Macken­zie is most valu­able

Fremantle Gazette - - SPORT -

PROMIS­ING hoops tal­ent Rowan Macken­zie car­ried his im­pres­sive late SBL sea­son form to the School Sport Aus­tralia (SSA) Bas­ket­ball Cham­pi­onships to be named the most valu­able player in the 18 and un­der com­pe­ti­tion.

In­juries to key Lake­side Light­ning play­ers opened the door for the 17-year-old shoot­ing guard, who grabbed the op­por­tu­nity with both hands to reg­u­larly clock more than 20 min­utes of court time per game for the se­nior side in the sec­ond half of the sea­son.

Dur­ing that time he shot at bet­ter than 50 per cent from be­yond the arc and ended the sea­son on a high with a per­sonal best 19 points against the lad­der top­ping Willetton Tigers.

The At­tadale teenager then car­ried that mo­men­tum to the SSA Bas­ket­ball Cham­pi­onships, av­er­ag­ing 25 points and nine re­bounds per game and help­ing West­ern Aus­tralia to the bronze medal – a year af­ter the state was held win­less through­out the tour­na­ment.

“I played last year when we lost

SOC­CER SUP­PORTED BY LUX MO­TORS two or three times in over­time and ev­ery game we were within 10 points,” he said.

“The team def­i­nitely had a chip on its shoul­der this time around and wanted to prove we were bet­ter than that.”

Af­ter steam­ing out of the gates to win three games on the trot, in­clud­ing a 13-point win over even­tual cham­pi­ons NSW In­vi­ta­tional, WA lost its re­main­ing two fix­tures to fin­ish the group stage third.

A semi-fi­nal loss to NSW In­vi­ta­tional set up a bronze medal show­down with Queens­land, who ear­lier in the tour­na­ment had pipped WA by just one point.

“The bronze medal game was neck and neck un­til half-time but we got away af­ter that and ended up win­ning 83-69,” Macken­zie said.

The Aquinas Col­lege stu­dent is cur­rently com­plet­ing Year 12 and plans to take a gap year to con­cen­trate on bas­ket­ball in 2018.

“My goal is to play pro­fes­sion­ally and hope­fully get to travel with my bas­ket­ball,” he said.

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