Sarnians retain basketball crown with clinical display

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GUERNSEY BASKETBALL U17s have had the number of their Jersey counterparts since the Caesareans last won the contest in 2014.

However, with the fixture shelved since 2019 with the onset of the pandemic, it was hard to know what to expect from either side as they came together at Langford for the 2022 instalment.

Guernsey proved early and fast that they were the side to fear, while Jersey appeared defensively frail.

After scoring just 13 points throughout the first half, Stuart Gilmour’s side responded maturely in the second to outscore their neighbours in the third quarter by 18-17.

Their efforts were unfortunately in vain, as the Sarnians’ rounded performance ensured the trophy would stay on their shores for another year – with a 86-38 victory.

Gilmour said: ‘We didn’t get going in the first half and full credit to Guernsey, they put us under a lot of pressure from the word go.

‘It was a case of pride for us to respond in the second half and show them what we are capable of.

‘I am so proud of the team, because it would have been easy to switch off, but they didn’t and the response was great.

‘Obviously it’s a shame, because if we had begun the game like we started the second half, it might have been a different outcome.’

The visitors were keen to prove their dominance early, buoyed by some brilliant work from captain and eventual player-of-the-game Saul Falla.

The influential guard was central to everything his side did well throughout the game, and continued to drive to the basket powerfully to claim contested points inside.

His efforts led the Sarnians out to a 30-11 lead at the end of quarter one.

As organised as the visitors were, the hosts were not.

Some lax defending allowed their opponents plenty of second-chance opportunities, as they failed to box out and secure defensive rebounds.

Guernsey stretched the lead in the second quarter, as the hosts were only able to score two points in answer to 20 from the opposition.

Jersey rallied after the well-needed break and their adjustments paid dividends. The defence tightened up in the paint and were able to limit the easy buckets inside.

On the front end, they began to score at will as Joe Clarke buried a couple shots from outside.

The hosts managed to win the quarter to restore some pride in front of a vocal home crowd, before the visitors again imposed themselves to stretch away in the final quarter.

Jersey U17: Milo Kustv (c), Antony Dubourg, Joe Jackson, Joe Clarke, Max Turner. Subs: Jorge Dena, James Hale, Conor Freeman, Casey Thubron, Billie Huelin, Lukundo Sikapizye.

Guernsey U17: Saul Falla (c), Ed Miller, Dan Naftel, Harry Oliver-Bewey, Harry Gent. Subs: Tom Bourgaize, Lucien Maunder, Harry Heaume, Ben Hamon.

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