Maddie Garrick has rarely been more proud of her regional Victorian heritage.By Damen Francis
Maddie Garrick has rarely been more proud of her regional Victorian heritage.
The Shepparton-raised basketballer was part of Bendigo Spirit’s momentous Women’s National Basketball League grand final win on Sunday — the first in the club’s history.
The Spirit defeated Townsville Fire 71-57 in front of a sell-out crowd at Bendigo Stadium and Garrick said it was unlike anything she had ever experienced on a basketball court.
‘‘To see all the support that got behind a regional team, in Bendigo and people outside Bendigo still in regional cities and country towns, was fantastic,’’ Garrick said.
‘‘Just having the whole stadium packed out was amazing, the atmosphere was crazy and you could feel it as soon as you walked in.’’
Garrick, 20, played three-and-a-half minutes off the bench, registering three rebounds.
‘‘I didn’t score, but I got a shot up and I got some good rebounds and just even getting a run to be a part of it was fantastic,’’ she said.
‘‘WNBL is the biggest level for women’s basketball in Australia and just to be in a team and be able to get some game time is great.’’
Seymour’s Gabrielle Richards finished with 20 points and eight rebounds, to be one of the most effective players on the court.
Garrick was on the bench when celebrations kicked in during the last quarter.
The Spirit had led from the early stages and while the Fire cut the margin to one in the third term, the home side pushed away again and with four minutes to go in the final term, Garrick and her teammates on the sidelines knew the title was theirs.
For Garrick, the victory was a season in the making.
‘‘We couldn’t have had a better group of girls on or off the court and that’s what made it so special and that’s why we won, because we just all jelled together,’’ she said.
Garrick shared the moment with family and friends that had converged on Bendigo from across Victoria to show their support.
However, celebrations will be short lived, with Garrick due to meet up with her Bendigo Lady Braves teammates for the start of the South East Australian Basketball League, which starts on Friday night.
Mooroopna family flees house fire.
The winning form continued for the Mulwala seniors against Deniliquin at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
The Tatura Hospital and Parkvilla Aged Care Facility, part of Goulburn Valley Health, held its annual June Hospital Collection and Open Day on Sunday with a small crowd in attendance.
Murray and Campaspe shire have decided to withdraw membership from Committee for Echuca-Moama.
Rochester Motorsport Complex will host the third round of the Golden Power Series karting championships on the weekend.
Kyabram’s first tourism booklet is to be launched in late September.
Seymour College P-4 students delight in their new surroundings.
Berrigan and Jerilderie Shires will be in separate state electorates if boundary redistributions announced on Monday come in to effect.
Heathcote Health is finalising its service plan.
Barooga Sports Club chief executive officer Greg Ryan recently celebrated 30 years of service surrounded by friends, family and past and present staff.
Former AFL player Heath Black sent an inspiring message to Deniliquin youths last week.
Goulburn Valley fruit growers may face a battle against pests and diseases this season as growers hit by SPC Ardmona’s fruit cutbacks abandon their orchards or can’t find money to properly maintain them.
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