Derwent College overcame a resilient Constantine in the second basketball Varsity qualifier. Derwent, led by Tom Gill, eventually finished the match twelve points in front of the Heslington East side.
Gill pulled the strings for Derwent from the word go as he set up several baskets in addition to converting a few of his own. At the halfway stage of the first quarter, Chris Cong, who started brightly, made a lovely three pointer for Derwent to extend his college’s early lead further.
Shortly after Cong’s three pointer, Constantine called a timeout after failing to put any points on the scoreboard thus far in the first quarter. Eventually, Constantine scored their first points of the match, via a Derek Dinort free throw. Despite this, Derwent finished the first quarter with a comfortable lead, leading Constantine 13-5.
Derwent started the second quarter by finishing two simple baskets to extend their lead by a further four points. Jack Reeves came to life for Derwent in the second quarter, scoring six points, including one basket in which he sold his opponent the wrong way with a cute fake before slotting home.
Constantine’s Wade Chen was another player was started to impress in the second quarter, making a string of baskets for his college as he became the main outlet of attack for the Heslington East side. Despite Chen’s efforts, Constantine went into the half time break trailing Derwent by ten points, with the score reading 26-16.
The second half opened with Gill impressing once again for Derwent, converting one basket before scoring two consecutive long range efforts to further lengthen his side’s lead. With Gill dictating his side’s play, Constantine’s Arif Jamal and Alex Baffoe responded by scoring several baskets themselves to keep Constantine in the game.
The match became increasingly heated as the third quarter wore on, with some players letting their tempers get the better of them as the referees gave an increasing number of fouls. The third quarter ended with a powerful full court pass to Constantine’s Kevin Poon, whose conversion made the score line 37-28 to Derwent at the end of the third quarter.
The fourth and final quarter saw Constantine needing to make up the deficit quickly and the early stages of the quarter looked promising. After Jamal converted a three pointer, Poon made a basket to reduce the score line’s deficit by five points.
However, the comeback was short lived as Derwent converted a sequence of baskets themselves, with Gill at the centre of play for the vast majority of them. It was perhaps Gill’s spectacular three pointer that was the final nail in Constantine’s coffin, as the match ended 53-45 to Derwent.
Credit must go to Constantine for their constant endeavour and hard work in pulling themselves back into the match. However, Derwent proved to be too much for them on this occasion, with Gill orchestrating his team’s attacks and putting in a performance to be proud of.
Constantine: Phua (C), Philips, NG, Gallis, Baffoe, Jamal, Dinort, Zamba, Poon, O’Garro, Chen, Madomombe.
Derwent: Gill (C), McElmee, Terme, Cong, Sclneife, Reeves, Perchey, Banes, Wu, Hock Feikens, Wuth.
Player of the Match: Tom Gill.