In a simmering showcase of grassroots basketball in London, the Brent Panthers emerged triumphant in the 12U Division 2 Playoff Finals, delivering a resounding 55-32 victory over the Crouch End Tigers. The Panthers’ exceptional performance throughout the game showcased their season-long dominance and marked a memorable milestone in their clubs remarkable development journey.
Right from the tip-off, the Brent Panthers displayed an explosive offensive prowess, outscoring the Tigers 23-9 in a dazzling first quarter. Their relentless energy and seamless teamwork allowed them to assert their dominance on both ends of the court, leaving the Tigers struggling to find a response.
The second quarter witnessed a defensive battle, with both teams tightening up their defensive efforts and limiting scoring opportunities. Undeterred, the Panthers maintained their composure and managed to extend their lead by outscoring the Tigers 9-3. Milan Krstic emerged as a standout player for the Brent-based team, showcasing his shooting proficiency with 14 points, including two three-pointers. Krstic’s development as a budding talent is clearly aligning with his ambitious goals, making him a player to watch in the upcoming season.
The third quarter proved to be the turning point in the game, as the Panthers intensified their defensive efforts, allowing a mere four points from the Tigers. With their stifling defense and efficient offensive execution, the Panthers widened the gap even further, outscoring their opponents 16-4.
Despite a valiant effort from the Crouch End Tigers in the final quarter, spearheaded by Jake Wilkinson, who single-handedly contributed 24 points to the Tigers’ overall tally, the Brent Panthers maintained their composure. The Panthers responded with crucial plays to keep the game under control. Although the Tigers managed to outscore the Panthers 11-7 in the fourth quarter, their efforts fell short of overturning the significant deficit. The Panthers’ earlier dominant quarters secured their victory, granting them the well-deserved 14U Division 2 championship title.
Daniel Oronsaye showcased his exceptional talent throughout the game and rightfully earned the Most Valuable Player (MVP) honors. Oronsaye’s versatility was on full display as he contributed 14 points, 5 assists, and 2 steals. His outstanding performance on both ends of the floor underscored his potential as a future prospect to watch. With a confident and well-rounded offensive game, Oronsaye truly excelled on the defensive end, where his ability to disrupt offenses and lock down players in one-on-one situations shone through.
Although they fell just short in the final, a special mention must be made for the Crouch End Tigers. In their inaugural CBL season, the team from Haringey showcased tremendous progress by reaching the finals and finishing second in a competitive division of ten teams. With positive coaching and strong support, the Tigers undoubtedly establish themselves as a team to watch next season as they continue to build upon their stellar campaign.
The Brent Panthers’ triumph in the 12U Division 2 Playoff Finals exemplifies their unwavering dedication, cohesive teamwork, and relentless pursuit of victory. While the outstanding performances of Oronsaye and Krstic stood out, it was the collective effort and cohesion of the entire team that ultimately defined their success. As Panthers Coach Swift aptly expressed, “I’m most proud of the progress made by the less experienced players on this team. Adam, Anaiah, Aruno, Alex, Nick, Will, Henry, and Lucas all played crucial roles this season at various points. Naz and Albie were also pivotal for this team and really took us to the next level. Winning the championship today is a testament to the hard work the kids put in week after week.”
As the Panthers celebrate their hard-earned victory, they solidify their position as a formidable force in the London basketball community, leaving the CBL eagerly anticipating their future progress in the seasons to come.