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Basketball claims national bronze

Open A Bronze ASC 2015

Trinity College Open A Basketball Team has won a bronze medal at the Australian Schools Championships (Division 1), rallying from 13 points down to defeat Willeton High School (WA) by eight points.

Koen Sapwell led all scorers with 17 points, including 13 in the last quarter, but it was the all-court play of Biar Garang, as well as pivotal contributions from Brodie Nathan and Deklan Crook that helped the team claw back from a 13-point second-quarter deficit.

Turnovers and poor shooting were a feature of Trinity's lacklustre play in the first half, and Willeton were able to capitalise.  But after stern words from the coaches at half time, and a players-only huddle led by team captains Jordan Wilson and Sapwell just before the resumption of play, enabled the team to start the second half with renewed vigour, and immediately the complexion of the game changed.  Brent Hank created a number of fast break opportunities with his defensive work - blocking shots and deflecting passes.  Leon Twigg and Brad Skuce maintained pressure on their guards while Garang created mayhem with his quickness and rebounding.  It wasn't until Crook's insertion in the third quarter, however, that the Trinity offense started clicking.  His penetration into the seams of the Willeton defence created numerous opportunities for himself and his team mates, and his acrobatic finish on the ¾ time buzzer drew Trinity to within three points, with all the momentum.

Jackson Walsh (year 9) played important minutes down the stretch and made some excellent passes to free up team mates, and when Nathan drained a long bomb with five minutes left, Trinity had the lead for the first time in the match.  From there, it was all Sapwell.  Three three-pointers, including a four-point play and game icing free throws added the cherry to an outstanding and spirited comeback.

It was the first National Medal for the College since 2009 when Daniel Carlin – now with the Adelaide 36ERS – brought home the division one gold.  With most of the players back next year, expectations are high.

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