Sussex Under-11 League champions Horsham Hawks’ remarkable 15-game winning streak came to an end in the County Cup final with a tremendous battle against a strong and improved Brighton Cougars team.
The finals, held in Brighton are a major event in the Sussex Basketball calendar and feature all the county finals for the various age groups, including the men’s and women’s final.
This makes for quite a spectacle featuring large enthusiastic crowds, entertainment from Division 1 Worthing Thunders cheerleaders, live commentary and for the first time all finals games being streamed live over the internet.
After a close first quarter Brighton pulled away in the second period, taking a 13-point lead into the half time interval.
The young Hawks fought back hard after the break, demonstrating a tremendous spirit and determination culminating with a 20-12 run that pulled Horsham to within five points with just minutes to go.
The Cougars responded with a run of their own and despite a late three pointer from Antonio Lozzi which gave the Hawks hope of an incredible comeback, the Cougars closed out the game 60-50 and secured the County Cup for Brighton.
The cup final brings to an end an extraordinary season for the Horsham Hawks, who were awarded their Sussex League Winners trophies following the game. In addition Josh Lea-Clayton was presented with the cup final Most Valuable Player for Horsham, while an impressive performance from Brighton’s Ryan Ganniclefft saw him take the MVP for Brighton.
Proud coach David Clayton said: “The players have thoroughly enjoyed it and are already looking forward to next season.”
Hawks scorers: Josh Lea-Clayton (12), Antonio Lozzi (12), Amy Willcox (6), Charlotte Willcox (5), Josh Tavolieri (4), Harry Rose (3), Miguel Venturini (2), Henry Butler (2), Matthew Campbell (2), Rachel Maclean, Zach Holden.