Shepparton Junior Gators under-18 side have ended the representative season on a high with a win in division two at the Benalla Junior Tournament last weekend.By Damen Francis
Shepparton Junior Gators’ under-18 division two team brought its representative basketball season to a close with a win at the Benalla Junior Tournament last weekend.
Given it followed last month’s state championships, the division two tournament was not part of the regular season and was seen as one last hurrah for a team that featured several top age players.
A grand final appearance at the Echuca Junior Tournament in October last year was as good as it got prior to Sunday’s B-grade triumph.
Junior Gators coach Leanne Collins said it was a special win for everyone involved.
‘‘This group in particular deserved it, because they chose to come to this tournament on their own,’’ Collins said.
‘‘They had to pay their own way, but they just love playing basketball together.’’
Luke Bradovic, Nick Francis and Zac Tong worked hard inside and under the basket, Shamus Searle and Brodie Wagstaff ran the floor superbly and Ash Thompson and Jacob Parker shot the ball well, while Tristan Fitzsimmons took four charges in an outstanding defensive performance in the final.
Trailing by 10 points midway through the first half, a well-executed full-court press turned the decider back in the Junior Gators’ favour and led to a 37-21 win against Mansfield.
Shepparton defeated Euroa, Myrtleford and Castlemaine on its way to the final.
In just its second tournament for the season, Tatura’s under-18 team reached the A-grade grand final, where it went down to a Wangaratta side ranked ninth in country Victoria, 53-33.
It was the only team to best coach Maddi Rijs’ side for the weekend, having also won the group stage match between the two, 50-34.
Earlier in the tournament, Tatura had stunned Wodonga 45-32, and defeated Echuca 36-25 and Benalla 37-25 in a tremendous weekend of basketball for the association.
Five other Junior Gators’ sides contested the tournament, with the under-14 boys reaching the quarter-final in B-grade and the under-16 boys picked up one win and a draw in A-grade.
The under-12 girls missed out on a win in B-grade, the under-14 girls picked up one win in B-grade and the under-16 girls grabbed two wins from four games in B-grade.
Meanwhile in Colac, the Junior Gators finished runners-up in the under-12 boys division one competition, losing the grand final to Ballarat 43-31, and beat Hamilton in a playoff final in the under-12 girls division one competition.
Shepparton Junior Gators’ under-18 boys division two team, Leanne Collins (coach), Luke Bradaric, Nick Francis, Shamus Searle, Zac Tong, Brodie Wagstaff, Tristan Fitzsimmons, Ashley Thompson, Jacob Parker and Trish Francis (team manager).
Tatura’s under-18 boys team, (back) Maddi Rijs (coach), Sean Betts, Brendan Blythe, Ryan Evans, Nicolas Dodd, (front) Gabe Evans, Dale Sarkady, Albert Delos Santos, absent James Rutherford.
A Tamleugh North farmer has described the theft of four sheep fences from his tornado-damaged property ''a low act''.
Most people at the J C Lowe Oval left on Saturday evening talking about the game but not the result. Pigeon Coach Chris Kennedy summed up the feeling adequately when he said after the game; “it was a frustrating game, but my players weren’t responsible for the frustration.”
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 Kyabram man who struck a cyclist on Echuca-Moama bridge with a beer can thrown from the vehicle he was in was convicted and fined $400 in Moama Local Court on Wednesday.
A Rochester mother told a health forum about the devastating effect drugs have had on her family.
Over six hours of junior football is scheduled for Kyabram Recreation Reserve this Sunday.
Ten people were injured after Two Australian Light Armoured Vehicles (ASLAV) collided during a training course at the Puckapunyal Military Training Range in on Wednesday, May 22.
The Finley Apex Sports and Community Centre has secured a $500,000 grant from Regional Development Australia.
A purpose-built bike, equipped with amateur radio, will be on the O'Keefe Rail Trail tomorrow.
Cobram residents John Anderson and Ian Cobb will race down memory lane this weekend when they compete in the annual Historic Winton.
Deniliquin Fire and Rescue's open day has been hailed a success by captain Bill Muirhead.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) is investigating incidents of abortion or still-births under the Lamb and Kid Mortality Surveillance Project.(LKSMP).
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