Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Going for gold at Australian championships

The practice is done and now it's game on for Shepparton's Shelby Britten, Genna Ogier and Michael Reidy when they hit the court at the Under-18 Australian Junior Basketball Championships.

DAMEN FRANCIS April 10, 2014 3:10am

Shelby Britten, Genna Ogier hit the court today for the opening day of the Under-18 Australian Junior Basketball Championships.

After months of practice, Shelby Britten and Genna Ogier are ready to hit the ground running, when the Under-18 Australian Junior Basketball Championships start in Canberra today.

The Shepparton pair is part of the Victoria Country girls’ team that is out to go one better on last year’s runner-up finish, while Michael Reidy is part of the boys’ team.

Britten said the girls were gunning for gold, on the back of training camps at Southern Peninsula, Ballarat, Seymour and Shepparton, but would do so with a new-look side to the one that settled for silver last year.

‘‘We have a small team this year, so it’s more of a running team and we’ve been doing a lot of running at training,’’ Britten said.

‘‘We just want the tournament to start.

‘‘We got close last year, but we’ll probably aim to make the top four first then reassess our goal.’’

Britten joined the Ballarat Lady Braves this season and, while she is yet to take to the court in the SEABL, she is benefiting from the experience of training at the next level.

Having made the Victoria Country team as a bottom age player, Britten is attending her third and final under-18 championships and is set to play an important, albeit slightly different, part.

‘‘I’m hoping to just kind of contribute what I have to do for the team, shooting, making sure that’s on and, being a point guard, leading the team,’’ she said.

‘‘I’m more of a two guard this year, but I do go into the point every now and then. The two and one alternate, that’s how I’ve been preparing.’’

The team’s lack of height bodes well for Ogier, who looks set to start at power forward, despite being a bottom age player.

Traditionally a small forward, Ogier said the difference between her roles at the three and four spots on the court was minimal.

‘‘I’m playing a bit more of a tall than I was last year, but I’m still playing a three as well,’’ Ogier said.

‘‘It’s not that different really, you play a little bit more inside, because there’s not many talls. One of my things is to contribute by running the floor and get transition points.’’

This year, Reidy told The News he hoped to be given the starting small forward gig, where his athleticism will be a major asset.

‘‘My role will probably be more as a defensive worker and rebounder than a scorer,’’ Reidy said.

‘‘It’s a strong team and we’re going to have a strong chance of taking it out.’’

NSW Metro, Victoria Metro and Queensland North figure as the favourites for this year’s titles.

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