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Maritzburg College edge out Northwood in Jenny Orchard overtime thriller

By Brad Morgan , in Basketball | Featured Basketball | News , at 2024-02-19

After three days of exciting back-and-forth action, the Jenny Orchard Invitational Basketball Tournament stakes ramped up on Sunday with teams playing off for the final positions. The most entertaining game of them all proved to be the final between the hosts, Maritzburg College, and Northwood, with overtime finally deciding the outcome.

When Northwood beat College 79-67 on Thursday, it was suggested that their Pool D showdown could be a dress rehearsal for Sunday’s title-decider. That turned out to be true. It was also suggested that there was next to nothing between the teams and that the final was up for grabs. That turned out to be true, too.

College came out of the blocks quickly and opened up a 12-point advantage, leading 22-10 in the second quarter. Northwood came powering back, however, to open up a 29-24 lead before the end of quarter. At the break, though, College had edged ahead 35-33.

Northwood responded in the third quarter, as both teams poured in the points. With one to go, the Knights led 63-58. They added another four points before College found a reply, and it looked as if Northwood might be on course for the title. One thing that always can be counted on, however, is Maritburg College’s never-say-die spirit and they kept taking the game to their KZN counterparts.

Still, with less than a minute-and-a-half to go, Northwood were six points clear at 77-71. With six seconds to play, though, College edged in front, 79-78 as the noise in the Alan Paton Hall reached a crescendo.

Northwood had a chance to run one more play. They fed the ball to the outstanding Lusanda Hlongwane, who drove at the basket. He was stopped, but he was fouled. With only three seconds left on the clock, he sank his first free throw. His second shot was a touch heavy, but possession remained with the Knights after ball was batted away.

Chadley Hargreaves managed a late three-point attempt, but it didn’t fall, and so it was on to overtime.

There, given a new lease on life, College grabbed the intitiative, got their noses in front, and held on for an 87-84 victory to secure the Jenny Orchard title – named after the school’s former Director of Basketball – for the first time in its second year of existence.

St Charles College proved too much for St David’s Marist Inanda in the playoff for third and fourth, roaring their way to a 69-40 victory, while the Soweto Basketball Academy sealed fifth place with a hard-fought 59-54 win over Kearsney College. Last year’s winners, Michaelhouse, were well beaten by St John’s College in the seventh place playoff, with the Johannesburg boys winning 68-45.

ESCA Wanderers beat Durban High School 73-63 to finish ninth, while Westville Boys’ High saw off SACS, the highest placed of the Western Cape schools, 55-49, to grab 11th spot.

Clifton College wrapped up 13th place with a second successive win over Hilton College, running out 56-51 winners after a 49-38 victory a week earlier, while Rondebosch Boys’ High outplayed Bishops 72-40 to finish 15th.

The B Division final also went down to the wire, with Wynberg Boys’ High sneaking a one-point win over Maritzburg College B, 67-66.

It was Eswatini vs Botswana for third place, with Botswana’s Maru-a-Pula recording a 54-38 victory over Enjabulweni. UFS International finished fifth, with a 20-point win over the Jenny Orchard Invitational side, 59-39.

Queen’s College were seventh after a 40-31 win over St Benedict’s School, and Treverton College beat Alexandra High 34-24 to claim ninth place.

RESULTS

A Division

1st/2nd: Maritzburg College 87-84 (OT) Northwood School
3rd/4th: St Charles College 69-40 St David’s Marist Inanda
5th/6th: Soweto Basketball Academy 59-54 Kearsney College
7th/8th: St John’s College 68-45 Michaelhouse
9th/10th: ESCA Wanderers 77-63 Durban High School
11th/12th: Westville Boys’ High 55-49 SACS
13th/14th: Clifton College 56-51 Hilton College
15th/16th: Rondebosch Boys’ High 72-40 Bishops Diocesan College

B Division

1st/2nd: Wynberg Boys’ High 67-66 Maritzburg College B
3rd/4th: Maru-a-Pula 54-38 Enjabulweni
5th/6th: UFS International 59-39 Jenny Orchard Invitatonal
7th/8th: Queen’s College 40-31 St Benedict’s School
9th/10th: Treverton College 34-23 Alexandra High

error: Sorry ol' chap, those shenanigans are not permissible.