Giant start to tournament season
The Deni Junior Giants girls and mixed team dominated the opening tournament of the basketball season in Swan Hill at the weekend.
A new look U-16 girls did just enough to make the semi final however were unable to progress to the decider.
The 16s came up again Rochester to go down narrowly by five points. The girls’ second game of the tournament — an action packed thriller against Seymour — was a standout of the weekend.
Deni turned around a large first half margin to draw the game 20-all.
The excitement didn’t stop there though as the girls went into their third game, against Mildura Heat.
Deni started strong and held the lead for most of the game only to be beaten on the siren with a three-pointer from Mildura.
The girls rested up for their last round robin match and on Sunday morning came out firing, with an aggressive team game to beat Kerang Raiders 33-17 and progress to the semi.
Deni came up against top of the ladder Wangaratta Warriors and were able to go goal for goal for most of the game, unfortunately just falling short in the dying minutes to be beaten by five.
Deni U-14 girls dominated on the court coming away with three wins for the tournament and a close loss to Echuca Pirates.
The girls started strong against a tall and athletic Mildura Heat team coming away victorious 23-15.
The second game saw them up against Wangaratta Warriors in a nail-biting twopoint win.
Mia Parks was instrumental in the game with numerous turnovers.
Deni got out to a commanding lead, only to let Wangaratta back into the game late. A timely turnover by Ellie Caruso and a basket to Bonnie Everett sealed a thrilling win 21-19.
The girls then had a big break until their 8.30pm game against Echuca.
Deni battled away but were no match for the Pirates, going down 23-14.
The Giants played in a consolation final on Sunday against Wangaratta. Keen for revenge all players worked hard in defence causing turnovers and allowing Annie Harvey to finish with a massive 22 points and coming away with an impressive 32-14 win to finish the tournament.
Deni Giants’ U-12 mixed team also had a successful tournament winning two out of four games and only losing by two and three points respectively.
The first game saw the littlest Giants come up against Bendigo Braves, winning in a nailbiter by two points.
The Giants’ morale was high going into their second game, against Wangaratta Warriors, however they were unable to hold out going down by just two points.
The third game saw them take on Mildura in what was to be another thrilling game.
Mildura’s accurate shooting was too much for the Giants’ defence and they went down 21-18.
The two losses were not going to stop the ever-determined 12s and they all dug deep to come away with a win in their last game of the tournament — 17-10 over Echuca.
Coach Ross Foran was impressed by his team’s commitment and development over the weekend, saying he’s already looking forward to another successful tournament in Wangaratta.
Deni’s U-14 boys A-team had a tough competition finishing with two losses, one win and a draw against Echuca.
The U-16 boys A-team also came up against some strong and extremely tall teams, however they dug deep to finish with two wins and two losses.
The Giants’ U-18 boys team started well with a win however were unable to keep the momentum throughout the tournament finishing with three narrow losses.
The U-14 boys B-team and U-16 boys B-team both missed out on a win for the weekend however they definitely improved with every game and are looking forward to hitting the court again in Wangaratta on November 18 and 19.
U-16 Giants player Kayla Elphick shoots a free throw against Kerang Raiders.