Boteler Basketballers Crush Crewe and Rewrite Records

Sir Thomas Boteler’s basketball team has moved to the top of North Pool 4 on points difference with a record-breaking victory over St Thomas More High School of Crewe in the England Schools U16 Competition. The match was played in the Ball Hall in front of a small crowd of friends and parents and saw the team score the highest ever number of points in a competitive match at Boteler since records began with 133 to the opposition’s 21. This was also the highest margin of victory in a school match, surpassing the previous record of 117-11 against Lysander in 2008/9.

 Sensing both technical and physical weaknesses in the Crewe team, we began the match with a full court press, successfully attempting to deny the opposition access to our half and in the process creating numerous mid-court interceptions and turnovers, which were then, for once, clinically converted into points. The Boteler players all had a hand in the victory, with even our second five proving more than a match for their starting line-up. Reece Watts, Liam Hickson, Aaron Ashton and Mathew Lloyd all scored points, whilst Renz Foxall, steady and competitive in defence, still awaits his first basket for the school.

Taylor Hindes, still struggling with a back injury, finally showed us his potential as a player, using his devastating speed around the court to create scoring opportunities for himself and others. He can only get better with match practice. Our top three players, Jacob Lloyd, Josh McLean and Cameron Burrows, with 17 points in the first half, ran riot when in possession and were simply unstoppable. In spite of being rested for significant periods of the game, they still managed a combined total of over 100 points, with Jacob and Josh recording the two highest ever totals for individual players in the history of Ball Hall basketball at Boteler with 46 and 38 points respectively.

Jacob’s total was the highest since records began in 1978 and only Boteler legends Chris Lynskey and Paul Manual have scored more than 38 back in the early 1980s in the considerably smaller Boteler Gym. As if to emphasise our dominance of this fixture, Josh McLean became the first Boteler player to successfully slam dunk a basket in a school match; a feat which went on to repeat.

Quite by chance, a player from the legendary 1981 double-winning team, Paul Screawn, now working in Geneva but back in Warrington to visit relatives, was able to watch the second half of the match. After the final buzzer, Paul met some of the current players and was quick to confirm  that, whilst his team went undefeated in Year 11 with an extensive fixture list, the skill level of the current crop of players is well above that of his contemporaries. Back then, they simply did not have the facilities and match practice on offer today.

The match was played in excellent sporting spirit and our players fully respected the opposition’s tenacity in continuing to play to the final buzzer when so comprehensively outclassed. Our final pool game is against Ellesmere Port Catholic High School but a crop of injuries to key players may well

prove to be decisive in determining whether or not we progress. However, with the usual strong support from Boteler students and parents, we may yet have enough to progress in the competition.

By Mr H Chambers, Basketball Coach

Sir Thomas Boteler Church of England High School by STB