HOOP stars from Helsby High School have been crowned national basketball champions.

The school’s under 13s team were winners at the Dynamik National Schools Championship in Nottingham on Saturday.

In the semi-finals, Helsby faced the southern region champions Holy Trinity (Sussex). Captain Louis Mackay led all scorers with 31 points as the Cheshire outfit claimed a 66-41 success.

Helsby’s opponents in the final were Great Baddow (Essex), who were brushed aside 69-36. Mackay followed up his semi-final performance with an astonishing 47-point contribution, which deservedly earned him the Most Valuable Player award.

On the same day Helsby’s U16s were also in action.

With only six fit players, the team started well in their semi-final against St Bonaventures (London). However fatigue became a factor and they eventually went down 78-60.

Helsby then lost the third/fourth play-off 67-62 against St Benedicts (Derby).

Paul Park, head of PE and head basketball coach at Helsby High, said: “The U13 team deserve huge credit for their performances at the finals and throughout the season.

“The whole team has developed impressively throughout the season and it’s pleasing to see all their hard work and sacrifice in training paying off with a national championship.

“Credit also to the U16s, who despite having such a small squad and injury problems all season have for the second year running reached the Final Fours.”

Both teams had to come through a series of regional qualifiers to make it to the Final Fours stage of the championships at Nottingham.