West Walton-based Marshland High School’s Under-14s district and Norfolk county champions travelled to Spalding Grammar School for the first regional round of the National Schools basketball competition.
To qualify for the next round they had to beat both the Lincolnshire county champions, Spalding Grammar School, and the Nottinghamshire champions, Arnold High School.
First they took on Arnold Hill. They started nervously and at half-time the score was 4-2. In the second half the team settled down and the final score was 16-8 against a strong team. Donatas Verikas scored eight points, with Marcus Holt and Jaden Carter getting four each.
The second game was against a much stronger Spalding Grammar School, who beat Arnold High earlier, so it was “winner take all” .
This time Marshland played to a very high standard; the work they’d put in during training was evident and they scored some fantastic team baskets, with brilliant passing and movement. By half-time the job was all but done, taking an 18-2 lead.
In the second half the team rotated to give everyone deserved court time and the score finished 24-4. Superstar Verikas led the team, scoring 16 points and marking their best player out of the game.
The rest of the points came from captain Holt, Carter and Frankie Wright. Every player had a massive impact on both games and players of the matches were not awarded to reflect this.
Marshland moved on to the last 16 of the national competition. On Monday they found out that the Warwickshire champions (Alcester Grammar School), have conceded the next round, so Marshland move to the last 12, and will play either Northampton School for boys or Carre’s Grammar School.
Teacher in charge of basketball, Mr Stannard, said: “The team and the school should be extremely proud, I certainly am. It was amazing to watch these extremely talented boys perform to such a high level.”
Squad: Marcus Holt, Donatas Verikas, Jaden Carter, Frankie Wright, Pawel Kaluzny, Ryan Jackson, Jordan Adebesi, Kristers Skribans and Ant Siguardson.