Mansfield Courier

UNDER 12 BOYS

- By CATHERINE MAHONEY

IT was a great weekend of basketball for the young under 12 Eagles at the Benalla tournament.

First game on Friday night saw an excited bunch of kids arrive to take on Benalla.

Some of the teamwork and skills they had been working on at training were starting to shine through.

Wilson Cooper was unstoppabl­e under the basket, rebounding at both ends and scoring freely.

Benalla found it hard to get past the long arms of Charlie Christophe­r, and Billy Dunstan played his usual in and under sneaky steals to perfection, and a solid win to start the tournament left the boys in good spirits.

Game two on Saturday was against Wodonga and again the teamwork was outstandin­g.

This game saw Paddy Dunstan hit the scoreboard while Jimmy Christophe­r kept up some annoying hassling and showed some real grunt.

Will King held down the defence end brilliantl­y, staying tight in the key as well as strong drives to the basket, and another win to Mansfield had the boys set to take on rivals Deniliquin in the third game.

The boys were pumped and jumped ahead straight away.

Max Mahoney showed great maturity in a pressure cooker game, and all the boys played this hard one out, and great excitement was shown on the final buzzer when Mansfield finally had a win over them by six points.

Sunday morning’s final round was against Yarrawonga/Mulwala.

The previous couple of days were catching up and unfortunat­ely a scrappy match resulted as the boys toughed this one out but went down by seven points.

Luckily the previous day’s winnings gave the Eagles enough points to end up in the grand final against the old enemy ‘Deni’.

What a cracker of a game, with the lead see-sawing and neither team being able to break free.

Wilson r ebounded hard under pressure, Dunstan, Charlie Christophe­r and Mahoney hassled the fast paced Deni boys and left nothing on the court, and King tried to create plays to take back the lead.

The team’s smaller leaders in Dunstan and Jimmy Christophe­r cheered and tried to will the boys on but unfortunat­ely Deni crept away in the late stages and took the grand final by eight points.

Runners up is still a great achievemen­t, and the team can hold their heads high as the boys all played fantastic roles, with coaches and parents loving seeing the enthusiasm and improvemen­t every time they play.

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