quarter points and spark a 13-5 run for the guests that saw them reduce the deficit to single figures at the half-time break, trailing 38-29.

The third quarter saw the Lions start as the more positive of the two teams once again, with Potts and Parnell combining for six quick points to push the advantage back to 13, as the hosts led 44-31. This time however, Northfleet hit back with a blistering 14-0 run, fuelled by the inside-out combination of Fatusin and Duwan London to take their first lead of the game, edging ahead 44-45. Five points from Harvey Kemp-Green put The North back in front 51-49, but Owen Longman responded with a triple at the end of the quarter to put the visitors ahead 51-52.

The final stanza was a see-saw battle that included nine lead changes and two ties. Potts, Parnell and Trumper continued to carry the scoring load for the Lions, combining for 12 points, whilst Northfleet remained dogged with their inside attack. Kemp-Green and Fournillier gave an inspiring defensive effort for The North, creating stops on four straight possessions, but the hosts failed to capitalise on the offensive end. After a steal and a lay-up from Trumper, the game was tied at 63-63 with just 50 seconds to play. Northfleet used excellent ball movement to find a wide open Armen Olivar and he showed no sign of nerves to knock down his second straight three-pointer. The Lions were unable to reply on offence, before Olivar clinched the game with more clutch shooting at the free throw line to give Northfleet a hard fought 63-68 victory.

The North School Coach Andrew Sunderland commented, “We knew it was going to be a battle today and I am really proud of the effort that we gave. We struggled to contain their inside play for a prolonged period during the second and third quarters, but I thought Harvey Kemp-Green put on a defensive masterclass in the fourth quarter to keep us in the game.

“Full credit to Coach Parry; Northfleet played with great intensity as always and they responded to our runs by making key adjustments. Credit also to Armen Olivar – he came up with two clutch threes at the end of the game and showed real poise with the game on the line.”

Northfleet will look to continue their fine form when they travel to CoHENEL on Wednesday 19 December, while The North School will look to get back to winning ways when they host John Roan School on Friday 14 December.