Slam dunk!

The victorious U13 Garstang Acedemy basketball team
The victorious U13 Garstang Acedemy basketball team
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Garstang Community Academy Under-13 basketball team entered the prestigious Lancashire Cup for the first time this season – and won.

During the group stages, the academy team beat Broughton 33-18, Southlands 64-17 and Tarleton 42-11, to earn a quarter-final clash with Darwen Vale.

However, with star player Sam Dugdale injured, it was down to remaining key players Viel Buan, Cameron Ross, Oscar Etherington and the rest of the team to carry the fight to Darwen.

GCA won in overtime 28-26, taking them through to finals night, which involved the four best teams in the county.

In the first semi-final, Longridge brushed aside Corpus Christie, before GCA took on Clitheroe RGS in the second match.

With 34 seconds left in the final fourth quarter, GCA were a solitary point behind at 18-17.

Coach Mr Kidd called a time-out to calm the players, insisting there was still plenty of time left to win.

With big centre Sam Dugdale fouled out, Ross Green stepped in as hero by manoeuvring a strong lay-up, getting fouled in the process and scoring the free throw.

This gave GCA a 21-18 victory and a place in the final.

The final was against a big and strong Longridge team, who had not tasted defeat in the history of the competition.

Longridge were physical and defended against Garstang’s key players excellently, and by half-time GCA were 15-7 down.

With the Longridge players playing full court press, GCA coach Mr Kidd changed tactics, employing his tall players to bring the ball out of defence.

GCA star player and eventual MVP Sam Dugdale started to find more room and began finishing his lay-ups.

GCA took the lead with two minutes to go, and timed their fightback to perfection to win 25-19.

The success has put Garstang Community Academy on the map, said Mr Kidd. He added: “The whole team were fantastic, and to win a county championship against some of the biggest schools in Lancashire makes me very proud of the lads and staff involved. It helps when the majority of the players are training with Garstang Giants Basketball Club.”