Beaumont School retain IZB national title

Beaumont School's national IZB winning squad.

Beaumont School's national IZB winning squad. - Credit: Archant

BEAUMONT School defended its Inclusive Zone Basketball (IZB) national championship with a 12-7 victory over Hemsworth Arts & Community College from Yorkshire.

IZB is a four-a-side game, developed to enable players who cannot participate in a full game of basketball to play competitively. Players with and without disabilities are involved; the court is divided into zones within which players with matched abilities are allowed.

The finals were played at University of Worcester Arena, and were the climax to the biggest year in the history of the competition, with a 75 per cent increase in the number of teams competing in the regional heats from the 2012 event.

Beaumont School was one of nine teams at the finals, having booked their place as East of England regional champions.

On the day Beaumont won through the group stage to play Brunts Academy from the East Midlands in the semi-final. Although Brunts Academy’s outside shooters were older and bigger, Beaumont defended well and the wheelchair players dominated to take the team to a 24-12 victory and a place in the final.

The final against Hemsworth saw the two best wheelchair players in the tournament meet, but it was Beaumont’s captain Liam Baskett – the competition’s highest point scorer – who was stronger on defence and a more consistent shooter.

With both teams were looking to end the day undefeated, it was Beaumont who got off to the better start, firing home basket after basket to take a strong lead into half time.

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The Yorkshire side hit back in the second half with strong play at both ends of the court but Beaumont held on to retain the title.

Glenn Stewart, who coached the boys on the day, said: “Both Steve Jump (Head of PE at Beaumont) who has coached them during the year, and I are really proud of the boys and delighted with the way they played; they are a credit to Beaumont and to themselves.”