Myerscough at the Holland Nordic Basketball Tournament

Myerscough College Basketball Academy returns from the Easter break with a 5th place finish at the 22nd edition of the Holland Nordic basketball tournament (HNBT).

The academy team finished with a positive record of 3 wins and 2 losses in its first appearance at the tournament in Groningen, that welcomes some of the top club and national teams from across Europe. This year’s cohort featured Donar & Groningen Select (Netherlands); KK Jance (Ljubljana, Slovenia); Tornado Basketball School (Kaunas, Lithuania); OKK Sloboda Tuzla (Tuzla, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina); BCM Orli (Prostejov, Czech Republic); and Young Rasta Dragons (Quakenbruck, Germany).

Previous winners have included Itchen Basketball Academy (2016, England); CSKA Moscow (2015, Russia); CEZ Nymburk (2014, Czech Republic); Sabonis Basketball Academy (2013, Lithuania) and finally the England National Team in 2012.

On day one of the tournament Myerscough was matched up with the hometown team Donar and the Tornado Basketball School from Lithuania. Both games would result in the college’s two losses where they fell 60-51 and 61-47 in what was an eye-opening welcome to basketball outside of the UK.

Day two would see the final group game against KK Jance and the first round of classification games against Groningen select as the team looked to secure a 5th place finish after missing out on a semi-final place from the results on the previous day.

Myerscough arguably played their best basketball of the tournament against the Slovenians and looked to be over their sluggish start. David Walsh led the way with 17 first quarter points as the visiting team hit seven threes to open their biggest lead of the tournament (29-11). A scrappy second quarter saw the Slovenians edge it (6-9), before Myerscough re-asserted its dominance on the game capped off by a 20-0 run in the final 3 minutes of the game to run out winners (84-38). The second game against Groningen did not live up to the same high-flying performance but the college ran out (69-58) winners, setting up a showdown with OKK Sloboda Tuzla for 5/6th place.

After the afternoon’s game, the evenings event included both a dunk contest and a three-point shootout for the participating teams, the later which was won by Myerscough’s David Walsh.

David Walsh
David Walsh

The final day closed with Myerscough claiming 5th place as they picked up their third win in a row. Following on from the tone set in the statement win over KK Jance, Myerscough imposed its will in the first half (40-20) before claiming a comfortable (89-49) win.

Coach Troy Culley added: “The tournament has been a great experience for our guys. The team have learnt some valuable lessons during our short time in Groningen which will be beneficial on their return to England and after the slow start, we demonstrated the level that we can play at when everyone is locked in as we had the two biggest wins of the tournament. Off-court I would like to extend my gratitude at having the opportunity to be a part of this trip and towards all the volunteers that helped create a special memory for our players.”

Additional Information

Final: BCM Orli (Czech) 77 – 62 Tornado Basketball (Lithuania).
BCM had three U20 National Team players playing.

Defensive Player of the Tournament – Tyrell Brown (Myerscough College)

Two biggest winning margins of the tournament – KK Jance (+46); Tuzla (+40)
Final Standings
1. BCM Orli (Prostejov, Czech Republic)
2. Tornado Basketball School (Kaunas, Lithuania)
3. Young Rasta Dragons (Quakenbruck, Germany)
4. Donar (Groningen, Netherlands)
5. Myerscough College (Preston, England)
6. OKK Sloboda Tuzla (Tuzla, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina)
7. KK Jance (Ljubljana, Slovenia)
8. Groningen Select (Groningen, Netherlands)

Neal Hopkins
Myerscough College Basketball Academy Programme Leader and Head Coach.