Central boys defy odds to win
A group of inexperienced primary school basketballers has defied the odds by winning a South Island tournament.
The Year 8 boys team, made up of players from Queenstown, Remarkables, Arrowtown and Cromwell primary schools, beat North Canterbury B 36-29 in the final of the development section in Oamaru on July 17.
Most of the team were firsttime basketballers picked from the annual Battle of the Basin primary schools’ sports tournament.
Coach Graham MacDonald said the boys were ‘‘absolutely over the moon’’ to win after going undefeated throughout the tournament.
‘‘It was amazing. The final was just that intense. We had a few parents there [and] you could hear every one of them screaming,’’ MacDonald said.
A 15-1 run in the final three minutes of what was until then a very even match, ensured the win.
Guards Anthony Dickson (Cromwell Primary) and Jerami MacDonald ( Remarkables Primary) led the team as the only players with basketball experience and each received multiple MVP awards during the tourna- ment.
Unfortunately all the boys were off to high school next year so wouldn’t be able to defend their title.
However, all would try and make an under 15 side for the South Island tournament next year, MacDonald said.
The team was, from left, Jerami MacDonald, 12, Remarkables, Anthony Dickson, 12, Cromwell, Jackson Jamieson, 12, Remarkables, Xandah Gibson, 13, Remarkables, Riley Jones, 12, Remarkables, Tyler Challoner, 12, Remarkables, Tobin Wilson, Remarkables. Absent Harry Hines-Cavanagh, 13, Queenstown.