St. Augustine’s College defeated old foes Mfantsipim School 37-22 in a keenly contested game to lift the 2016 Sprite Ball Championship.
The win in the final matchup of Ghana’s biggest basketball tournament ensured the school will join an illustrious list of winners of the tournament including Achimota School and Keta Senior High School.
Prior to the tournament, St. Augustine’s was considered a dark horse contender following consecutive losses at the quarter finals.
Defending champions Mfantsipim could not make it a fifth national title win as their Central regional rivals proved too strong particularly in the second half.
Both teams went into the finals unbeaten as St. Augustine’s saw off Prempeh and Pope John’s in the quarter and semifinals respectively.
Mfantsipim on the other hand beat out the likes of St. Thomas Aquinas and an impressive Opoku Ware side to get to the finals.
Mfantsipim raced out to an 8-0 lead early in the game as playmaker Kofi Aboagye and captain Nana Banyin Tandoh set the tone with a couple of impressive runs into the paint.
After the slow start, St. Augustine’s clawed their way back into the game on the back of talismanic figure Daniel Mantse’s conversion from the charity stripe.
This proved to be a go to move for Augustine’s coach Lawrence Ampiah who instructed his boys to attract fouls and subsequently shoot from the free throw line due to Mfantsipim’s foul trouble.
Augustine’s then went on a nine point run mainly through freethrows to take an 18-12 lead in the first half.
With Mfantsipim Center Elorm Dzissah fouling out of the game, Augustine’s Mantse controlled the paint as he gathered multiple rebounds to score from the second chance opportunities.
St. Augustine’s 30-17 lead was reduced courtesy four straight points from Aboagye but it proved too late for Mfantsipim to muster a comeback as Augustine’s did enough to clinch a famous win.
The tournament’s Most Valuable Player Award was handed to Augustine’s big man Daniel Mantse and his coach Lawrence Ampiah was adjudged the best Coach in the competition.
President of the Ghana Weightlifting Association and a former senior prefect, Ben Nunoo Mensah was on hand to join the team celebrate the iconic win.