The basketball season closed last term with St Paul’s involved in the latter stages of both the U14 and U19 LISBA competitions — a well deserved reward for all the hard work put in throughout the term by both boys and coaches.
The U14 team (Year 9, Fourth form) had a superb season, including a dramatic last minute win against University College School and a victory, when all had looked lost, against City of London in the semi-finals. Despite a strong showing in the final, the side eventually lost to Dulwich. The powerful tandem of Lars Heidrich and Sim Mander led the season’s scoring, with Nicholas Amato and Friso de Graaf rounding out the front court. Ball-handling duties were performed capably by Will Cole, Robbie Fraser, George Pedlow and Tom Wanty, with Harveer Mahajan the defensive specialist. Sharp shooting Josh Hampson as forward and Toby Chitayat as guard completed the squad.
The U16 side (Year 11, Sixth form) enjoyed a good start to the season, with close wins against the eventual group winners King’s College School. Peter Dailey proved an irresistible force on the point and Sam Howard and Beau Roberts combined on the low post to clean out the rebounds and keep the score ticking over. A good away win against UCS took the side to the top of the table, before the home match against City of London School saw the team go down 43–41 in a very close finish. They finished 3rd in the LISBA league, missing out narrowly on the play-offs.
The U19 team started positively, with Peter Dailey taking over in the fourth quarter of the first game against UCS, to finish with 17 points, helping the team secure their first win of the season. They finished with an overall record of four wins and four losses, including a resounding victory over Highgate, which saw them qualify for the playoffs on points difference. Against Alleyn’s in the semi-finals the team produced its most impressive performance, with scores tied just ten seconds before the end. Russell Kho (Year 12, Lower Eighth) was fouled as time expired, and sank his first free throw to complete a shock upset and send St Paul’s to the final. There, the team was unable to repeat its heroics against a very good City of London side.