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SENIOR BOYS BASKETBALL SCOTTISH CUP OPENING MATCHES

29 SEP 2017

Dumfries Academy senior boys basketball team has begun its 2017 Scottish Cup campaign in style with two big wins.
On September 19th the team travelled to Annan Academy for their first Group Stage match and won convincingly by a score of 73-19. Starting point-guard Callum Hamilton (S6) steadied the offense with poised passing and leadership putting up 23 points and collecting 7 rebounds in the effort, while Co-Captain Huw Williams (S6) anchored an impressive defense for the team and notched 12 points and 13 rebounds of his own. Player of the Match, however, went to Chris Eriksen (S6) whose courageous work inside the key led to his first double-double of the season (20 points, 16 rebounds) and demonstrated his ability to shine as a starting center. Eriksen expressed his pleasure in saying, “after a great year by the previous S6s, this is a good start to our own final year.”
After the win, Coach Scott Powell indicated that the school team was going through a transition period. “We have been training hard since the year began and there’s a real hunger among the players to establish their own identity now after playing in the shadow of such a talented group of S6s last year. They are very eager to prove themselves. ” He also acknowledged and credited the Annan Team, led by Coach Alan Craw. “This is the first time Annan has participated in the national competition. With their efforts and with Castle Douglas involved as well, Dumfries and Galloway is representing itself better than ever before in the Scottish Cup. There is a steep learning curve, of course. We had to go through it years ago. It’s great to have them on board. Much of their team is built of quick, younger players who are just soaking up the first-time experience.”
More recently, on September 28th, Williamwood High School visited the Academy for its group stage fixture. Dumfries dictated the pace from the very beginning and never let up. In what the coaches later hailed as a “most disciplined and spirited performance”, the Academy boys executed a commanding defensive game and shut down the talented Williamwood offense. After the dust settled, Dumfries came out on top by a score of 63-36. Huw Williams and Ross Acklam (S6) both played big full-court games, forcing turnovers and potting 19 and 14 point performances, respectively. Again, Callum Hamilton’s composure as point-guard led the offense and his magnanimous playmaking kept exploiting the opposition’s inability to match up.
The game was full of personal bests and unselfish play. Jack Milton (S5) came off the bench in a limited role and scored 10 points before fouling out, demonstrating an enthusiasm to contribute and fearlessness in seizing his opportunities. Academy shooting guard, Liam Rogerson (S6), praised the team for being “excellent off the bench” and scored 3 points himself in a supporting role. Rogerson also commended the group for “playing a good team game, rather than an individual game”. Mhairi Adamson (S6), club scorekeeper and member of the girls’ team, noted that “the boys played to a high standard which is a testament to their hard work and practice.” These ideas of team-first and self-discipline are starting to gel nicely within the school club and bode well for upcoming fixtures.
Dumfries Academy’s next Scottish Cup home game is on Tuesday, October 10th, when Stewarton comes to town. The team will then travel to Auchinleck on the 12th for the final fixture before the October Holidays. Group stage action finishes up in Castle Douglas on November 2nd.


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