After a great season with Bendigo Lady Braves, Shepparton's Maddie Garrick is preparing to make an impact with Women's National Basketball League team Bendigo Spirit.By Damen Francis
Shepparton-raised basketball sensation Maddie Garrick is hoping to use her breakout SEABL season as a springboard into the upcoming Women’s National Basketball League campaign.
While her Bendigo Lady Braves fell short in last week’s championship final, Garrick, 21, emerged as one of the stars of the competition.
Led by former Lady Braves Kelly Wilson and Gabe Richards, Knox Raiders proved too strong in the championship decider, winning 82-61.
Garrick was recognised for her consistency with the women’s SEABL Australian Youth Player of the Year Award and finished equal 10th in the league MVP award.
Despite being part of Bendigo Spirit’s history-making WNBL premiership team last season, Garrick was only a bit-part player, and was hoping to show she was ready for more court time this time around.
‘‘We had exit meetings last year and (the Spirit coaches) told me they were looking for me to expand on my role last season, so that’s what I’m aiming to do,’’ Garrick said.
‘‘I was actually really happy with my (SEABL) season. I went in with the mindset to make the most of it, because girls my age don’t usually get a good run in WNBL.
‘‘Through my younger years I was good at attacking the basket, but that was before I went defensive with my game, so I tried to work on my offence again.
‘‘But you can’t have a break-out season without the support of your coach and team behind you and our bench was pretty deep.’’
Despite the depth, Garrick felt where the team came up short was a lack of height, due largely to gun recruit Elyse Penaluna’s long-term knee injury.
The Australian Opals centre played just one game and the frequently shuffled line-up meant Garrick played anywhere from point guard to power forward, but it was an experience she enjoyed.
Her increase in time at the one position meant she also had the opportunity to take fellow Shepparton product Shelby Britten under her wing.
Britten, 16, made three appearances, including the championship game, where she played 52 seconds off the bench.
‘‘I knew about Shelby, but I had never played with her before,’’ Garrick said.
‘‘She did really well, she came in as a point guard and took on that role and playing SEABL would have really helped her with her game.’’
With the SEABL season now finished, Garrick will return her attention to her WNBL commitments with Bendigo Spirit.
The Spirit begins its title defence with a grand-final replay against Townsville Fire Friday week.
A council-organised musical performance in the Maude St Mall has led to complaints from business owners.
It’s been a long journey for Tim Roadley but his dream of creating a multi-sport endurance event on the Murray River is now going to be a reality.
It was a big day for Jye McNeil on Sunday, not only celebrating his 19th birthday, but riding a double at the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club’s meeting, including the big one, the Vraca and Varapodio Italian Plate (1600 m), on the Gerald Egan-trained Jetconi.
Drivers crossing the Echuca-Moama bridge faced delays this morning at 11.30am when a tractor lost its wheel.
Rochester’s old Courthouse is undergoing a facelift thanks to a restoration grant.
Waste collection in Campaspe Shire will change for two weeks during the festive season.
Valley Park Farms' egg production facility is expected to increase production and staff after a $100 000 Victorian Government grant.
Murchison’s Jane Spencer’s first exhibition It Just Dawned On Me will be on show in Shepparton in the first half of next year.
Australian sporting legends are at Heathcote Golf Club this morning for the MS Ashes Trek golf day to raise awareness about multiple sclerosis.
Former Moira Shire pound dog Lazlo was rehomed in Bendigo after being arrested by Victorian Dog Rescue.
Deniliquin RSL Club's A grade bowling championships came to a head on Sunday, with preliminary matches in B and C grade also taking place.
New Transport Accident Commission research has revealed why some young country drivers habitually take risks on regional roads.
State Member for Benalla Bill Sykes has thrown his support behind the government’s proposed new domestic animal ownership laws.
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