Bedford Academy basketball side narrowly miss out in national finals

The Under 18 Bedford Academy Basketball side at the Dynamik School Games final in Manchester in April 2023
The Under 18 Bedford Academy Basketball side (Image: Jason Lane)

Bedford Academy’s previously undefeated Under 18 Boys basketball side have enjoyed a meteoric rise in the world of school sport this year but lost out in the final of the Under-19 Dynamik School Games in Manchester.

Bedford Academy beat teams from all over England to reach the finals of the prestigious tournament, a competition for boys and girls from ages eleven to nineteen.

However, in a tense final at the Manchester Basketball Performance Centre, Bedford’s boys lost out to Richard Huish College from Somerset.

After an equal first period with both sides trading scores, and looking in top form as they did so, Richard Huish College pulled away in the second and third quarters, and it was a lead they never gave up.

Bedford Academy did narrow the gap in the fourth quarter but fell just eight points short as the final buzzer at 85-77 confirmed the trophy would be going back down south.

Key experience on national stage

Elleon Alonso was the main man for Bedford with eighteen points, while Dylan Lambert scored thirteen with an impressive nine rebounds while Senen Ametume chipped in twelve points and nine rebounds of his own.

Coach Enrique Alonso is already looking forward to next season, with the same group of players set to re-enter the competition and hopefully go one step further.

“They played their hearts out and have gained a wealth of experience playing on the national stage.

“We’re already excited about entering the competition next year.”

Bedford Academy Under 18 side in action (Image: Jason Lane)

The Basketball Academy was only set up in September 2021 and already attracts the most talented 17 and 18 year olds in the county.

Its 25 students are made up of boys and girls who have signed up for both an intensive daily training schedule and a commitment to their academic studies.

They train from 7am until 9am each morning with many putting in another hour or more each day while playing regional and national games at the weekend.

Academic studies are just as important and all the students take a range of qualifications available to sixth-formers at Bedford Academy.

“We’re extremely proud of the team and delighted with their success so soon after the Basketball Academy was set up”, said Chris Deller, Head of Bedford Academy.

“We’re looking forward to seeing what the future brings.”

That future is particularly bright, having reached the final of the Under 19 competition a year ahead of schedule and hopes will be high they can bring the trophy back to Bedford next year.

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