KNIGHTS STAR NEVE RUGETTE LEADS RICHMOND TO THE PERFECT SEASON WITH A COMMANDING FINALS PERFORMANCE OVER REIGNING CHAMPIONS
In an action-packed display of irrepressible talent and determination, the Richmond Knights emerged triumphant in the 16U Girls CBL Finals, securing a decisive 65-39 win over CoLA Southwark Pride. The Knights capped off their undefeated season with a dominant performance, avenging last season’s 18U loss to the same opponent and solidifying their reign at the summit of the division.
The clash between these two powerhouses promised an intense showdown, and they did not disappoint. The first half unfolded as a fierce battle of ‘back and forth’ buckets, with both teams showcasing their ability to put numbers up on the board. The Knights’ attack was a symphony of contributions from Neve Rugette, Precious Godwin, and Arifa Abu, while CoLA Southwark Pride kept pace through the efforts of Ruth Richard and Phoebe Kanu.
As the game progressed, Richmond began to show just how far they’ve come, as the standout squad in both the National League and CBL this season, especially in the second half. Chay Collins, a true force of nature, left an indelible mark on both ends of the court. Her athleticism shone through in her defensive prowess and high-octane transition play, tipping the scales in Richmond’s favour. Supporting her efforts was the consistently relentless Neve Rugette, who showcased her unrivalled skill set to great effect. Rugette’s performance earned her the well-deserved title of game MVP, with an impressive stat line of 16 points, 8 steals, and 5 assists.
Throughout the season, the Richmond Knights have been the epitome of excellence in the girls division, boasting a roster of rising stars who have already captured national and international attention. Chay Collins, an exceptional athlete of the highest-order, is poised to become a game-changer at the next level. Precious Godwin is evolving into a bona fide talent with long-term national team potential, following in the footsteps of her brother Harry, who also started his basketball journey through the CBL ranks since the U12 division.
However, the spotlight truly belongs to Neve Rugette, a player whose superior skill is obvious to even the casual eye. Rugette’s poise, quickness, defensive acumen, and masterful ball-handling skills are a testament to her natural fell and advanced understanding of the game. She possesses the rare ability to orchestrate a team’s offence while also being a prolific scorer when the situation demands. She is undeniably, a future star in the making.
Though on the unfamiliar receiving end of where you normally expect to find perennial powerhouse CoLA Southwark Pride, the reigning champions exhibited tremendous resilience, led by CeCe Ideh, who fought valiantly to keep her team in the contest. Despite the absence of key first-team players, they battled hard throughout. However, facing the Knights’ multifaceted and talented lineup was always going to be a formidable challenge.
In the end, the Richmond Knights emerged as the 16U Girls GCBL Champions, sealing a convincing 65-39 victory. Both teams deserve commendation for setting the benchmark in the GCBL girls division and delivering an outstanding showcase of grassroots basketball for all to witness.
As the game came to an end, Richmond Knights celebrated their well-earned championship, a fitting reward for their dedication, skill, and teamwork exhibited all season long. This game not only crowned a champion but also highlighted the bright future of girls’ basketball, driven by remarkable talents like Neve Rugette, Chay Collins, and Precious Godwin. Congratulations must also be bestowed on the Knights Head Coach Chanel Mubeen, who guided her girls through to an undefeated, perfect season.