Congratulations to our U14 Boys who recently returned from playing in the U14 Club National Championships. Below is an overview of their journey
Before we summarise the U14 National Club Championships I just want to reflect on how the U14 boys got there. 2023 was an up and down season and a lot of people didn’t expect them to qualify. However the boys made this their number one goal for the season and although it took an overtime win against Southern Tigers at State Champs we managed to clinch a 3rd placing in state champs which earned us a ticket to the Nationals.
In our group stage we faced some fierce competition and the boys set themselves a goal to finish in the top 12.
Game 1 was against the North West Devils who were a bit of an unknown and had a dominant big guy who was hard to stop and ended up 2nd in the tournament in scoring. The boys started slowly but regrouped in the second half to win 61-48. Game 2 was against Dandenong who were coming off a win at the Melbourne Classics in June and would eventually win the tournament final by a margin of 43 points. A fast-paced game with relentless defense by Dandenong, the boys did their best against a much better opponent. Although a tough loss 48-101, the boys came away with a positive outlook, experience and team camaraderie heading into our last group game. Game 3 was against Illawarra and a win would see us finish in the top 12 and achieve yet another one of our goals. This game was one of our best games for the season. We had some big performances from our starters and the support from the bench would help lift everyone’s spirits and we got a convincing win 65-46 against a well drilled Illawarra. A top 12 birth was a goal from the start so we felt like we had achieved something already.
Next round of games we faced some physical opponents who bolstered some dominant players. Game 4 was against Logan 49-76 and although we were in the game we struggled to stop their big man who went on to lead the whole competition in scoring. Game 5 was against Keillor 55-74 who ended up coming 3rd and who we matched up quite well with. Both games we felt were winnable, but shots didn’t drop and we found ourselves in foul trouble.
Once we were out of the 8, our next battle was with South Adelaide 52-66 who had our number all year long. We were extremely pumped and ready for the game but it wasn’t meant to be, we got a slow start and could never close the gap. The loss sent us in our last game, play off for 11th and 12th against Central Coast. The boys came ready to this game, the win would of given us a great finish to the season and tournament. We start again slowly allowing a 11-1 lead in the first 5 mins. With composure and experience the boys clawed back the lead. The game was tight but we had once we got the lead in the final minutes we held on for the win 61-56. Great way to finish.
We were very grateful for the fantastic support we received from friends and family across the weekend which I know the boys appreciated.
Overall, the boys really came together over the week with team camaraderie being excellent on and off the court with everyone contributing. The Recovery pool sessions and ice baths were both humorous and beneficial, and the bus rides were filled with poor singing, “air time” and many laughs as good relationships were built. We believe that the boys had a great experience and something they’ll remember for years to come.
We also announced our award winners for 2023.
Best Team Player – Tyler Allison
Most Improved Player – Tyler Biscette
Thank you to Coach Ben Lomman for the wrap up