Team with ‘chip on their shoulder’ wins

COMEBACK KIDS: Middleton Grange stunned Cashmere High School to claim Canterbury secondary school basketball's Ranfurly Shield equivalent, the Dowson Cup last week. Photo: Middleton Grange.

The Middleton Grange basketball team has been playing with “a chip on their shoulder all season” and now it’s helped them claim the Dowson Cup.

They produced a stirring comeback to win 102-90 and end Cashmere High School’s two-year reign over Canterbury high school basketball’s equivalent of the RanfurlyShield.

They will defend it against St Andrew’s College next Tuesday.

Co-coach Jack Williamson said the team have “trained the house down” after being ranked the fifth best school in Canterbury in the preseason rankings.

“The boys disagreed with that and they’ve been playing with a chip on their shoulder and training the house down all season.”

Cashmere held the cup since May 30, 2017, when they beat Burnside High School.

Williamson said he believed his team could win at the start of the game, especially with Cashmere’s imposing Tom Webley out injured.

“Being down 19 points in the third quarter, I guess you could say at that point, I didn’t think we could come back but the guys showed plenty to storm back into it.

“I said to the guys that it was important to stay grounded after the win. It’s important not to get too over-confident after one result. We don’t necessarily have the size or the strength of some teams but we go out there with a good basketball IQ and a love of the game and that counts for a lot.”