Weathering storm on court

December 06, 2017

Greater Shepparton Basketall Association general manager Stacey Cole.

Things tend to run smoothly after 41 years of practice.

With only one team pulling out of the Greater Shepparton Basketball Association’s annual tournament due to severe weather warnings across the week, the rest of the weekend went without a hitch.

Association general manager Stacey Cole said she was pleased with the success of the event.

‘‘It went relatively smoothly, we were concerned on Friday with the weather, we had quite a few phone calls and emails,’’ she said.

‘‘It was more concern about travelling if it was raining a lot, but we were lucky the way things turned around and a number of teams had accommodation booked, so we felt that we needed to proceed and we were pretty lucky with the weather.’’

Record numbers took to the court with Cole thrilled with the atmosphere at Shepparton Sports Stadium during grand finals on Sunday.

With the Shepparton Gators’ junior representative teams in full flight, Cole said the highlight was the under-14 girls taking out the A-grade grand final in thrilling circumstances.

‘‘It was very exciting, all of our rep teams played quite well and a few were unlucky to miss out on grand finals,’’ she said.

The under-18 boys only won one game, but remained competitive in a tough division.

Taking a 10-point lead early against Echuca, the Gators could not be caught and claimed the match by eight points.

The under-18 girls produced a phenomenal effort and were one of the sides that could easily have featured in the decider.

But going down by two points to Wodonga meant the side was unable to progress, although the tournament showed strong signs for the team’s continued development.

The Gators thrashed Myrtleford by a whopping 24 points in the shortened round-robin games, also getting on top of Korumburra and Echuca.

The Dylan Wayman-led under-14 boys bookended the tournament in fine fashion, casting Korumburra aside with a nine-point victory in their first game.

But the side was unable to produce its best efforts against Mildura and Traralgon, before ensuring the competition ended on a high with a much-improved match against Bendigo.

Shepparton’s under-12 boys also just missed out on a finals berth, having finished third in their division.

Neville Thorn coached the side to three wins from five games as it battled against some highly rated sides.

A superb 26-10 win against Bendigo closed out the tournament, with the Gators also too strong for Mildura and Benalla.

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