Bas­ket­ballers bring it home

School team thrilled with bronze fin­ish at state fi­nals

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - SPORT - Brad Green­shields sport@coff­s­coas­tad­vo­cate.com.au

COFFS Har­bour Pub­lic School’s boys’ bas­ket­ball team made it all the way to state fi­nals.

The group of Year 5 and 6 stu­dents trav­elled to Bathurst as one of the last eight re­main­ing schools in the statewide PSSA com­pe­ti­tion and came home thrilled with fin­ish­ing third in NSW.

With teacher and Coffs Har­bour Suns player Felic­ity Cook guid­ing the group, the Coffs Har­bour team sneaked past Quirindi PS in the quar­ter fi­nals 42-41 thanks to a late bas­ket from the free throw line.

Fac­ing Re­gentville PS from near Pen­rith in the semi-fi­nal was a tough as­sign­ment, ac­cord­ing to Mrs Cook.

“They had some very ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers but the boys held their own,” Mrs Cook said.

“I was very proud of them, the boys were in it right up to the last three min­utes but I think ex­pe­ri­ence told in the end.”

Pre­par­ing for the 10-hour bus ride home, the boys were told they could play in a play­off for third place against Dubbo South.

Know­ing that play­ing in the ex­tra game would mean get­ting home at mid­night, the teacher asked her boys if they wanted to play and the re­sponse was unan­i­mously en­thu­si­as­tic.

“I told them you’ve made us stay, so you might as well play prop­erly,” the coach said. Prop­erly they did play, win­ning 42-24 to fin­ish third in the state.

School prin­ci­pal Leonie Buehler said the suc­cess this group of boys en­joyed has in­spired the younger stu­dents at Coffs Har­bour to take up bas­ket­ball.

“We’re ex­cep­tion­ally proud of the boys, their ef­fort and their sports- man­ship,” she said. “I’d re­ally like to thank their coach as well. “Felic­ity has done a mar­vel­lous job help­ing the team get this far.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

IM­PRES­SIVE ACHIEVE­MENT: Coffs Har­bour Pub­lic School's gi­ant-killing Year 5/6 bas­ket­ball team.

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