Ju­nior Hor­nets start with a win

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport -

Horsham Hor­nets un­der-16 boys sent a strong mes­sage to the rest of coun­try Vic­to­ria when they launched their state ti­tle de­fence with stel­lar per­for­mances at Swan Hill at the week­end.

Coach Damien Kil­patrick said the Swan Hill Ju­nior Tour­na­ment marked his charges’ first rep­re­sen­ta­tive tour­na­ment to­gether since win­ning an un­der-14 ju­nior coun­try state cham­pi­onship in April 2016.

He said he was thrilled with his team, which recorded strong di­vi­sion-one vic­to­ries over Mil­dura, Bendigo, Wan­garatta and Swan Hill coun­ter­parts.

The Hor­nets de­feated Wan­garatta War­riors-barker to win the grand fi­nal 46-22.

While the re­sults were clearly in the Hor­nets’ favour, coach Kil­patrick said his charges played ‘hard bas­ket­ball’ to tri­umph in the tour­na­ment.

“It was no walk in the park,” he said.

“They worked hard in de­fence, hold­ing teams to an aver­age of 26 points, but their of­fence was just as good, av­er­ag­ing 58 points for the tour­na­ment. At the end of the day, we were a lot fit­ter than the other teams and they couldn’t keep up with us.”

Kil­patrick said the Horsham bas­ket­ballers had com­pleted a 12-week fit­ness pro­gram as well as work­ing on skills and struc­tures.

“It is our ti­tle-de­fence year so we have been work­ing pretty hard,” he said.

“At this stage we are a di­vi­sion-one team so the re­sult we got in the tour­na­ment is the one we needed to get.

“The good news is Sam Breuer, one of our top-line play­ers, is still to re­turn from in­jury. We’re not even at full strength yet.”

Ben Hobbs was the tour­na­ment’s most valu­able player.

“Ben top-scored for the tour­na­ment and our cen­tre Austin Mcken­zie was the sec­ond-high­est scorer,” Kil­patrick said.

“Har­ley Pope looked af­ter the ball beau­ti­fully. He was un­be­liev­able in de­fence.

“It re­ally was a great team ef­fort though, ev­ery­one played their part.”

Hor­nets girls teams also con­tested the tour­na­ment, com­pet­ing in the un­der-14 and un­der-16 di­vi­sions.

The un­der-14s scored two wins from four pool games and were knocked out in the semi-fi­nals, while the un­der-16s also made it to the semis fol­low­ing vic­to­ries over Sharks and Swan Hill Fly­ers but fell short of Wan­garatta.

Horsham Am­a­teur Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion also sent teams to the 2017 Ju­nior Sea­side Clas­sic in War­rnam­bool at the week­end.

Horsham ju­nior rep­re­sen­ta­tive di­rec­tor and un­der-12 coach Tony Sleep said the un­der-14 and un­der-14 Blue teams made it through to con­so­la­tion fi­nals, with the un­der-12 boys fin­ish­ing third in their pool fol­low­ing an ex­cit­ing draw, a win and two losses.

“There is plenty of up­side to th­ese guys with the way they play and hav­ing their first tour­na­ment un­der their belt will only hold them in good stead,” he said.

Sleep con­grat­u­lated all play­ers on their per­for­mances through­out the week­end.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.