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ELTHAM TOURNAMENT 2017 TEAM REPORTS

BOYS:

12.1

The U12/1 boys, who were entered in AR grade as a challenge for the upcoming grading phase, started off strong (considering the break) against a talented Nunawading 2 side. The boys did not give up, were down by 9 at one stage, but fought back to end the game with a draw, 28 all.

The second game saw us take on Waverley 1, where after a slow start (down 0-8), the boys pressured the Waverley guards beautifully to run away with a 17 point win.

The third game against Whittlesea, (who we take on again in grading phase 2), was one of the toughest games the boys had played the entire season, and the great pressure and shooting of Whittlesea combined with the fatigue setting in for our boys unfortunately resulted in an 8 point loss.

Game number four versus Hawthorn 2 consisted of great defence but we suspect there was glad wrap on the rim because the ball simply wouldn’t drop. This led to another tight game, but Hawthorn held the late Camberwell charge to defeat us by 9.

Our final game of the rounds against Bulleen 2 was a neck and neck game in which our already shallow bench became literally non existent with only 4 healthy (but tired players) and 1 with an injured foot playing the final 8 minutes. Even though Camberwell we were down 5 with 90 seconds to go, we scraped home by a point in true Camberwell fashion.pon arriving at the stadium Sunday morning for our semi final, Justin and I were informed we had only 3 *facepalm* healthy players, two players with knee injuries, a foot injury and one boy as green as a grape. However, all seven of our troopers were suited up ready to play. As we finished 4th, were taking on number 1 ranked Hawthorn 2 (who beat us by 31 in grading in early December, and 9 in the rounds), who went 4-1 on the weekend. The boys played an absolutely phenomenal game, holding a 3-5 point lead the majority of the game. Some lucky shots for magic and foul trouble for us saw us 1 point down with 40 seconds. Luckily Riley stepped up and nailed a mid range step back to put us up one. Unfortunately, Hawthorn scored and managed to hold on, meaning we finished up losing by 1.

Nevertheless it was an amazing effort and Justin and I couldn’t be more proud. Fantastic weekend for the boys and we look forward to the season ahead. (Conor Mathews – Asst. coach).

12.2

It was a weekend of what could have been for the U12.2’s. Two losses on Thursday certainly wasn’t an ideal start, particularly as the boys were well ahead at half time in the first game and playing some very nice basketball. However, after 2 good wins on Friday night and Saturday morning, we were right back in the hunt for finals. In what proved to be a critical game, the team faced Craigieburn 1 on Saturday afternoon at Parade College and controlled the game for the entire first half and most of the second, despite being a player down with Blake injuring his knee in the previous game. However, with a minute to go Craigieburn drew level and then went ahead. Despite our boys having many chances to score in the last few minutes we just couldn’t get a shot to drop and ended up going down by 1 point which was devastating for the boys. This meant we had no chance of qualifying for finals. In our last pool match we faced the undefeated Keilor 2 and showed just what the team is capable of. Our boys swarmed them with a great press, rebounded well, defended brilliantly and showed the composure in offence that had been missing for parts of the weekend to run out convincing winners 31-16. The highlight of the match was a ½ court buzzer beater by Zak which had all the boys celebrating and all the parents smiling. The boys finished 5th overall with a 3-3 record but were competitive in every game and could easily have made it to the grand final with some luck and better execution late in games. The match practice will be invaluable as we head into the next phase of Friday night grading which will hopefully see us continue to push for Metro. Thanks to Coach Gerard for his passion and commitment right through the weekend and thanks also to all the parents for having all the kids on time to all the games! (Viv and Glenn Rush – TMs)

12.3

The boys began the tournament is a most unlucky way with a buzzer beater goal seeing them go down by 2 pts.  This was followed by another close loss but teamwork was now on the improve.

The boys then won the next 3 games with the 3rd game an unbelievable effort to defeat local rivals Hawthorn by 11 pts.  The final game was a must win against Diamond Valley but although the boys gave it all they had they went down gallantly.  This left the boys in equal 4th place at the end of the tournament but we were relegated to 5th on our head to head record with Diamond Valley, therefore missed the finals by the narrowest of margins.  Special mention to Scott (coach) for his commitment and patience over the weekend bringing the best out of the boys in the closely fought out tournament.  The boys listened well, and implemented the defensive and offensive plans to achieve a great result in their first Eltham Tournament.  Well done boys and thanks to the amazing parents who were there to support and cheer loudly.  We celebrated the end of the tournament with a pool, pizza and backyard basketball event – a special thank you to Sam and Lisa for hosting the celebration. (Sue Truscott – TM)

12.4

Our Dragon’s U12.4 team started off the tournament with 3 straight wins.   Whilst struggling to get on the score board in the first half in a couple of matches we pulled through the games and were happy with our progress.  Unfortunately, we lost games 4&5 and then beat Kilsyth who were undefeated in game 6 and in absolute nail bitter & voice loser for coach and fans alike.

Semi finals had us playing Waverley again who beat us in game 5, and again we had a slow start taking quite some time to get some points on the board. Whilst catching up and being in it right to the end, Waverley scored a few baskets in the closing minute to take the win.

Of our normal team of 9, we only had 7 players for the tournament so all boys had to work hard and got to appreciate how fit they need to be to play in a tournament with 3 games in a day.

A great way to start the year off with all players & parents having an enjoyable time.Well done boys! (Rohan Wiltshire – Coach)

14.2

The boys 14.2 team had a fantastic weekend the tournament and did a great job getting back to top form though the weekend. Nothing was easy in the first game, and we suffered a loss, but we powered on from there. We had a draw against the top team in our group, levelling the scores with a 3 pointer from Liam and won the other games, discovering great intensity as the games went on.

Our semi final went into overtime, where we prevailed as the pressure from both teams went through the roof. Match highlight was an alley-oop on the fast break from Sid.

Unfortunately, we were outplayed by an impressive Collingwood team in the grand final, but the consensus was that the boys did a great job for the whole tournament. We now have the required intensity, we continue to find ways to score from the offence and everyone worked hard in defence.

Thanks to the parents for running the kids to games and their great support, and especially to Alison for doing a great job as team manager. 2017 will be a very exciting season. (Dirk Quartel – Coach)

14.3

The lads began facing a Spectres team they’d just played (and beaten) in their last match prior to Christmas.  It seemed our Dragons boys though had perhaps enjoyed themselves a bit too much across the break as they got absolutely shellacked!  Coach Michael had his work cut out for him but managed to turn the tide with a good win against a team from South Adelaide.  Prior to our Friday night match against Ringwood though, we lost an in-form Hugo to some type of Evel Knievel-style bike crash and turned out another sluggish effort.  By Saturday, Michael’s instructions were finally registering in the boys’ synapses.  A great performance (nail-biting draw) against a highly placed Hawthorn team and a tough loss against a massive Waverley side all came together nicely finishing right on track with a very strong win over Bulleen.  Tournament mission accomplished!  Holiday rust removed!   (Darren McGinty – TM)

 14.4

Dragons Boys 14.4 – C1 North Eltham pool, saw us playing teams a grade or two above us.  The boys had a rusty start against Eltham in the first game, but improved each game.  We initially struggled against full court pressure, but the ball handlers kept at it and in most case overcame this.  Well done to Angus, Curtis, James, Lachlan, Lucas and Luke.

There were a number of highlights, a beautiful Pick & Roll by Luke & Curtis, feeds into our Talls Oliver, Noah & Henry, who are just starting to make some Post moves in the key, which was great to see.

The boys as always, relied heavily on quick transitions for scores and forcing turn overs mid court to remain in the games.  The boys ended up with a Draw and a Win, placing us fifth overall in a field of eight.

Parents voted Michael as the MVP for the tournament, with his continual steals mid court as a result of our press and high number of baskets the contributing factor.  Equal runners up were Henry and Noah, strong defensive rebounds a big factor.

Overall it was another great tournament, preparing the team for the next phase in grading.  Once again thanks to Bec and Shaune as TMs and to all the parents for driving, voting, scoring, spotting and getting the kids at the games. (Tom O’Brien – Coach)

14.5

With the first day of the tournament down 2–0, Australia Day wasn’t our day at all!

The boys looked rusty to say the least, and Ringwood 6 never looked troubled. The secind game we should have won – getting off to an 11-0 flyer against Blackburn 4. The final score of 12-15 showed we only scored 1 pt in the last half.

I let the guys know they actually played a good game – but just missed goals, hoping to have them pumped for the Friday game against arch enemy Hawthorn 6!

They did come out firing and in a tough physical game took the honours with a nail biting 2 pt margin 29-27. Highlights were some good running and aggressive defence from the entire team – we wanted the ball more, and it was great to see the guys talking and supporting each other in a close game…

The next morning we faced Hawthorn 5 – who had not lost a game. It was going to be a challenge, but we looked switched on from the start. It was a strong game by the team and we actually never looked troubled. We won 27-20, which was an awesome result that took us to 2-2 – still a chance to make finals!

Eltham 8 hadn’t won a game, and clearly wanted their last one to be a win. It looked possible when we found ourselves down 9-11 at half time!! Luckily we picked up and come home 16-11 to end up 2nd in our pool and make the finals.

We faced Hawthorn 5 in the clash, who were hell-bent on reversing the result from the day before.

Their defence looked sharper and made transition hard for our boys – who started looking tired and frazzled. Still at half time, it was close 7-10. The second half was really all them, as we continued to miss shots (including free-throws!!), give away fouls and generally not look after the ball. The 9-18 result was disappointing as we knew we could have done better.

All in all we improved as a team and individuals – we never stopped trying or committing 100% to the team effort, so I was super-proud of the guys!

Lauchie dominated the centre, defended brilliantly and tirelessly ran games out against bigger opposition. Tom stepped up in his defensive game and showed more confidence bringing the ball up and shooting.Angus showed great ball control against tight opposing press and started passing long to teammates in better position. Patrick scored well and his attack on the ball creates great opportunities for others as well as inspiring the team. Cam started bringing a more physical game and did some great work defending and driving strongly. Peter was tireless under the ring and is starting to find the basket well and his quick hands in defence created many turnovers. Oscar showed some great skill in passing under the ring. His rebounding, shooting and attack on the ball also improved. Fionn chipped in with some telling rebounds and points and always looked to bring others into the game with his passing. John showed great improvement and scored some inspiring points as well as defending hard and also starting to read the play well. Fletcher showed great control and movement to space, creating opportunities for drives to the ring and perimeter shots.

Thanks also to Phelim who helped get the best out of the team with his inspiring words and comments on the state of play. And to Meg our team manager who made everything run smoothly as possible.

Huge thanks to all the parents, friends and supporters who also gave their time and energy to a great tournament! It was heaps of fun and we will all learn a lot from this weekend… (Bruce Williams – Coach)

16.1

Whilst the tournament certainly didn’t go to plan with 1 win and 4 losses, we made the discovery that we are a strong defensive team. Unfortunately, we have a lot of work to do on finishing around the ring and free throws as this hurt our scoring output over the weekend. If we can score at a higher percentage we will be looking strong going into the next grading phase. It was good to see the boys adjust their games over the weekend trying to improve both individually and as.a team. (Mark Jeffers – Coach)

16.3

The U16.3 boys team gave their family, friends and supporters much value for money over the tournament weekend.  With coach Sachin overseas for a number of games, the coaching duties were left up to Clayton Sturzaker, who came out of retirement to motivate and mentor the group. The boys rode a rollercoaster of performance with strong wins against Ringwood, Diamond Valley and Bulleen, as well as some disappointing loses to teams they felt they should have beaten.  A very even competition meant 3 wins were enough for a Semi Final spot and the boys stepped up…playing a huge defensive game and taking their chances to score an impressive 10 point win against a previously unbeaten Ringwood outfit.  The boys continued their good form into a very tight grand final, and were in with a chance all night.  Some foul trouble early in the second half, and some aggressive play from Blackburn 2, saw the boys pipped by 9 points in a tough, hard and fast encounter.  What a great way to kick off the new year, well played boys! (James Johnson – TM)

16.4

The boys had an eventful, rewarding and dramatic weekend, winning two games, drawing one and losing three – two of them by a total of three points, and both inside the last 10 seconds.

We opened with a one-point loss to Eltham, which made one of two free throws with less than a second left, before falling to eventual tournament winner Waverley later on the first day; the top-aged Falcons getting past us with a basket inside the last 10 seconds.

Wins against Diamond Valley and Hawthorn, and a draw with Ringwood followed, before we closed with a hard-fought seven-point loss to a very quick and athletic Keilor in our last game of the weekend.

My thanks to the boys for their hard work, dedication and commitment to following the game plan, to our team manager Stuart for keeping us organised and on track, to my assistant coach Andrew Noisette for his continued support, and finally to the parents who followed us throughout and saw plenty of metropolitan Melbourne along the way!

We took a lot out of the weekend while learning a lot about ourselves as a group, had some fun along the way and are looking forward to what promises to be a very exciting and successful season. (Andrew Johnstone – Coach)

16.5

Overall we had a solid tournament winning 3 games and losing 3.  All 6 teams we played were either 1, 2 or on one instance 3 grades higher than us on a Friday night.  This therefore proved a very valuable warm up to the next Friday night grading phase. With injuries and boys away I was so impressed with the boys never give up attitude.  This showed through in our last game against Waverley 5, who were undefeated in the tournament (and went on to win the GF).  They were much bigger and stronger but the boys showed great determination to go for the win, and they did winning a close one by 4.  I am excited to see where the team will go from here

16.6

The 16/6 boys made a solid start to the tournament with 2 wins, but then came up against some bigger and tougher opposition. Despite some slow starts in the next 3 games, including giving Craigieburn 3 a 12-0 head start, they fought their way back valiantly to only go down by small margins against teams from higher Friday night grades. To their credit the boys never lost their enthusiasm and endeavour throughout the weekend. There were great signs of improvement with every match which culminated in a fantastic fighting draw in the last game against top of the section Waverley, demonstrating the “never give up” attitude they displayed all tournament. Congratulations and well done to all the boys for playing their hearts out despite some injuries in the last 2 games. Special thanks to Daniel for joining our team and providing that 2nd tall we have needed. Thanks to TM Linda for her organisation and ensuring we all knew where to be when, and a special thanks to all the parents for their support.  And to the Nenos family for their pool break! (Mike Wardlaw – Coach)

18.1

The U18-1 boys dug themselves into a hole against a massive South Adelaide team, down 20 with 4 minutes left. With some impressive shooting, we were able to get the margin down to 3 but unfortunately couldn’t get over the line.

We followed up with great wins against Eltham 2 and Blackburn 1 (20 points each), and then went down in very close games against tough opposition, losing by 7 to Hawthorn 1 and then losing by 2 to Bulleen 1. Couldn’t be prouder of the effort and attitude of all of the boys and am excited to see what we are able to achieve this season as a team – the boys have set their sights on VC Champ and we can certainly get there. #dontsleeponthewell (Pete Maunder – Coach)

18.2

The 18.2 boys treated their parents and coach to a heart-stopping long weekend of basketball.  With 2 draws and winning margins of only 1, 2 and 5 in the main rounds, we knew we were set for close final games.  A hard fought semi against Spectres saw us triumph by 2 with a second to spare.  The GF was hard fought – played in the sauna that was Templestowe Leisure Centre, with our boys going down by 4 to Ringwood 2.  It wouldn’t be appropriate to single out any of the boys as they all played their parts somewhere across the games and tournament.  A huge thanks to Tom Sapountsis for stepping in as coach for the tournament whilst Luke B was away and doing an awesome job of steering the boys to a runners-up trophy.  Suffice to say, it was a fabulous weekend which has primed the boys for their first game back this week.  A big thanks to all of the supporters who followed the boys around – parents, grandparents, siblings and the 18.1 boys who added some real volume on the bench. (Jacqui Peters – TM)

18.3

The 18.3 boys had a great start to the weekend of basketball with 3 very hard wins. Our first loss of the tournament came on Saturday morning which saw the boys fight hard for the full 34 minutes but it unfortunately wasn’t enough to defeat the strong and unbeaten Maccabi. As a result, the game went down to the wire finishing 18-17. Albeit disappointed with the loss, the boys turned that disappointment into positive energy and came out in the next game and played one of, if not the best, games of basketball I’ve seen them play, beating an undefeated Eltham by 25 points. Finishing off a 3 game Saturday with a win meant we finished 5-1 for the main part of the tournament. With our semi-final at the unreasonable time of 8:45am and against Eltham once again, we knew it was going to be a tough game, and a tough game it was. Eltham came out with the intent to redeem themselves from the day before, and to their credit played a great game. Huge praise for the boys as they fought to the final siren going down by just 3 points. Congratulations to the boys for a great tournament and let’s bring on the season. Massive thanks to all the parents for driving the boys around for the weekend and for their continual support. Finally, a special thanks to Pete Denovan for stepping up as fill in TM in Mel’s Absence. (Mel Piva – TM)

18.4

After a close but disappointing lose our first game we got rid of the rust and bounced back redeeming ourselves against the rest of the grade after blowing out Ringwood and Melbourne the boys had their eyes on finals, with a tough draw with Blackburn we still were able to finish second on the ladder putting us in a great position, the boys had a very strong finals run, playing hard and giving 100% effort they were content on not holding back smothering the opposition from start to finish, playing their best basketball sealing the victory in the semi-finals, the momentum carried over for the biggest game yet facing Eltham in the grand final isn’t easy but nothing was able to hold us back, with a complete team effort we were able to build a strong lead and with terrific defensive effort we comfortably took the win 33-19 ending on a high note on what was a great tournament start to finish by each one of the guys. (Jarrod Whelan – Coach)

The 18-4 boys had a great tournament winning both semis and grand final comfortably (both games with scores of 33-19). They started the tournament with a loss but grouped quickly to win next 3 games. With a draw in the last group game, they finished 2nd on the ladder before winning both the semi and GF comfortably. They proved to themselves what they are capable of when games were more competitive and demanding. Well done Jarrod and the boys. Also big thanks to parents who gave amazing support to the team (Dush Kannangara – TM)

20.1

The U20/1 boys were placed in A grade for the tournament and coming off the back of a long summer and being without a training session we were concerned that there would be a considerable amount of rust to shake off.

Our first game was against Geelong 1 and the boys absolutely ran the opposition off the court to the tune of 23 points.

Later that night we had a game against Werribee 1 and this is where the rust began to show. We went down by only 4 points in the end after playing some very ugly basketball compared to how we know we can play.

Our next game against Eltham 1 was an absolute nail biter which came down to the last shot, unfortunately poor free throw shooting cost us and we went down by 2 points!

The Saturday saw us with our last two games against Hawthorn 1 and Craigieburn 1. We managed squander an early lead to Hawthorn to go down by 3 points again due to poor fee throw shooting (guess what they’re doing at training this week!!).

Our last game saw a significant improvement and we managed to run Craigieburn into the ground and get up by 16 points.

Overall the boys definitely proved to not only the competition but also to themselves that we are more than capable of beating some of the best teams in the state and we are extremely excited for the season to start so that we can show everyone what we are capable of! (Luke Guglielmino – Coach)

 

GIRLS:

U12 Girls Development Squad:

What a fantastic tournament for this group of girls. Putting a team together the week of the tournament and not even having a training session, you would have thought they were teammates for years! From the start the girls showed aggression, determination and team work (every coaches dream), startling their opponents from the start with their ruthless defensive pressure!
The girls played 6 games (before finals) winning each one by at least 15 points (with scores up to 31 points) AND keeping their opposition to under 6 points!

Coming into the finals undefeated the girls were slightly nervous but still full of energy! Winning the Semi against Blackburn SAT 1: 39-12 and through to the GRAND FINAL!!!
And who should be bump into? THE AMAZINGLY TALENTED DRAGONS U12.4s!!! What an amazing tournament for them too!!!An all dragons final was extremely exciting, The girls toughest competition yet! Goals were continuing to drop for both teams and the pressure was fantastic up and down the court.  In the end the development squad WON, 28-15 with Sunny Plant winning the MVP for the game. An amazing game by all, a very exciting future for the u12 girls! We can’t wait to see these players playing for us in the near future. WELL DONE! (Prue Ainsworth – Coach)

12.1

The U12.1 had a fantastic tournament! Being placed in A grade and with 2 of our players missing, we were excited to get back into basketball and be challenged.

The girls played a great first game against Melbourne, playing some fantastic team basketball and keeping the game very close, although our stamina was tested in some stages, going down by about 10 points in the end. Although we lost, I feel confident that we will do better next time we play!

After brushing off the rust and gaining momentum we were able to win the next two games against Eltham 1 and Collingwood 1, which we were very happy about! We have played these teams before and our result margins are improving every time.

Our last two games scores did not reflect the determination and hard work the girls put in and with tired bodies we could not keep up. Although we lost to Hawthorn 1 and Bulleen 1, we learnt better ways to break a press and really improved our decision-making and focus. I am very proud of each player, seeing so much improvement throughout the tournament. I can’t wait to see the girls play this week with fresh legs and apply their newly found skills and decision-making on the court! I loved the way the girls tried new things and adjusted the way they played throughout the tournament. I feel we will be much more confident and better players coming into the real season. Thank you to all the Team Managers, parents and players! GO DRAGONS! (Prue Ainsworth – Coach)

12.2

The girls had a terrific tournament with 3 great wins (including over the eventual GF winner!), a nail-biting draw, 2 of the narrowest of losses… and plenty of fun – I am not sure Groove Train Doncaster knew what hit them when the 12.2’s hit town! We played extremely hard in the semi final with plenty of fire and intensity but unfortunately struggled to finish our shots and went down by only 3 points to a very competitive Diamond Valley team. We should be so proud of these girls as they developed awesome team work and great Dragon’s spirit over the course of the Tournament. It is always pleasing to see so much improvement in a team in one weekend and to blow those holiday cobwebs away! Huge thanks to Sasha for filling in over the weekend, to our brilliant TM Kate Wansbrough for keeping us on schedule and to our very enthusiastic parents for their support of both their daughters and their coach!! GO DRAGONS!! (Paul Martin – Coach)

12.3

Overall a consistent and very pleasing effort by an energetic team. With three wins and three losses, the girls delivered fiery determination until the last buzzer at our home court of Kew.

Our courageous and tough spirited guards – Leni “Lighting” Paten; Celeste “It’s Mine” Rosier; Charlie “Cool Hands” Cannell; and Millie “Mighty” McCarthy pressured and pounced in true Dragon style before the opposition reached the centre space.

Our tough talls of Charlotte “Don’t Mess With Me” Harvey, Hannah “Steadfast” Alderton, Millie “Ready Resourceful” Begg, Victoria “High Hands” Else and Gabby “Gutsy” Price demonstrated sure footedness and fearless readiness to take on the approaching drive.

More importantly, the girls gathered together as a Dragons team with improving skill and thoughtful assists in every game. They waited, looked, voiced and backed at the right moment to put ball to basket. They fought hard to regain possession time and time again.

The energy throughout the heat of the day rarely dipped in this team and their happy red smiling faces at the end of the tournament was the real victory at the end of the day. Congratulations girls! A great start to the year and here’s to an exciting season ahead! (Dana Branda-Pawlakzyk – Coach)

12.4

What started with a scrappy training session on an early Sunday morning, finished with a great effort in a Grand Final.  The 12-4 Girls lost their first game by 1 after mounting a huge last minute comeback, which set the tone for the rest of the tournament as they put together five straight wins to finish 2nd on the ladder and make finals.  They played a great game to win their semi final by 4 points before coming runners up in the Grand Final against a Camberwell Dragons development team.  The girls had a great tournament and improved with every game, and are ready and looking forward to the next VJBL grading phase. (Sarah Bacon – Coach)

14.1

The 14/1 girls competed in AR, we knew this was always going to be a competitive challenge for us but we were confident we could make finals, the focus for the tournament was to get through and understand team rules and offences in preparation for grading. The girls came together beautifully as a team to deliver with each player stepping up at a different point throughout the tournament. We made it through the pool games only dropping 1 game against Broady who played a good brand of basketball. The girls efforts earnt them a spot in the GF only to come up against Broady again. Struggling to get the ball in the ring made it tough to get our usual game play happening. The team went down by 4 but learnt a lot from the weekend and came out of it with much more understanding of the type of game we want to play. Well done girls. (Cara Jeffers – Coach)

14.2

The 14-2 girls had a successful tournament overall, starting with a solid low scoring win over ‘tournament hosts’ Eltham 3. We then followed up with a thumping win over Craigieburn. Our high pressure game forced the other teams to turn the ball over regularly. Two tighter games followed including a nail-biter against Keilor 3. We finished the preliminary rounds with two solid wins to be undefeated on top. Unfortunately we fell short in our semi-final against Werribee 2. Their determined defence and extra height gave them an advantage against our smaller team, which relies on fast transition and high pressure defence, and this naturally waned as we got tired towards the end of the tournament. Nevertheless it was a great tournament and the girls all improved and worked hard on team play and structures Thanks to Greg Tregear(TM/AC) and my coaching assistants for all their help. Well done to Millie on her poise and ability to break through defensive pressure, Amy for her determination and positive talk, Maiya for her energy, and determination, Amelie for her ball handling skills and  court vision, Alex for her intercepts,and mid range shooting, Ciara for strong boxing out and also mid range shooting, Molly for strong moves to the hoop and defensive talk, and last but not least Lauren for her quick hands and tenacity. I have one small extra mention to Lauren who receives the Hard Hat award for the tournament. I missed it, however Lauren had a heavy head clash with another player. Without a word, and with no apparent effect, whilst the other player went off injured, Lauren didn’t miss a beat, continuing to harass the opposition. (Duncan Palmer – TM)

14.3

 The girls started off slowly in the first half of the first game against Bulleen, down 12-0, but managed to lift themselves to another level in the second half, finishing with an exciting 18 all draw. They carried on their good form into the next game against Blackburn, winning comfortably 21-13. After a day off on Friday the girls came back on Saturday a bit rushed and ragged and lost the next 3 games, primarily due to high turnovers from very poor passing. A thin subs bench and the hot temperatures didn’t help their cause. Thankfully the girls improved on Sunday morning despite the early start and fought out a solid game against Wallan, losing by 7 points in the end. Our warm appreciation goes out to Rachel, Ruby, Brittany, Tiarnie and Zoe who coached the girls during the tournament. (Shaun Johnson – TM)

14.5

The team displayed an enormous amount of courage and enthusiasm throughout the tournament despite not getting across the line with a win. Their “never give up sprit” was amazing in all games. Congratulations to Bella Stefanou who received a tournament award for Most Determined Player in our first game. (Kerrie Lawrence – Coach)

16.1

The GU16-1 tournament ‘unofficially’ started Friday night after a rough start on Thursday and by the girls high standards, a disappointing first two games. The challenge was given to lift our energy and effort and they respondrd brilliantly, realing off 4 in a row to storm into the finals. We had an opportunity to play Broadmeadows in the semi-final, a team we had faced on the first day and the difference in competition was night and day, which was pleasing to confirm the progression made. We went down by 2 in a physical game and we look forward to getting our revenge in Grading Phase 2. We experimented with some different line-ups and found some great combinations of playing our two PGs together – Sarah Cato and Chloe Wilson. Special mention also to Teagan Crosisca who played some of her strongest basketball to date and really provided a spark off the bench. Thanks to Gavin & Nicole Crosisca as TMs and for Gavin stepping in on Friday night to coach and kickstart the girls! Thanks to all the parents for giving up their time and filming games. Can’t wait for Adelaide!! (Justin Fields – Coach)

16.2

After a tough 2016, the GU16-2’s finally managed to get their first win of the season, followed by their second and then almost had a chance to get their third in a fantastic Eltham-Dandenong tournament. A reward for their efforts over the past few weeks, and a confidence boost for the remainder of the season, the girls showed exactly what results can be expected when they get their effort, consistency, teamwork and confidence up to the levels they are capable of

After shaking off the rust from the holiday break, the girls started to show some glimpses of solid basketball on Thursday and Friday night and you could see that they needed to take it up to the next level of intensity and finish off games to get the results they deserve, and they sure delivered come Saturday! After shaking up some lineups, giving everyone an opportunity to start and step up and continuing to focus on the positives, the girls completely shell-shocked a Bulleen lineup on Saturday morning to record their first win of the season after leading from start to finish. They then took that momentum into a Kilsyth team that they had previously lost to twice before in preseason grading and the Southern Peninsula tournament to take the lead with only 40 seconds remaining only to lose by a basket on the buzzer. The opposing coach even commenting “how much they’ve improved in a short time” to add to the comments of the parents that tirelessly attended each and every game over the long weekend.

The girls then capped off a great tournament by beating Nunawading in their final game in what was a rough encounter, but just continued to work harder than their opposition and worked together to really put in a whole team effort, something which will only help us continue to get good results as the season progress.

A shout out to Ruby Carroll, Carla Martin and Milla Bornas for top scoring during the tournament, Em Collins and Ruby Jory-Wright on dominating the boards and finishing around the basket, Em Bacon, Mia Branda-Pawlacyzk and Alysha Sharp for anchoring our defense and working hard in our press and Mary Higginbotham and Molly Tozer for showing even as bottom-agers you’re capable of being up to this level, as well as the parents and our Team Manager Andre for getting everyone to the games, organsing team sheets and lunch! Really happy with the efforts and can only continue to improve! (Rob Bonusiak – Coach)

16.3

The girls started off rusty after school holidays but still managed to get a small margin win in the first game. As the tournament continued the girls started to improve and really started working well as a team. We continued to win our games and ended up playing the semi-final against camberwell 16.4s which was nerve wracking for the girls as they are all friends. Winning the semi final then placed us against our toughest competition Collingwood 2 who we only beat by 3 points in the round games. Having a slow start in the game we managed to pick up the pace in the last 5 minutes securing the win by 3 points again. Fantastic tournament by the girls remaining undefeated. All girls contributed equally to wins over the tournament and a special mention to Priya for winning MVP in the grand final. Thanks to our team managers Michelle and Nick for organising everything and to all the parents for scoring and cheering! (Melissa Earl – Coach)

16.4

The Girls 16.4 team enjoyed a gruelling but rewarding tournament weekend, winning 2 games and a draw to sneak into a semi-final, losing to the eventual winners, and congratulations to the Camberwell Girls 16.3 team.

The girls played some great basketball, intermixed with small periods of inconsistency but there is no question about their passion to play and to learn.

All players should be justifiably proud of their unselfish teamwork and the many memorable individual contributions across all games, but none more so than in the 20-20 drawn game. Coming back from 8 points down where every player contributed, including Maddy E, Annie and Tilda’s work under the ring, pulling down rebounds against taller and stronger opponents. Sophia and Suzy dashing down the court to beat the forward press and racing back to defend against the uncontested layup. Kristo diving on loose balls, Zara gliding to the basket on her one good leg. Kaity working a one – two combinations with Siena to get the inside shot. And Nel’ was “on fire” with her outside shooting. It was a draw but it felt like a win.

Our thanks again to Jemma for her time, energy and commitment. Her enthusiasm is infectious, a medical metaphor for our med student coach. (Michael Gillett – TM)

18.1

The under 18.1 girls got off to a bit of a rusty start in the Eltham/Dandenong Tournament. The girls lost by roughly 10 points to Hawthorn 2. However the game was learnt from and quickly forgotten as they went on to beat Collingwood 1, Bulleen 2 and Frankston 2, all comfortable wins.

The girls clicked right back to their post Christmas form and were playing some great team basketball, which was great to see so soon after the Holidays.

Our last fixtured game was against the top team, Southern Peninsula. The girls had a fantastic game, controlling play for the majority of the game. The girls fell just short, losing by 5 but still put together their most competitive game.

Finishing 4th, we headed off to finals on Sunday morning against Collingwood 1. Despite a competitive game, things just didn’t seem to go our way and we lost by 5 to Collingwood who went on to win the entire competition.

A huge thank you to Lynda Wallace for all her organizing and to the parents and the girls for giving up their long weekend. The tournament was an excellent way for the girls to get back into it and ready for the next grading phase! (Rachel Bett – Coach)

20.1

The u20 girls went into the tournament as part of their preparation with all focus on the grading phase ahead. With 3 loses to teams I think will make VC, one creditable loss, and one win, the tournament was beneficial to all involved. Hopefully this group takes away all that we learnt and will be rewarded with good results in the weeks ahead. Well done to the team. (Ray Foster – Coach)

 


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