The Under 14-2 Boys had a great time at the Easter tournament. We started the tournament with a birthday celebration for Sid Gangodagama at the Beach House with 100 minutes of team bonding and water sliding. We were a little bit rusty in our first two games, where we beat McKinnon 3 by 3 points on the Friday night, but were not so lucky in the second game where we lost 40-41 to Norwood 4.

In those games Sid played brilliantly – his driving to the basket was a feature of the tournament for us and his extra energy could be put down to the fact that he was the only player that didn’t make it to his birthday celebration! The McKinnon team and supporters were getting a little excited towards the end of their game as they were up by about 8 points in the last few minutes but they were ultimately silenced with some clutch foul shooting and strong rebounding by Charlie Quartel in the last few minutes of the game. Alex Noblet also had a strong scoring game first up.

We were behind late in both of those games and the loss to Norwood would prove to be costly come finals calculations.

Our third game saw us up against Sandringham 2 who play a grade above us on Friday nights. We set ourselves to play with real intensity and effort and the boys were challenged to show what they can do against a higher ranked team. They played a fantastic game and were slightly ahead late in the first half, but in the end we lost 25-34. All 9 boys worked really hard and our defence was good, but we didn’t score enough points to get over the line. We left that game thinking that we could probably beat them if we had another chance to play them.

On the Sunday the challenge was to keep the intensity that we displayed against Sandringham as we were playing a couple of teams that hadn’t been doing too well. We were able to do it, and we played great team basketball to have a 54-17 win over Collingwood 3, and we followed that up with a comprehensive 71-4 win over Alice Springs. Tom Hurt cut loose against Collingwood 3 getting on the end of some nice passing to score 22 points, while Fraser Truscott nailed 10 of his own. All the players scored against Alice Springs, with Sid, Charlie and Liam Visser scoring over 10 points each, but more pleasing was the way our boys carried themselves on the court when they were winning by so much. They displayed great sportsmanship through the whole game.

Unfortunately, we missed the finals, but we had a great time at the tournament. Special thanks goes to our fantastic Team Manager, Alison Visser, for keeping us organised and also sorting out a few team dinners and lunches over the weekend as well.


Although the U16-1 Boys finished with a 2 wins and 3 losses record, in our eyes the tournament was a huge success. During the tournament we played against three higher ranked Victorian sides and were competitive against every one of them despite not playing our best basketball. It was against the South Australian teams, Norwood and Woodville, where we were able to get our success on the scoreboard.

We are still learning to play a more aggressive style of basketball at both ends of the floor and we proved over the weekend that when we did this, we could be a really successful unit.

Some highlights from the weekend:

  • Matt Power patrolling the paint and both ends and staying positive.
  • Rye Spark‘s last quarter against Bulleen was one of the better individual performances I’ve seen from this group.
  • Will Day‘s tenacity on defence
  • Gaindu‘s much improved composure as the tournament went on.
  • Quinn Feikema starting to play a more physical style of game and looking to score more often.
  • Hugo Burgamin significantly improving his onball defence.
  • Jack Noisette attacking the basket aggressively.
  • Richard Wang improving his transition defence
  • John Kontekkakis using his athleticism on both ends of the floor and being more aggressive.

Thanks to all the parents for making the tournament so enjoyable. It is a big commitment to go interstate for a tournament but it is certainly worthwhile when you travel with such a great bunch of people. Thanks in particular to Michelle and Andrew Noisette for being so well organised as well. Now to carry this new found aggression into the rest of the season.


Our team of 8 included two ring-ins – thanks to Elton and Tyson – so we needed a crash course on our team offense/defense. Then straight into the games. A very solid win against a McKinnon team from our own pool in the VJBL perhaps made us overconfident as we went down that evening to a lesser ranked Pakenham team. We bounced back with good wins against two Adelaide teams the next day, which got us into the semi-final, but we had lost Jack to injury along the way bringing us down to seven players.

The semi-final game was the highlight (and lowlight) game of the tournament. We played a Broadmeadows1 team with several massive players, a lot of speed and a full squad of ten players.

We fell behind by 9 by the middle of the 2nd quarter. However, our persistent team defense and our attacking of their tall timber fearlessly at any opportunity helped us slowly claw back into the game. Little Lachie and Elton came off second best from some big clashes. Nevertheless, we were able to hit the front midway through the last quarter. Little Lachie fouled out with 3 minutes to go so young Tyson bravely stepped in. With 30 seconds to go Broady scored to tie, and the game went to overtime.

We got ahead by 3 early in overtime with superb rebounding from Big Lachie, scoring from Jay and a great post move from Aryan. Sam was reliable under extreme pressure as usual, but unfortunately fouled out with 1 minute to go, forcing Elton back on still recovering from his hit to the jaw. Scores were level with 30 seconds to play but alas, with Jay fouling out we were now down to four players, and the game slipped away. I could not have asked for any more from the boys – they were awesome!

Other highlights included a team afternoon at the Water Park, and the Adelaide-based Wong cheer squad and their constant support. A fantastic experience for all the players – thanks to David and all the parents, friends and relatives.


18-1 boys went 1-4 in Championship Division. Started off strong with a win but then struggled to play our best basketball the rest of the weekend. A thoroughly enjoyable weekend off the court though – lots of fun had by all. Thanks to all the parents for their support and a huge thanks to Steve for organizing the whole weekend and driving the boys around in the team bus.


We kicked off the tournament Friday night against one of the hosts East Adelaide, the boys started off in fine form shaking off the holiday rust, putting on a show for the locals, we showed a great display of team offence and tough fought defence to lead us to our first victory. The boys carried that fine form through out the rest of the tournament, sealing another win which had us at a 2-0 record, meeting Waverly Saturday night we knew we were in for a tough game. The boys played second to none and never gave up taking it down to the wire to where we unfortunately lost to a heartbreaking game winning buzzer beater.

Finishing third we meet Waverly again in the qualifying finals, this time prepared to make up for our last meeting, the boys played with a lot of heart, the team work, encouragement and energy was contagious and we couldn’t be stopped as we took control and didn’t look back, ending in a ten point victory placing us in the grand final.

Facing Pakenham the boys gave everything they had in them and fought hard till the end, never giving up and taking the game down to the wire but unfortunately we feel short in the end. The effort and determination from the boys was terrific throughout the tournament and even though we fell short in the end, we came home as winners.



The 14-1s girls travelled to Adelaide knowing it was going to be a challenging weekend competing in Championship. The girls kept their heads all weekend, stuck together and never stopped trying which was great to see. The last two games of the weekend we managed to win and showed really positive signs both offensively and defensively. Overall the weekend was a great learning experience for the team and it will help us in the long run to compete harder on Fridays. Thanks to all the parents for giving up their Easter and making the weekend a successful one.


The action was fierce on and off the court this Easter, players and parents alike. As per ritual, the Dragons made the trek to Glenelg for the Easter Classic.

I had the pleasure of coaching the lively U16-1 girls team who finished up on Easter Monday with a trophy to show for their efforts – Runners Up in A Grade.

The girls reeled off a 4 game winning streak on Sat/Sun to come steaming into the Grand Final full of confidence. Unfortunately, they met their now rivals, Blackburn 1, who to date, have had our number. The girls fought hard but Blackburn took the spoils. The good news is that we get another crack on Friday in our normal Met3 comp – the fifth meeting this season.

The abovementioned win streak included beating two higher ranked teams (in VJBL) and arguably our best game of the season versus Collingwood – Teagan Crossica playing out of her mind in that meeting. As per the theme of this team when we have success, it was a contributions of all players and their intensity and effort, particularly on defense, that shone through.

Thanks to the girls for giving up their time, Nicole Crossisca our fantastic TM and all the parents. It was a thoroughly enjoyable long weekend and look forward to 2018 again, maybe also with a coaches team (!?)



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