Cy­clones’ late blast for vic­tory

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT - MARC McGOWAN

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.”

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