With a fairly tale stories in the 2011 Milo Junior Ball Championship, the 2012 edition of the highly-rated tournament at the basic school level in Ghana was expected to be electrifying with a record attendance in the reckoning.
The road to stardom for these young and crazy basketball players started with a three-phase regional qualifier with schools in the Eastern Region taken the centre stage on February 25 at the centre court of the Koforidua Secondary Technical School.
Eight schools from the region participated in the competition. They included defending Champions Anglican Junior High School, Roman Catholic Junior High School, Madonna Preparatory School, KOVOC School Complex and RISS Presby Junior High School.
The rest included Pentecost Junior High School, Soul Habour Preparatory School and debutant Akosombo International School.
The eight-hour tourney produced thrills, skills, drama, suspense, dexterity, great buckets and powerful rebounds with crazy basketball fans sitting on the edge.
Roman Catholic Junior High School produced a five-star performance to clinch the title at the expense of new boys Akosombo International School while the defending champions could only manage a third place-finish.
The physical presence of coach Benjamin Asare’s young charges proved the catalyst for their triumph against the likes of KOVOC School Complex, Madonna Preparatory and Pentecost Junior High School before they finally edged past a free-scoring Akosombo International side in an epic finals that got fans sit on tenterhooks for the better part of the exchanges.
Players and officials of the 2011 losing finalists were over the moon after a close contest saw them win 19-17.
2011 Champions Anglican Junior High School grabbed bronze after beating Pentecost Junior School 16-11 in two halves.
Catholic Junior High School may have had the last laugh but one talent whose eye-catching performances never went unnoticed was Akosombo International School’s 13-year-old Power Forward Kwadwo Attafuah.
His passing, understanding of the game, sublime piece of skills and character on the court was without doubt.
It was a fabulous and jaw-breaking moment in the choreography competition as Christ Complex displayed an incredible dancing feet to win the ultimate cash prize and products from Milo.
Congratulations to new champions Roman Catholic Junior High School and first runners up Akosombo International School in the basketball competition. We say a big thumps up also to Christ Complex School for the marvelous performance in the choreography competition. We’ll see you in Accra for the grand-finale on Friday April 13 at the El-Wak Stadium.
The Central regional qualifiers which took place on March 9, 2012 produced sights of ecstasy, spectacular lay ups, high quality ball handling, solid team defending, powerful attacking proficiency, drama and mixed emotions.
Twenty-three participated in both basketball, choreography and rap competition at the Jubilee court, Cape Coast in front of an expectant crowd.
Seven schools comprising Mfantsipim Junior High School, George Ekem Ferguson, William De-Graft, Philip Quarcoo, St Nicholas, new boys John Sackey and defending champions Catholic Jubilee battled for the qualification slot in the basketball competition.
And it turned out to be an exciting package characterized by all the ingredients in the game: suspense, revenge, enactment of rivalry and asserting of dominance.
The little zebras from Mfantsipim capped an incredible run-in for the title with a come-back display to beat champions Catholic Jubilee 29-27 in the finals to send their supporters into frenzy.
Last year’s finalist, St Nicholas settled for bronze after beating George Ekem Ferguson 31-23.
It was another piece of history for Mfantsipim’s promising starlet Daniel Owusu as he brought his ‘A’ game plan into the 2012 Milo Junior Ball Championship.
Averaging 10 points, 5 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game at the one-day championship, the final year student of Mfantsipim is one talent who will surely prove a big asset for his side at the grand-finale.
The biggest chink in his breastplate is his free-throws shooting and he was thrilled with his new found status as the MVP of the tournament.
It was an amazing pageantry in the choreography competition as Wesley Girls dethroned St Monica’s with their unique style of the ‘Azonto’ craze.
St Monica settled for silver with their technique and flair while William De-Graft managed to pick the third spot.
We say congratulations to Mfantsipim and Catholic Jubilee for booking their tickets in the finals of the 2012 Milo Junior Ball competition, while we pour our hearts out to Wesley Girls and St Monica’s for their dazzling performances in the chorography competition. We’ll see them in Accra for the grand-finale at the El-Wak Stadium.
Over twenty schools participated in the Greater Accra contest on March 17 which was characterized by a fairly tale story, scenes of dejection, shock, excitement, strong defensive play, amazing fighting spirit and creative ability.
Nine schools battled for honours in the basketball competition.
They comprised of defending champions Air Force, Kalvary School, Garrison Basic, Base Ordinance Depot (BOD) and Base Workshop.
The rest included Ridge Church School, Achimota Preparatory School, Cosmos Preparatory and Ghana Lebanon and Islamic School.
At the end of a nerve-racking competition at the El-Wak Stadium, the remarkable feat of Kalvary School dominated the major headlines.
The Teshie-based side came, saw and conquered against all odds to dethrone Air Force as new Kings in the capital.
Base Ordinance Depot took the third position after beating Ghana Lebanon and Islamic School in the third and fourth play-off match.
In the choreography competition, the sensational performance from Garrison Basic ensured they took over the baton from SOS to emerge as the new champions.
The 2010 champions Cosmos Preparatory School placed second while SOS could only manage a third place finish in the finals.
The road to the finals was always going to unpredictable as the eight confirmed finalist begun feverish preparations for the big showdown at the El-Wak stadium.
When the team visited the training grounds of some of the schools, it was obvious the likes of Achimota, Air Force, Ghana Lebanon and Islamic School and Ridge Church were very much excited with the prospect of winning the cup by venturing into full scale training sessions ahead of the cliff hanger.
Cometh the day and cometh the hour, the venue was set, branding was superb, organizers were ready and the players were in buoyant mood to put up eye-catching performances.
They say patience is a virtue and good things come to those who wait, and continue to work hard, because at the end of a grueling 5-hour competition, Burma camp-based Garrison Basic finally laid their hands on the glittering trophy.
They beat high-flying Mfantsipim in the finals while Kalvary accounted for Catholic Jubilee in an enthralling third and fourth place match.
In the Cheorography competition, SOS recaptured their title with another wonderful traditional performance with Cosmos School complex placing second while 37 Military school took the third place.
In the singing and rap competition, MaCcarthy Hill took the first position, followed by Mount Olive Preparatory School with Kalvary School grabbing the third position.
The competition attracted some of the top brass of title sponsors Nestle Milo and a host of other dignitaries.