Sunday 26th June 2016 saw the Kennington Generals lift the U18 Championship trophy after they did everything in their power to deliver a memorable 57-49 win over the Haringey Hawks at CitySport Saddlers Sports Hall.
The Haringey Hawks have been the team to beat all season long and proved why as they dominated the majority of the game in the second half. The first quarter alone saw them pace past the Generals to finish 11-18, with a team effort from S.Kapsalos, J. Jones-Smi, and M. Sanni-Oba all driving to the basket to make easy lay ups.
However, Kennington’s Jayson Okosi came with the fire soon into the second quarter, hurting Haringey from outside by knocking down back to back threes which had the crowd up on their feet. Team mate, Ade Adebayo fed off Okosi’s energy to sink a three himself, and with an extra two baskets from Tunde Owolaoi and Rhys Sundimalt, Kennington managed to shrink the gap by 4 and trail 22-26 going into the second half.
With Haringey still in the lead, they continued to keep the composure and sail through the third with S. Kapsalos banking 5 points and Elliot Quail adding 4 points to keep their team in front. Sharpshooters’ Jayson Okosi and Ade Adebayo continued to hit threes, but it wasn’t enough to gain a lead and stop Haringey finishing 32-40 before the start of the deciding quarter.
Although up by 8, Haringey couldn’t relax and soon realised they’d have to do something about Jayson Okosi who had no chill until the end of the game. Okosi was everywhere and proved difficult to contain after firing his final three early in the last quarter before driving to the basket twice to add a further 4 points.
Okosi’s incredible efforts brought the game within 1 point (39-40) which perhaps made Haringey nervous as they lost out on 7 points from free throws in the last period. However, Cameron Morris’s pressure and interior presence caused difficulty for Kennington which saw the lead go back and forth between both teams.
And then, as if one final push was all they needed, Kennington jumped out in front as a combination of great ball movement, focus, and communication allowed Tunde Owolaoi, Andrew Lopez, and Ryan Delos-Reyes to score 4 points each, whilst Ade Adebayo added another 5 to see Kennington hailed as this year’s CBL U18 Champions.
Recognised for his solid play both in the final and throughout the season, star player, Ade Adebayo, was named MVP.
Adebayo, said, “We won! What an amazing feeling! I’m so proud of my team for making it all the way. We believed in ourselves right from the start, and although Haringey were tough all the way through, we remained confident that we could come away with the W. This has been a great season for me, and will be a season I will always remember.”