Shirley to take on Cashmere in basketball semi-final

SEMI-FINALISTS: Shirley Boys' will take on Cashmere High in the Thompson Trophy semi-final tonight at 5.45pm in Cashmere. PHOTO: Supplied.

Shirley Boys’ High School’s senior basketball team will face an uphill battle going into the Thompson Trophy semi-final against Cashmere High on Tuesday night.

Shirley made the semi-final after a hard fought 94-84 win over Ashburton College last week.

Cashmere beat Shirley, also known as ‘The Spartans’, 91-53 in round three of the competition, handing Shirley one of only three losses this season.

That gives them the underdog status as they head to Cashmere for the 5.45pm game, Shirley coach Scott Howell said.

Good decisions and limiting their mistakes will be key factors in beating the stacked Cashmere side, Howell said.

Shirley captain and standout player Sean Kelly will lead the team in the semi-final clash, with one goal ticked off for the year by making the semis.

Howell believes this year’s team is very strong and has a good chance of making the final.

They are looking forward to pursuing their next goal of qualifying for the national tournament at the South Island tournament in Dunedin from September 6-9.

Cashmere coach Ben Sheat said it was vital to stick to their structure and continue to control the defensive end if the team is to beat Shirley.

“Lots of players have contributed in different ways to the group [this season] but Connor Mclaughlin, Oki Tilaia and Tom Russ-Hofmans have been outstanding,” he said.

Cashmere beat Christchurch Boys’ High 99-51 last week to make the semi-final.