Enemies one day, teammates the next. So it was for Shepparton Lady Gators Shelby Britten and Rhianna Barton, who went head-to-head in the under-18 girls’ final of the Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup in Albury on Saturday.By Damen Francis
Enemies one day, teammates the next. So it was for Shepparton Lady Gators Shelby Britten and Rhianna Barton, who went head-to-head in the under-18 girls’ final of the Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup in Albury on Saturday.
The pair of promising 16-year-old prospects were chosen to represent Victoria Country, but with three teams making the trip, they found themselves lining up on opposite sides of the court.
Both teams were undefeated going into the final, but there could only be one winner and Britten’s Bushrangers came out on top of Barton’s Goldminers 67-46.
Given Britten plays as a point guard and Barton a power forward or centre, the two players did not often cross paths on the court, but they were wary of each other’s strengths.
‘‘It wasn’t really that different because we weren’t really playing directly against each other,’’ Britten said.
‘‘It was good because I knew how she played and she knew how I played, so we would give tips to our players.’’
Britten was a driving force for the Bushrangers, both as a distributor and an outside shooter, while Barton dominated the rebounds and steals categories for the Goldminers.
The week-long tournament features teams from regional NSW, Tasmania, Western Australia, South Australia as well as New Zealand and Oceania.
It was also part of Victoria Country’s state selection process for the Australian Under-18 Championships.
‘‘(The final) was a tough game, we knew we had competition, especially because we knew that was the game we had to show ourselves for state selection,’’ Barton said.
The day after the final, the pair played a key role in Shepparton Lady Gators’ Country Basketball League win against Echuca Lady Pirates.
Meanwhile, Michael Reidy and Bellamey Sims were part of the Victoria Country Settlers team that won four of eight games in the under-18 boys’ competition.
Will Brodie and Harry Boyd were on opposing teams in the under-16 boys’ draw, with Boyd’s Bushrangers finishing runner-up to NSW Kookaburras.
In the semi-final, the Bushrangers handed Brodie’s Goldminers their only loss of the tournament, winning 69-54.
At the Southern Cross Basketball Challenge in Ballarat, Ellie Dowling, Ryan Sarkady and Christie Down won one game each as part of the under-14 girls’ Goldminers, under-14 boys’ Bushrangers and under-15 girls’ Bushrangers teams respectively.
The tournament pitted Victoria Country teams against each other and their Victoria Metro counterparts.
The representative basketball season hits top gear this weekend, with Shepparton Junior Gators sending 14 teams to the Bendigo Tournament.
The under-18 girls will head to Eltham for a tournament.
It will be the first hit-out since the Christmas break, as teams prepare for Junior Country Championships in the coming months.
A 32-year-old Shepparton man is missing. The man did not return from a fishing trip at Lake Eildon, Bonnie Doon yesterday.
May 2013 will be forever remembered as the month soccer truly become an integral part of the junior sporting culture in Yarrawonga.
The move to extend the Tatura War Memorial area and honour Victoria Cross hero Robert Mactier with the erection of a statue in the Hogan St gardens named in his honour, continues.
A home in Moama was damaged when fire broke out about 6pm on Sunday.
A Shepparton firm has been awarded part of the $2.2 million Rochester Reserve project contract.
Campaspe Shire Council's draft budget released today is pitched on delivering three key focus areas - people, place and prosperity.
Seymour were beaten by 45 points in the grand final replay against Tatura at Kings Park on Saturday.
Graham Gene Potter, 55, has been on the run since 2010 and police believe he could be in the Riverina area.
A pair of Costerfield farmers remain concerned about the quality of their water supply should a mine build its proposed evaporation ponds nearby.
Cobram fruit growers sacked by SPC Ardmona remain in limbo as they wait for confirmation on assistance packages they hope will help relieve the pressure of lost business.
Organisers of the 15th Deniliquin Ute Muster has confirmed International country music superstar Alan Jackson is this year's headline act.
About 1000 SPC Ardmona workers, orchardists, politicians and community members rallied at Shepparton Showgrounds last Thursday to support local fruit growers and processors.
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