St Mar­garet Mary’s notch up ti­tle goal

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - MICHAEL THOMP­SON

ST MAR­GARET Mary’s Col­lege has won this year’s Cham­pion Bas­ket­ball School of Queens­land com­pe­ti­tion with a 56- 47 grand fi­nal win over Cairns State High School.

It was a dou­ble win for Townsville schools at the an­nual cham­pi­onships, with Townsville State High School win­ning the Di­vi­sion 2 ti­tle.

Townsville High beat More­ton Bay by 20 points in their grand fi­nal, ce­ment­ing Townsville’s rep­u­ta­tion as a grow­ing force of Queens­land ju­nior bas­ket­ball.

St Mar­garet Mary’s fin­ished top of their pool and beat Can­ter­bury Col- lege, Bris­bane, 77- 61 in the Di­vi­sion 1 semi- fi­nals be­fore tak­ing on Cairns High in the de­cider.

Cairns traded bas­kets with St Mar­garet Mary’s dur­ing a tight open­ing quar­ter but St Mar­garet Mary’s were able to cap­i­talise on turnovers and grad­u­ally gain as­cen­dancy.

Cairns did their best to launch a late fight­back, but St Mar­garet Mary’s held firm to win their first Queens­land school­girls ti­tle since 1979.

“It’s been a three- year goal for us, and many of th­ese girls have played to­gether in the same side since Grades 8 and 9,” St Mar­garet Mary’s team man­ager Matt Arnold said.

“To win our first state ti­tle since 1979 was a huge mo­ti­va­tor, we had a good talk about it be­fore the tour­na­ment.

“So to fin­ish on top of our pool was a huge con­fi­dence booster, and then we came against Can­ter­bury who I think gave us our tough­est game.

“They were an ex­cel­lent team and we had to work very hard to get that win.

“Then to take on Cairns in an all­North Queens­land grand fi­nal, that was a big mo­ment for bas­ket­ball up here.

“Cairns knocked off some very good teams and in the semi- fi­nals they beat Bris­bane State High, who are also one of the favourites.”

The grand fi­nal win also put paid to St Mar­garet Mary’s heart­break­ing semi- fi­nals exit at the hands of Bris­bane High dur­ing last year’s tour­na­ment, which saw Bris­bane score a win­ning bas­ket on the buzzer.

Arnold heaped praise on team coach Ali­son Ward for mould­ing to­gether a cham­pi­onship win­ning team.

“The work Ali­son has put in … has been in­cred­i­ble,” he said.

Townsville High coach Tr­ish Cock­rem said her team de­served to be proud of their ef­fort.

“We ran into some great schools like Mars­den High and Palm Beach Cur­rumbin, so to get a good win at the end was very re­ward­ing,” she said.

NUM­BER ONE: St Mar­garet Mary's Col­lege play­ers af­ter their Di­vi­sion 1 grand fi­nal win at the Cham­pion Bas­ket­ball School of Queens­land tour­na­ment.

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