Cyclones’ late blast for victory
THEY waited all week and finally got there on the last day of Basketball Australia’s Under-14 Club Championships in Newcastle yesterday.
Troy Schloss’ Darwin Cyclones boys’ team defeated Alice Springs’ NT South Suns 69-54 to place 11th in the Shield finals, after near misses against Cairns, North West Tasmania and Geraldton.
Braith Schloss and Billy Paterson (12 points each) led four Cyclones in double figures, offsetting Suns star Deijahnelle Vaha’s third straight 20-point-plus effort.
“We got there in the end, but we had some pretty close calls and the boys played their hearts out,” coach Schloss said.
“All I drummed into them before (the championships) was it’d be great to get wins, but I wanted to come away and compete – and not one game, apart from the one against Knox, who were one of the favourites, we did that.
“The boys will come home with a sense of self-belief, knowing we’re thereabouts, but we need to work that little bit harder.”
Braith Schloss, Anthony Rowse and big men Luca Tutty and Paterson were Darwin’s standout players.
The Cyclones’ girls side had a pair of wins earlier in the week – against Northern Tasmania and North West Tasmania – to qualify for yesterday’s fifth-and-sixth Shield playoff, but lost 71-48 to Willeton Tigers in Maitland.
Tiayana Sing scored 16 points in defeat for Tania Dhucoached Darwin. Ieasha Friel and Tyla Cubillo, younger sister of under-17 world champion Abby, also performed well during the week.
“It was a good week and I’m really happy the girls improved across the week, because that’s what you’re looking for at this level,” Dhu said.
“They don’t often get the intensity of competition they got here, so they learned a lot.
“I’m really proud of the girls’ attitude and how they presented themselves. They fought out every game to the end, no matter the scoreline.”