Juniors find baskets

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RUN: Connor Byrne.
Nanjing Night Net

WARRNAMBOOL’S largest evertroop of representative basketballers are set to drive the game into new heights of success in the south-west.

Of the 97 teams that converged on the city’s home of basketball over the course of the weekend, 19 sides packed with future Seahawks and Mermaids took on representative outfits from Terang, Portland, Millicent, Mount Gambier, Stawell and Maryborough in the Junior Seaside Basketball Classic.

Warrnambool fielded 17 juniorteams at the event last year – two less than this year.

Organiser Jenna Osborne said the competition was a massive success.

“It all went very smoothly, there were a couple of very long days but it did go according to plan,” she said.

“We had teams come from everywhere –and there were of course representatives from the south-west like Koroit, Port Fairy and Colac. We had a really strong representation from Hamilton and Ararat as well.”

Osborne said the competition was the perfect curtain-raiser for squad basketball in the region.

“I suppose with the squad season starting in October and going through until March or April, this is one of the first for the season,” she said.

“It’s a good hit-out for all teams to be able to see where they’re at. The main aim then is to play country championships in March and April.

“They can gauge how they’re going as teams and players and it sets them up for the rest of the competitive season.”

Warrnambool’s first success came in the under 12 division one grand final, with Finn O’Sullivan leading his side to victory with a match-winning MVP performance. The Seahawks ran out 13-point winners. The under 12 division one Mermaids, however, were unable to get the job done,falling to Hamilton.

Warrnambool against tasted success in the boys under 14 division one, defeating Mount Gambier by eight points.

The Seahawks and Mermaids were again dominate in the under 15 and 16 division one categories, taking out both grand finals.

A Jay Rantall-inspired performance secured Warrnambool its final grand final win in the under 18 boys division one, with the Seahawks downing Portland by 13 points to take the crown.

KEEP UP: Warrnambool’s Shelby O’Sullivan drives with the ball, while Anna Dickson tries to stay ahead. Picture: Vicky Hughson

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