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Girls basketball sides do school proud in Nationals

A school PE teacher has spoken of her pride after two female age groups narrowly missed out on becoming national champions.

The under-16 and under-14 teams at Thomas Gainsborough School in Great Cornard beat all-comers in the Suffolk and regional rounds in the National Schools Basketball Competition.

The under-14s made it all the way to the last eight — the furthest in the competition that a TGS team of this age group has ever got — but lost at Northampton School for Girls 83-38 against strong opposition containing players from National League level.

Meanwhile, the under-16s team lost at Nottingham Academy 68-46 in their final 16 match.

PE teacher Vicki Brownsell said: “I am so proud of the students and how far they got this school year. It has been an absolute pleasure to coach them and hopefully next year we might just make it to the final fours.”

She gave special praise to the school and coaching at Ipswich Basketball Club, adding: “The girls train at school, where we provide lots of extra-curricular activities for our students to enhance their skills and knowledge.

“Our basketball extra-curricular set up is complemented hugely by Ipswich Basketball Club, where many of our students train at least twice a week, sometimes more if they have been invited to train with the Ipswich Academy set-up at Copleston High School.

“This all helps to develop their skills immensely and it has been fantastic to see players like Cameron Taylor-Willis and Ella Pearson develop to an international standard.

“It is incredible how far they have all come.”

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