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St Thomas More to face mighty West Park in title showdown

St Thomas More's year nine basketball team, Angus Doig, Luke Stow, Ben Dinardo, Liam Bradshaw, Paul Walker, Tom Wakefield, kieran Connell and Dominic Faugno

St Thomas More's year nine basketball team, Angus Doig, Luke Stow, Ben Dinardo, Liam Bradshaw, Paul Walker, Tom Wakefield, kieran Connell and Dominic Faugno

A High Peak secondary school basketball team is cock-a-hoop after securing a place in the final of a county tournament.

But St Thomas More School in Buxton face an uphill task if they are to repeat their success of 2011 and lift the Derbyshire Schools title.

The current year nine team is: Angus Doig, Luke Stow, Ben Dinardo, Liam Bradshaw, Paul Walker, Tom Wakefield, Kieran Connell and Dominic Faugno.

In reaching the final, St Thomas More has beaten Belper School 39-29, before edging past Ashbourne’s Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in the semi-final, winning that match 39-35.

“Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School were finalists last year, so we always knew that was going to be a tough game,” said Antony Gray, PE teacher at St Thomas More.

“We are really pleased to once again get through to a county final, which is a huge achievement, particularly for a school of our size.”

Awaiting St Thomas More in the final at Anthony Gell School on Monday March 11 will be Derby’s West Park School.

Antony said: “West Park are like the Manchester United of basketball in Derbyshire, they are always strong and it is going to be a very difficult game.

“We will be billed as the underdogs, but I think that will serve us well because the pressure will be off us and on West Park in the final.

“I think all the players are pretty excited and pretty pleased with the performances so far, but we still have a lot to work on ahead of the final.”

The Buxton school’s year 11 basketball team were crowned Derbyshire champions in 2011, and also achieved third place at the National Schools Conference Finals.

They were later named Secondary School Team of the Year at the Derbyshire Schools’ Sports Association (DSSA) Sports Awards, held at Pride Park Stadium in Derby.

 

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