ELTHAM TOURNAMENT TEAM REPORTS 2019
The 12-1 boys were entered into B1 grade for the Eltham/Dandenong Tournament this season, finishing with a total of 6 wins (4 of which were less than 3 points) and ultimately ending up as premiers. Whilst I could easily write an essay about each game, I will try to keep it short, sharp and shiny:
We started off with a 16 point loss to Eltham 2, in a game which, whilst being a lot better than our 2018 performances, was still, in hindsight, probably our worst game of the weekend.
Our second game saw us bounce back, with a very convincing 30-7 win over Bulleen 2. This being our very first win of the entire season (including tournaments, grading and practice matches), I was extremely pleased. Not to mention the fact we only let a team score 7 points in an entire game.
Our third game saw us matched up against Blackburn 1, who we had lost to by 43 points in a practice game in November. I knew we had improved and could be more competitive now, but when I looked up at saw there were 6 minutes remaining and we were only 2 points down, I was somewhat shocked. Although we did have a 2 minute lapse late and end up losing by 10, another performance that highlighted our improvement.
Back at it the next morning saw us take in Ringwood 1, another team who we had played previously, with them giving us a 20 point beating in the Southern Peninsula tournament. Once again, the boys showed their improvement, playing great defence to force many travels and out of court passes. Whilst the game was close, with us only winning by 2 points, I felt we controlled the game very well and were simply unlucky with some of our shots and maybe some refereeing calls also.
Game five matched us up against Diamond Valley 2, who were on top at the time. They were faster and honestly probably more skilful than us, but we matched them up full court the entire game, and despite a late DV charge, we held on to win 30-28.
Our final pool game saw a convincing 16 point win over Keilor 3, who had beaten us by 4 points in the Southern Peninsula tournament. We dominated defensively again which more than made up for a few sloppy offensive plays.
Heading into finals, we once again faced DV. With 6 minutes remaining we trailed by 8, but proceeded to fight back, using our superior size and strength to win by 1 point.
Into the Grand Final, a game I never dreamed I would be coaching in, facing Blackburn again. As we had never beaten them, I knew Blackburn would be confident. Once again down by 8 points with 6 minutes remaining, some great full court defence saw us get a few important stops, and some level heads down the stretch saw us coming away premiers with a 3 point win.
Overall, this is one of the most positive tournament experiences I have had and I cannot wait for the season ahead. Thanks to TM Maggie and all the parents for making it possible! (Conor Mathews – Coach)
The U12-2 boys had a rough tournament, ultimately going 0-6 in a pool which was a little high for us. Our Friday and Saturday games left a lot to be desired in terms of our team’s effort and overall performance, however our two games on Sunday were a huge step up from what we’d seen previously, showing many flashes of our pre-Christmas break form. Well done to the boys who didn’t drop their heads the whole weekend and were willing to learn, listen and improve the entire time. As coaches, we now have a better understanding on what to work on at trainings over the next few weeks to give us better chances to win games, and we’re excited to start grading phase two! Thanks to all the parents who gave up their weekends to drive the boys around and support the team! Go Dragons! (Tom and Luke – Coaches)
With 7 games over 4 days, the boys played hard in the heat.
We finished with 3 wins and 4 losses, narrowly losing the semi final by 2 points.
Highlight of the tournament was the boys defeating Collingwood by 38 points, a great show of fantastic high pressure defence, an exceptional shooting percentage and a great performance from everyone on the team.
Overall the boys played well all weekend and are ready for the next grading phase. (Rye and Jaden – Coaches)
The U14-1 boys suffered from a case of “been-away-from-basketball-too-long” blues. The tournament was mainly a way to clear out cobwebs and recalibrate minds, and even that wasn’t finished by the end of the tournament. The good news was that despite largely low intensity efforts we still came close to winning positions in many of the games we lost. Of the two wins the one against Hawthorn was the most pleasing, making a comeback (we always fell ten points behind early) to win. So winning when you only play to your potential for 7 minutes shows what we are capable of. A few more training sessions to clear out the rest of the cobwebs and we should back on track. (Mike Muntisov – coach)
The 14.2 boys had a very strong tournament starting off with three very close games, the first was a 2 point win against Bulleen and another 2 point win against Blackburn. These two wins were followed by a three point loss to Eltham and another very strong convincing win over Werribee. The next games were tough losses against two much stronger graded teams. The boys played hard where the last two games, along with the heat, just zapped them of every ounce of remaining energy. I am very proud of the boys and I take the opportunity to thank Shane (team manager) and the parents for organising and ensuring the boys could make all the games. I am really looking forward to a very successful season ahead. (Michael Walton)
Firstly, we would like to congratulate the players on a terrific weekend, we were the lowest ranked team in the division with some teams being four pools higher than us. The weekend started with two big loses to Waverly on Friday night and Blackburn on Saturday morning. However we dug deep against Hawthorn and came away victorious with a one point win. After that victory we won two out of the last three with the only loss coming against Bulleen. We are extremely happy with how the team performed and acted throughout the tournament even after been on the receiving end of some big loses. Special thanks Joy and all of the parents who made it possible for the kids to compete in this tournament. Dave and I are looking forward to the second phase of grading and the season. (Stephen McGuinness – Asst. Coach)
After a long Christmas break our Camberwell Dragons U14.4 Boys came together on Friday night for their first game together in what felt like eons. After some strangely nervous reintroductions and banter about holidays, the team melded back into the skilled unit it has been drilled to be. Thankfully our first game venue was upgraded to Boroondara Sports from what would have been a swelter box of Kew HS. In what was a very exciting game the result was a draw against Collingwood U14.2 and although we had chances to win, we absorbed lessons from the contest that would prove very useful in the semi-final to come. We hit our strides on Saturday against Darebin Knights U14.1 with our ferocious defence in full force – steals, rebounds, solid passing and fast breaks, leading to an exciting first win for the tournament. Next playing Hawthorn B14.6 to which we lost by 12 before bouncing back to beat Bulleen on late Saturday afternoon. Sunday and we needed to win both our games to play in the finals and we did!! Convincing wins against Eltham B14.6 and Ringwood B14.4 had us positioned second on the ladder before semi-finals. Then came the Collingwood rematch! It was the same team but you wouldn’t have known it. We played our game. We were fierce, fast and ferocious. It was an amazing game. We overpowered them on the boards, thanks to the hard work of Owen, Lawrence, Yves and James; we out hustled them thanks to Russell and Archie; and we out sped them with the fast feet of Leon, Jono and Billy. Now onto the big one! Players and parents alike were pumped.
The Grand Final was a sawing game against Hawthorn B14.6, and in a very close affair a Hawthorn two point score in the last few seconds of the game ended our tournament as runners up – keeping in mind this was the same team we had lost to by 12 points earlier. The boys played with great spirit at all times, and the results reflect their significant growth as a team over the weekend. It is going to be a fantastic season for this great group of boys. Thanks to coach Peter Stephens, Carolyn Ireland (team manager) and with the biggest of “thank you’s” to our team of wonderful parents (and the boy’s brothers and sisters) who signed up so selflessly to a long weekend of driving, cheering and supporting this group of talented (and highly energetic) young athletes. (Peter Stephens – Coach)
The boys had a wonderful weekend with some excellent performances.
Although a 1 win / 5 loss ratio on paper does not look fantastic, the gentlemen went from zero to hero’s in 3 days! Defence is number one, the highest total points scored against us was 27 (One match we kept a team to a single point), we knew that in time our offence (which is new) would come. That it did – losing only by a single point in the last match. These 3 days / 6 matches has been an excellent team bonding and learning experience. Many thanks to all the parents who supported & scored and a special thanks to our Team Manger Jamie for all his excellent organisation. Looking forward to the next phase of Grading and the season ahead. Onwards and Upwards!! (Greg Whiston – coach)
The B16.2 team had a tough tournament in terms of the win/loss ratio, but it was good to get the full squad together for the first time (we had three players returning from injuries suffered before the Christmas break, including one who hasn’t been able to play since September), blow away some of the school holiday cobwebs and enjoy some time together (including a really enjoyable pizza night on Saturday night at the Quartel’s). A couple of the results were disappointing, but we also had three very physical games against bigger and stronger opponents, which should hold us in good stead as the “regular” season resumes.
Our first game was against Craigieburn 16.2 on Friday night. We were a little slow out of the blocks – Craigieburn got an early head start and were able to maintain their lead to win 31 to 21.
Saturday morning saw us shaping up against Bulleen 16.3 in the new (unnervingly quiet) “White Court” at Bulleen. Again, energy levels were a bit low and our usual hustle wasn’t there. Unfortunately, we lost Sid Gangodagama to a knee injury in the second half, keeping him out of the rest of the tournament, but we hope he will be able to play this week. Bulleen ran out winners 33 to 23.
Our Saturday afternoon game was against Eltham B16.3. Eltham tried to physically impose themselves early in the match, but the team withstood the pressure well, our on-court voices and hustle were back (perhaps Dean Vickerman watching from the sideline provided some additional inspiration – 10 day contracts anyone??), and we were able to control the match and seal a 40 to 26 victory.
As Sunday dawned, we needed to win both our remaining matches to have a chance of making the finals. Unfortunately, we ran into a rampant Keilor 16.2 team! They were physically much bigger, and were a very skilful team (the field goal % was incredibly high), and arguably they were playing several grades below where they should have. We went toe to toe for the first period of the second half, pushing the ball inside more and drawing fouls, but Keilor was just too strong and the final score-line was 58 to 23.
Our final game was against Broadmeadows 16.2. We went in quietly confident, feeling that if we could play the way we played against Eltham we should have been well placed to win this one. Again, Broadmeadows had a couple of very physically imposing players and we were a little hesitant to take the ball inside early. They also made us pay for some early turnovers (again, their field goal % was very high), which put them in a commanding position at half time. Broadmeadows ultimately prevailed 42 to 19.
Interestingly, our Sunday games were against teams who went on to be the grand finalists (Keilor beating Broadmeadows 49 to 39). Both really physical games, but games we can learn a lot from and apply once our regular season play re-commences this Friday. (Matthew Bubb – TM)
This weekend we were down to eight magnificent boys with one of our big men, Zac out injured and another Michael on holidays. We played eight games, had eight wins and came home with the winning trophy in Grade BC East Eltham.
The weekend started in 43 degree heat with a 6 point win against Ringwood 3. On Saturday we had a 15 point win over South Adelaide, 11 point win over Hawthorn 4 and a late night 9.45pm 13 point win over Eltham 5. On Sunday we opened with a nail biting 1 point win over Bullen 5 followed by a 6 point win over Waverley 4. We played the semi-final against Ringwood 3, the third time we have played them this season and won by eight. The Grand Final was a 5 point win over Hawthorn 4, who play a level higher than us on Friday night. With a great defensive effort backed up by great offensive teamwork, the boys won the Grand Final. Special mention to Ed Lord who won the MVP award.
With only eight boys up against oppositions with a full bench of ten players the boys did themselves proud over the weekend of games. Calvin gave us plenty of grunt and muscle under the boards, Sol’s rebounding and blocking were a highlight, Harry graceful layups were special, Brendan speed across the court had to be seen to be believed, Lachie’s outside shooting gave us plenty of scoreboard pressure, Ed’s defensive pressure and shortrange shooting was outstanding, Jarrad’s ball carrying and tenacity was great and Fraser gave us plenty of athletic offensive and defensive moments including the last second game winning basket against Bulleen 5.
Special thank you to the injured Zac Bowser, our number 1 supporter, and his dad David for coming to all games and functions over the weekend. Thankyou to all parents for scoring and extended families and friends for attending the games. Thankyou also to Belinda and Andrew for hosting the boys for a pool party on Saturday afternoon.
The most special thank you is to our Coach Mitch for all his work with the boys over the weekend. The way the boys play high intensity basketball with a smile on their face and laughter on the bench was a highlight. Mitch also made a bet with the boys that if they won the Grand Final, he would be wearing a suit as coach this Friday night. So, if you want to see him in all his splendor we will be a the State Basketball Centre at 9.40pm.
This weekend will put us in a good position to tackle the remainder of grading games and the long season ahead. Go Dragons (Dane Truscott – TM).
The 16.4 boys got off to a slow start in the Eltham tournament and lost a close first game on the buzzer to Warrandyte 2. Following two more losses to Blackburn 3 and Ringwood 5, we regained our confidence and went out to beat a well rounded Ringwood 4 team by 1 point. The boys carried this momentum into the first Sunday game and beat tall Kilsyth 4 team by 2 but were fatigued and short handed (due to injuries) in the final game against Waverley 5.
Big thanks to all the parents for driving all weekend and the Egan family for managing us so well for the tournament! We’re wishing Tom Hurt and James Egan speedy recoveries from their injuries sustained during the weekend. (Ed Niu – Coach)
We found ourselves in the C2 East (Eltham) pool, that happen to have South Australia, Canberra and New Zealand teams.
With all teams above us in the current grading standings, our focus was on our game plan, running our offence structure and working as a team. This approach work well as we overcome Warrandyte 16.3 in the heat of Friday night before the cool change really came in. The boys welcomed a new team mate Aden for the tournament, while Angus worked hard to run the offense. A few rusty shoots didn’t hold the boys back to get a win of 29 to 19.
On Sat, Oscar inside shooting, Ayden and Arda driving to the basket, the boys always in control and saw us overcome Blackburn 16.4, with a result 33 to 25. The team enjoyed a swim at Fionn, cooled down and feed, the boys were feeling good as we meet Hawthorn 16.5 at Kew in the heat of the day. It was a hard battle in the first half with the score even at 25 each. The second half saw Hawthorn come out all guns blazing putting the boys under a physical full court press, which change the dynamics of the game. A couple of hard fouls, saw the boys worse off for the encounters. We stumbled back into old habits and let hawthorn take charge ending in with a loss of 32 to 39. We ended the day playing the Canberra imports, Daramalan College B16.1 at the cool Mulla Mulla courts, going down 26 to 31. The boys worked hard for the points and we saw a great potentially in quick transiting basket with Oscar drawing the defence and passing to Arda in full flight to the basket.
Paddy was doing his best to draw fouls of their point guard and going to the free throw line a couple of times.
Going into Sunday with 2 wins and 2 losses, we came up against Precision Movement 16.1 team from NewZealand that sat comfortably on top of the ladder. We focus on our offense and building a packline defence against the centre drives. The first five minutes we were looking ok, but as the time went by the margin began to grow. The team put everything in defence, demonstrate by Fionn drawing a charge foul as he stopped the top age boys going to the basket, coming off shortly after feeling worse for wear. The NZ full court press and uncontested outside shots hurt us hard. We went down 20 to 41.
After a good break in the middle of the day, we reassembled to play the South Australian 16.4 team just above us on the ladder. Once again team was face with a number of tall top age players, but some great defence from the whole team was great. Offensive rebound by Michael and Oscar gained us a number of buckets, Fionn reading of the ball got him to the right spot at the right time to score and a couple of 3s from Curtis and the team found themselves up 23 to 6 at half time. South Australia started to use their talls far more effective in the second half and a full court press once again caused us a lot of grief. New Kid Aden got a much-needed basket, but with a minute to go and a three-point lead, the boys did well to resist the call of the ring and chew up some time. But with a late steel from SA, once again our defence was tested and was found true, ending with a hard-fought win of 29 to 27. This provided us the edge to get into fourth position and into the Semi. Of course, for a number of hours there was a lot of confusion of whom we were to playing, if we were actually playing, and finally at 9am in the morning it was finalised, we were meeting NewZeland again at 10:15.
Going into the Semi against the clear favourite, got us back to basic celebrating defensive stops, Angus pushing the team to play our offense and contesting all shots, inside and out kept us within 9 points at half time. We had to work extremally hard for each bucket and with a buzzer betting 3 from Curtis we better our margin from the last encounter by two, with a 17 to 36 result. We only faulted twice in the backcourt, and conceded zero three, great improvement from the first game.
Every member of the team new and old was well tested, individually and as a group. The team came together socially and game wise from the Tournament. The bonus experience of playing the non VJBL teams was fantastic. The rusty shots are gone and boys are ready for the next cycle of grading games. (Tom O’Brien – Coach)
We had a slow start to the weekend going 3 wins and 3 losses in the round robin stage, which put us into 4th and scraping into finals. We came up against Ringwood 18/2s in our semi-final who had finished first, and had beaten us by 11 earlier in the weekend. We had a strong start and led most of the game, however, struggled to extend it with Ringwood hot on our tails. The 2nd half finished equal scores pushing us into overtime where we maintained our composure to finish with a 47 – 38 victory.
In the Grand final we played south Adelaide (Who we had lost to by 3 previously after being 12points down with under 3 minutes to go). The grand final started in a similar way as our semi final, we would get a lead but were unable to extend it. In the second half the boys played exceptional defence and foiled their transition which ultimately allowed us to pull away for a 52-37 victory.
It was a weekend which started slow and ended with a great finals run and has prepared us for the coming weeks of grading.
Thanks to the boys and the parents for a great & successful weekend. (Matt Foster – Coach)
The U18.3s had a bit of an up and down tournament over the long weekend finishing with a record of 2-3 and unfortunately just missing out on finals due to head to head but we still had some great moments and played some great games none the less. Despite the disappointing tournament it was our great defence that stood out among our grade as we played great as a team at that end of the court, whether it was individuals that stood out or the team it self we were able to hold teams to limited points and play lockdown defence which provided a lot of energy for us as a team, despite our offensive struggles when we were scoring the ball well we couldn’t be stopped and we hope to take everything we did well over the weekend and put it towards the next phase of grading. (Jarrod Whelan – Coach)
The 18.4s had a very challenging pool to play in but rose to the challenge and played out 6 very competitive games.
Although they only managed one win from the tournament, against Warrandyte 2, they came very close to knocking off Corio 2 and Ringwood 3.
All in all it was a great experience for the boys to play against such a tough level of opposition. (Mark Fernandez – Coach)
The 21/1 boys were placed in a tough pool having to play Kilsyth, Nunawading, Hawthorn, Ringwood and Eltham 1.
They managed to go 1-4 over the weekend while another two wins slipped out of our grasp after playing poor second halves (clearly a lack of fitness post Christmas break!!).
However it was good to get back out on the floor and iron out some kinks as a team, while showing ourselves that we can mix it with the best the state has to offer when we’re fully fit.
All the boys are excited for the upcoming season, it’s been a long time coming for the U21s and Friday night couldn’t come soon enough! (Luke Guglielmino – Coach)
Playing out of the U21 B (Combined) grade, Camberwell 21.2 boys had a productive tournament, winning 3 of their 5 pool games and making the semi-finals, which they went down in.
Given the lack of basketball so far with this age level, the boys were raring to go from game 1 and started the tournament with a strong 21 point win against Blackburn 1. They followed this with a 5 point loss against Melbourne 3, which was perhaps their low point for the tournament. They regrouped well on Saturday night with a 4 point win over Waverley 2, but this was a classic case of a game of two halves as they were excruciatingly slow in hitting the scoreboard in the first half and then, well into the 2nd half and from 16 points behind they went on a spectacular 24 point blitz of scoring and ferocious defence to run over them, all in less than 10 minutes of basketball. Then they just held onto a strong half time lead against Hawthorn 2 (who were shooting 3s for fun in the second half) for a 2 point win, which set them up for their last game against Ringwood. This was an incredibly physical game, with a lot of heavy knocks and from very early on things were looking grim at about 8 points down. But our boys showed their galvanised spirit to almost steal it, charging to a one-point lead with 15 seconds to go. Unfortunately our foul count sealed our fate and we went down by 2 points in a high quality game against a high quality opponent – Ringwood went on to win the tournament.
This group of guys bonded magnificently throughout this tournament and played hard for their coach and each other. They are a talented basketballers, a great group of young men and every one of them contributed at key times throughout the tournament. Parents, our coach Ray and I’m sure all of the boys can’t wait to get grading underway. (Geoff Latimer – TM)
The tournament was the first time we had everyone together for the season. The boys gelled well together from the start of the weekend to the end showing great teamwork & effort.
We went undefeated during the pool stage with 5 wins & 1 draw. Each game was a tight contest, with the results a testament to the boys effort & ability to execute late under pressure.
Our semi final was a very close & low scoring affair. The lead went back & forth for most of the 2nd half. Unfortunately we missed a 3 point shot on the buzzer that would have put the game into overtime. Despite the loss, I am proud of the team’s performance.
Thanks to the parents & other Camberwell coaches/players who came along to support the boys during the weekend. (David Rooke – Coach)
The Camberwell Dragons BU21.3s lost their semi final to the eventual tournament champions Eltham 2 (15 to 18). Unfortunately we were two players down leaving us with seven men. We were down by nine points in the first half but came back to within two in the second. A three point attempt to tie the game, at the buzzer, rimmed out. It is cold comfort to say we finished on top of the ladder at the end of regular round with five wins and a draw. Having said that the team played very well. They should be happy with their game and the way they meshed as a team. They run hard for each other are unselfish with the ball (sometimes to a fault). As team manager I am looking forward to the season. (David McGuinness – TM)
G U10 and U12 – Development Teams
The u10 and u12 girls development teams again entered the Eltham Tournament for 2019. Some of the girls had played in previous tournaments however many were experiencing their first big Basketball tournament(which if you didn’t know, is the biggest junior tournament in the world)
From the outset both teams looked right at home.
The u12 team were drawn with many current rep teams and were all bottom age(u11) but regardless they worked well as a team and picked up early wins.
The girls faced Waverley 4 for the second time in the semi final and after a narrow half time deficit, forged ahead in the second half to reverse the previous result and move into the grand final.
The grand final was against Banyule and the girls were amazing with their endeavour. Whilst they didn’t quite pinch the win against a bigger older side, they were still far closer than the previous outing and never gave up. Well done to Ash, Lily, Hayley,Lulu, Jaz, Chloe, Miranda and Millie. Thanks to coaches Prue, Rach and Paul and team manager Barb.
The u10 girls also started the tournament off well.
After the Initial shock of seeing the height of four of the Craigieburn players, they quickly adjusted and ran the Eagles into the ground. Swarming defence and fast transition ended with the young Dragons more than doubling Craigieburn’s score.
The tournament continued in this vein with our mosquito fleet harassing and running teams off the court until we faced Eltham u8. Eltham had a girl who was taller than many of Dragons u14 and this threw the girls a little at first, nevertheless we applied ourselves well and kept attaching the hoop. Eltham’s extra height and better finishing resulted in a narrow loss however
In the semi final we faced Eltham’s other team, the Eltham u10, and seemed to be right on top from the start, despite some nervous moments late in the game some excellent foul shots and some renewed defensive vigour helped the girls charge into the grand final
In the grand final we faced Eltham u8 again and were determined to reverse the previous result. Both sides showed great determination and threw themselves at the ball. Whilst we took a narrow lead, we could never sneak away from Eltham. The game see-sawed until we held sway narrowly by 3 points at the end
What a great effort Cleo, Eva, Alex, Livvy, Lucy, Issy, Maya, Tammy, and Ines
Thank you to Tiarnie, Prue and Paul for coaching and Annabelle for Team Managing. (Editor’s note – a huge thanks to Duncan for coordinating and coaching the girl’s development teams for the tournament!).
Well done to both teams and we look forward to seeing them at further development squad events this year and hopefully in full Dragons uniform shortly
Thank you to all the parents for putting in the time and effort over the long weekend, I am sure the girls appreciated it and hopefully they and you all slept well last night!
We will have more Dragons Girls Development events this year including at least the Queens Birthday Spectres Tournament, the Ringwood Development tournament in September and the full development squad training later in the year (normally third term) so please keep your eye on the Dragons website and social media if you want to be involved. (Duncan Palmer – Coach)
Firstly, a big thank you to the parent group and the coaches for their dedication, support and positive encouragement over the weekend. I must say even before it all started, our weekend schedule looked very manageable. We had games nice and close to home, especially the 8.15am, which is always good and our Friday night game was 7pm, which was a welcome later start at the end of a scorching hot Melbourne day.
Game 1. We had a full team of excited and enthusiastic girls for our first game, against tough opponents, we had come up against them in our first grading round and they just won after a big fight back by our girls. We started the game well with a steal and first score for the match. Despite a lot of a hard work we couldn’t get ourselves back in front and at half time we found ourselves 7 points down. We were now a player down, as one of our star twins, Lexi, found herself back on the bench with a flair up of her old injury. As is often the case for us, we out scored our first half and the opposition in the second half, but not enough to come away with a win, loosing by 6 goals.
Our second game was a nice easy 10.30 am start out at Mullum Mullum, the first time for some of the girls playing out at the fabulous new stadium. Seems as though a later start in the morning might not have suited our girls, it is fair to say that Warrandyte came out hard and fast and our girls were caught a little off guard, we had 8 fouls well before half time and found ourselves nearly 20 points down. The second half told a similar story, with the ball rolling off our fingers, between our legs and bouncing off our feet into the opposition’s hands. The final score Warrandyte 45 – Camberwell 20. Most of the game, our passes and our shooting let us down, I counted at one stage we had 11 shots for 1 goal and I believe our third assistant coach, Lexi (really one of our star twin players) was capturing some stats on how many of our passes where intercepted. This was certainly a learning game and our brave girls left this one, knowing they need to do better in a few hours for our next game.
Game three was an epic neck and neck battle for most of the time. Again, we started with the first goal and what an edge of the seat goal it was, rolling around, and teetering on the edge of the ring before slowly dropping in! This game saw some terrific turnovers by our players resulting in a couple of goals and a free throw, this was more like the gritty team we know, going in at half time 1 point up. 2nd half was just as tight as the first and it was starting to look like it might be a heartbreaker right down to the last second. The girls stayed intensely focused for the entire match, supported by a strong and encouraging coaching bench and pulled away in the last couple of minutes of the match to win by 5 points. It would be wrong of me not to mention how on fire Ibby was, what ever she did in between the last match and this one, we want her to do before every game!
Sunday morning saw an early start for us at Boroondara Sports Complex, playing Hawthorn 2. The girls really pulled it all together in this game, their team work and their shooting practice from the holidays (as instructed by our super coach, Prue), really started to show. It was nice to get a second win in a row, and a game with great shooting power, final scores on this one Camberwell 62 – Hawthorn 13.
One last game was back at the Grand Mullum Mullum Stadium, playing top of the ladder Nunawading. This was another game that pushed and stretched our girls and they stood up pretty well to the pressure, working hard, maintaining their focus and strong defensive work. Final score, Nunawading 38 and Camberwell 19.
As always, the girls had a fun weekend of basketball and we are ever so lucky to have such a strong and caring coaching team to guide and develop them, this time including our injured player Lexi, who kept some important stats for the coaches and players. Thanks also to the parents for getting the girls where they needed to be, scoring and never-ending cheering from the sidelines. (Tarnya McKenzie – TM)
What a fantastic tournament for this great group of girls who can be very proud of their achievements winning 5 (from 7) games, only losing to Waverley 2. Although they missed out on the GF, we can take some consolation that we had a great win against Nunawading 3 who comprehensively beat Waverley 2 in the GF!
Both Waverley games were a great experience for the girls and we will take a lot of positives from the semi final especially. The girls van now understand how their intensity can rapidly change a game. I am sure Waverley were expecting an easy semi final on Monday and were in shock at the way our girls came out and played.
I strongly believe that we were a much better team but just lacked the result on the scoreboard. We were being patient in offence, taking good, well balanced shots, together with strong rebounding and aggression in our man 2 man defence. These were the main objectives we had as a team for the weekend so a very successful result!
The girls always showed grit and determination in the tight games we had against Hawthorn 4 and Ivanhoe Darebin. We could have beaten these teams by more but we needed to concentrate on certain elements of our defence, in particular, in pressure situations and the girls responded accordingly.
All of the games this weekend will hold the girls in good stead for the coming grading games and show the girls are more than competitive at this level.
It was also great to celebrate two birthdays on the weekend, so a Very Happy Birthday to Cleo and Ava – what a weekend for them!!
Lastly, I would just like to reflect on a very touching moment for me on the weekend with the unfortunate injury to Cleo on Saturday and her intense desire to play on Sunday. The girls missed her so much on court so when she said she was ok to play on Monday (I think she would have played with a broken leg!!) the HUGE cheers and smiles from not only her team mates but the parents as well was a very moving – I just smiled and thought what great team spirit we have!
Thank you once again to Nopi and Denis for organising the team and having the cold wet packs for the girls – they very much appreciated it and so did I!!
Thank you to the parents for investing so much of your time on the weekend for your daughter – they sincerely do appreciate it and so do I! GO DRAGONS!! (Paul Martin – Coach)
The girls had a terrific time at the tournament, getting the opportunity to play against a variety of opposition teams in the C1 North West division. Some were tougher than others, which challenged them to play with passion and enthusiasm throughout the weekend and develop a strong sense of team.
Our first game on Friday night was a great time to blow out the dust from the holiday season against one of the strongest teams in our pool. It was over 30 degrees in the stadium and the girls were sweating before the game even started. At half time we were under the pump and 10 points behind. They ran hard, kept their spirits up, and after a slow first-half they “turned it up to 11” with a second-half surge that closed the gap to a 2-point loss.
Saturday was the day that everything came together for the girls, with both their offensive and defensive game taking shape. Their game style shifted from individual to team and the results reflected this as we saw more passing and structure in offense, and some of the best defensive play of the weekend.
Holly, Emily, Millie, Steph and Elise were scoring beautifully. Helen and Steph were hustling on defence and Bridget was under the ring getting rebounds better than ever and driving to goal. The desire to own the ball was sensational, and this led to the team motto of “Who’s ball is it? MINE!”. By end of day 2 we were 3-1 on wins/losses and ready to take on day 3.
A strong start on day 3 yielded another win and with team spirit through the roof, they’d never been readier to take on the team that ultimately won the tournament. The last game of the day was tough. Broadmeadows 12.3 were a bigger, stronger team with 5 subs and their pressure was relentless. It was a slow start as the girls worked out how to deal with the increased intensity, but they came together as a team and another second-half surge closed the gap to a 15-8 loss. It was a challenging game and we finished with just 4 players on court – Holly took a nasty fall mid-way through the second half and we lost Millie and Elise to fouls in the last few minutes.
The good news was that we’d made it to the semi-finals, and the better news was that we were playing Broadmeadows 12.3 again! The girls had learnt from the previous game and were ready to take them on. Holly’s fall was worse than we’d hoped, and she arrived at the game with her leg fully strapped up so they agreed on a new offensive play called “Holly” in honour of their team mate that they’d use to move the ball quickly and increase scoring opportunities. It was the strongest game of the tournament, but sadly we still fell short and missed out on a Grand Final berth.
To celebrate the achievements of the weekend we all headed off to the Pancake Parlour for a well-deserved sugar rush! The excitement of a rewarding weekend continued with kids and parents alike enjoying a recap of the highlights and challenges of the tournament whilst enjoying some pancakes coffee.
I’m sure when we look back on the tournament later in the year we’ll recall it as the time where the girls “clicked” and set themselves up for a great season together. A big thanks to all the Mums and Dads who gave their time on the weekend to support the girls and make it a tournament to remember! (Jason Godfrey – Tournament Coach)
What started out with forgetting the basics and missing plenty of shots on Friday night ended with lots of improvement!! Saturday morning started out very slowly but the girls got to work and ended up getting a draw. Saturday night was the best game for the girls, got a win against a tall Ringwood 2. The offensive transition was excellent. Sunday was a tough day playing some very good competition, but the girls fought hard and showed significant improvement from the first game. Both Emily and I are looking forward to the season ahead. (Sarah and Emily Bacon – Coaches)
Overall it was a pretty inconsistent weekend for the 14/1s.
After taking a while to dust off the cobwebs Friday night, the performances were up and down over the weekend but missing out on finals was disappointing.
Across our 6 games we had several outstanding individual performances but could never quite manage to get the whole team clicking together consistently despite the girls best efforts.
Hopefully we keep bringing the right attitude and put together some solid games coming up. (Glenn Siegle – Coach)
The 14-2 girls were drawn in a pool with every team bar one at least one pool above, and a couple 2-3 above so it was always looking like a tough draw.
The girls were finding their feet in the first game after the holidays and went down to Eltham 4. We probably didn’t put enough pressure on the opposition or move the ball as well as we liked. After a good night’s sleep they came out fighting, applied heaps of defensive pressure and after being one point down at half time couldn’t quite get over the line against Keilor 3. Their next game was plagued by poor shooting against a tall Sandringham 2 and once again they lost. Their last game on Saturday they came up against Eltham 3, a team we had lost to by about 25 point in grading. At half time we were down 3-9 but with some strong defence and more accurate shooting were able to claw it back and win 14-12. This was a fantastic reward for persistence and strong defensive efforts.
Sunday morning saw us back on the court facing Diamond Valley 2, when the girls switched on in defence they were able to hold them but loss of focus saw them get a few quick goals and we were playing catch up from then on. Regardless we outscored them in the second half and despite the loss looked every bit as good as a team who will be playing our ones in grading
After a long gap we came back to face our final opposition Keilor 2. The girls were strong in defence but missed shots and lapses in concentration once again let them get away from us. To put it in perspective though Keilor 2 were undefeated, and thumped teams we had only just lost to so the improvements were again evident
Despite the 5 losses and 1 win the girls stayed positive, fought hard for the ball and did their parents and coaches proud.
Now the challenge is to take our learnings into grading. (Kate Wansbrough – TM)
The Girls 14.3 team had a great tournament with some well matched competition. The team was leading in their first game and lost by only 3 points in the final minutes of the game. This made the girls learn they can’t rest on their laurels so they kept up the pressure in their second match against Keilor and kept up strong defence to win the game by 3 points! The next game was also close with a another 3 point loss! After 3 games the girls were getting tired and the Nunawading stadium was super hot with no air flow, Nunawading was strong team and had a very comfortable win. On our final tournament day, the team played Blackburn and were neck and neck most of the way however the game got away from them in the second half. The team put in a gutsy effort for their final game however once again we lost once by 3 points. (Yes 4 games with 3 point margins for 14.3 team!) The team and parents really enjoyed the tournament, there were a lot of close games and each game was very competitive. BIG thank you to our coach Bianca who encouraged and instructed the girls to play their best. (Connie Gerdsen – TM)
The girls started off a bit shaky on Friday night going down by 2 points to a tough Werribee team. From there the girls looked like a completely different team ending the tournament winning 4 games by 20+ points and narrowly losing by a goal in the other two games.
The girls worked hard to get the win over Craigieburn in the semi winning 21-15 despite beating them the day before by 21 points. The girls came into the grand final against Whittlesea very nervous knowing that it was going to be a tough game because Whittlesea had beaten us the night before. The girls played the best they had all tournament coming together and using the last bit of energy they had to take out the grand final by 9 points.
The tournament was a great opportunity for the girls to get to know one another. They came together as a team and showed great team basketball and developed their own individual game.
Huge thanks to TM Simone for organising all the girls and to the parents for scoring, driving around and supporting the girls all weekend. (Zoe Scott – Coach)
Our team commenced their tournament with 2 wins. Their first wins for the season to date having progressed through a tough grading phase prior to Christmas.
Excellent defensive structures enabled them to press hard against the opposition creating many turnover chances resulting in a 27 to 3 win against an under aged Eltham 12.12’s.
Carrying on this form into our first Saturday game the girls continued to maintain their form with a comfortable 23 to 8 win against another Eltham team (U14.PL). All girls continued to contribute with excellent team work ensuring a winning result.
The 2 remaining Saturday games set us against 2 undefeated teams. The first of these was Kilsyth G14.5 at Kilsyth. This game was played at a far higher intensity and despite a slow start allowing Kilsyth to take a large lead into the first half, we were able to adapt and improve our ball pressure to ensure a far more even contest for the second half. The resulting loss of 24 to 10 showed the girls the intensity we need to bring to each game.
Our Saturday night game against Tuggeranong G14.1’s was one of our best. Despite going down 31 to 10, the girls really took it up to the visiting Canberrian’s. Better shot selection and ball pressure kept us in the games, until the opposition moved clear late in the game to ultimately win comfortably.
Sunday’s games presented challenges against similarly ranked teams. First off Waverley (G14.5) saw a slow start that presented easy baskets to the opposition. Once we took better care and control of the ball we became threatening. The final score of 21 to 7 could have been far closer had we maximised our rebounding advantage early.
Our final game against Werribee G14.5 presented the last chance for the girls to execute their plays and improve their decision making. Whilst going down, the girls worked hard to ensure a strong contest.
Overall, the girls competed hard, each gave their all and have set themselves up well for the next phase of grading.
Well done girls (& thanks to the parents for ensuring the girls made it to all games on time & were ready to play) (Stuart Colquhoun – coach)
The 16/1 girls had a successful Eltham Dandenong tournament. They learnt to play together as a team again, started to hit their shots and played some great team defense.
They had two great wins for the weekend. One against Blackburn 1, where we went on a 15 to 2 run with about 5 minutes to go to win the game.
Our other win for the weekend was also a come from behind fight back.
We went on a 14 to 2 run with about 7 minutes to go to snatch another victory against South Adelaide.
Thanks to all the parents for their wonderful support. The highlight of the weekend apart from the wins, would have to have been the girls getting a selfie with Hamish Blake at the Pancake Parlour! (Danni Fidge – Coach)
The tournament was a great way for the girls to get together after our Christmas break. We welcomed back two of our players from long term injuries.
We had a full list of players and the girls played great defence and great teamwork.
We finished 4th after the round robin section. The girls put in a great effort beating or improving our results against teams we had played previously. As mentioned we played great defence but at times we didn’t score as much as we should have. This will give us something to work on for phase 2 of grading.
We played in a semifinal on Monday and lost to the eventual winner.
This was a great weekend for the team and their families. The girls played well as a team and set a good base to move forward to the upcoming season.
A big thank you to everyone involved with the team, parents, team manager and assistant coach. (Michael Fowler – Coach)
Well at the end of the last game, our semi against Collingwood 2, I was overcome with emotion and brought to tears for what this group of girls had achieved and shown me what could be possible given their size. This was a first for me.
All the teams in this pool had at least 5 or more players a head above our girls. Our game against Werribee 3 on Sunday evening made me see that here we looked like U12s playing U16s. I am not joking! The girls went on to beat Werribee 3 by 10 pts.
The reason for their outstanding efforts this weekend came down to sheer courage, executing to the best of their ability their coaches instructions and every single player for most of every minute on the court playing together as a team. I don’t know how many times I yelled “don’t give them an inch”, and they didn’t. Their guard work was outstanding!
The psychological effort they exerted on their opponents under the ring defensively and offensively, boxing out and jumping for the ball really rattled many of the teams they faced. The smaller players worked their guts out for every ball coming down the court.
What we weren’t able to capitalize on when it came down to the wire, were our shots. There was enormous effort made and many good risks taken but our fouling shooting, set shots and those easy lay ups didn’t find the consistency needed to make a win.
But really I believe the girls won more than games this weekend. They won the admiration of their parents, their coach, and the other players and coaches too. What they gained this weekend will give them an enormous advantage for the coming season. Girls you make me want to be a better coach for all your efforts this weekend.
What a great tournament girls and a great start to the year. A big thank you to our amazing TM, Maya, and all the parents for your support and encouragement. (Dana BP – coach)
There wasn’t a match across any of the seven matches played this weekend that the 16/3 girls didn’t give their absolute best. Although the girls don’t have the fiercest of looks physically, the girls exude nothing but ferocity during their matches.
The girls needed to win their final match against Werribee to qualify for the semi-finals. They won the match relatively comfortably with their classic strong team work and determination. The semi-final against Collingwood was a tough contest as out girls simply lacked the size to be a real chance.
There is no doubt that the girls are carrying a few sore muscles and many bruises, but all of us who followed the team around this weekend can have nothing but admiration for their efforts.
Thank you the wonderful parents of the u16/3 girls. You all certainly make spending a very long weekend at the basketball and lovely weekend.
The biggest thank you goes to Dana our awesome coach. Dana’s ability to engage with and get the best out of all our girls is a demonstration of sheer coaching mastery.
Well done to everyone in the u16/3 girls. (Maya Rivis – TM)
The 18/2G started slowly as expected after the long break, thankfully we were still able to get some W’s despite our lack of defense. Early in the tournament the expectation was just to get some touch and hope our form before Christmas returned the more we played together.
We went 2-1 on Friday and Saturday and by Sunday the expectations were much higher. To the girls credit we managed to find our form and return to where we were before Christmas and executed the things we knew we normally do well and reaped the rewards by getting some good wins.
We went back to solely focusing on defence and the offense will come from that hard work. Overall the team did a sensational job and were successful in beating Ringwood 2 in the GF, it was close until half time and then we managed to get the W by 12.
This group is a fantastic team, really playing for each other and are a group wanting to learn and play their best. Thanks to all the parents and Katrina for organizing the team. (Cara Jeffers – Coach)
The U18.3 girls started the tournament off strong with a 31 point win over Bulleen on Friday night. The girls did very well to adjust to the play and have a very convincing team game after the long holiday break.
On the Saturday the girls continued on a high winning all three games throughout the day.
First game against Craigieburn which they fought it out in a much more level playing field and came out on top with a 7 point win.
The girls breezed through their second game with a massive 36 point win over Port Phillip due to an awesome full court press.
For the last game of the day the girls pushed through their sore legs to play a great defensive game against Keilor, winning by a convincing 13 points.
Going into Sunday undefeated, the girls found themselves up against some tough competition in the Flames. Our girls had a pretty slow game, whilst the Flames were hitting all their shots. Unfortunately the girls lost by 5.
Keeping their heads up from a disappointing loss to the Flames the girls came back with a positive attitude to their second game of the day against Ringwood. Playing a solid team game, the girls worked hard to stay on top of Ringwood for the whole game, winning 39-25.
Finishing up on the top of the ladder, the girls were through to the semi final on Monday against the Ivanhoe knights.
Unfortunately, the girls lost the semi final to Ivanhoe, but they didn’t go down without a fight! The girls only got their head into the game at half time and started clawing back in the game, but just didn’t have enough time. They played really well against a tough U/21 side, there height and bodies just got the better of us in the end.
Overall, it was a very successful weekend for the girls and a great learning curve for the upcoming season, with plenty of things to work on and excel on. (Maegan McMahon – Coach)
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