Benalla under-14 girls were premiers at the Wodonga Junior Basketball Tournament on Sunday.February 12, 2014 4:17am
It was a successful Wodonga Junior Basketball Tournament for Benalla Breakers squad members over the weekend with the division two under-14 girls premiers and division two under-16 boys runners-up in the competition.
The under-14 girls defeated Swan Hill 17-33, while the under-16 boys lost to Bendigo Braves 13-31.
It was third time lucky for the under-14 girls as they were recently defeated and runners-up to Swan Hill by nine points at a tournament in Shepparton, and by one point to Castlemaine at Wangaratta.
Brooke Mullins played an outstanding game in defence, managing to pick up loose balls and steals and creating plays that resulted in numbers on the scoreboard.
Ellie Cullhane and Chelsea Gilchrist were strong on the boards and had good back-up from teammates Shae Skelton, Macey Matthews, Georgie Uebergang and Tayla Grubissa in their team’s fight for victory.
The under-16 boys played great games against Kyneton, Mansfield, Mildura and Wagga Wagga, claiming a grand final berth by percentage points before finally succumbing to the Bendigo Braves.
Under-12 girls made an impressive squad debut and made it to the semi-finals against Mildura with convincing wins against Deniliquin and Wagga Wagga.
Key players Isabella Riley and Jozanna Salan were unfortunately fouled off early in the match, forcing less experienced players to step-up and take control of the game.
Coaches Evelyn Cogger and David Stolz were extremely happy with their young charges’ efforts and said the players’ skills at getting themselves out of full court presses combined with some great passes saw them only narrowly defeated by their more experienced counterparts.
Fast breaks from Gertie McCallum, good rebounding from Imogen Dack McNamara, and great shots from Mia Begley, Bridie Horsburgh and Ainslee Gilchrist also contributed to the team’s strong performance.
A play-off against a strong Wangaratta side saw the girls defeated in the semi-final, 21-7, finishing their tournament.
The under-12 boys had tough matches against experienced junior sides Wangaratta, Mansfield and Wodonga but were happy to finally finish their first tournament experience with a win against Mildura Heat, 25-13.
Benalla will host its own tournament on the weekend of February 22 and 23, with nine representative teams across all age groups competing and more than 60 teams travelling from across the state.
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