THE Wonthaggi Coasters Under 16 girls were crowned Division 3 State Champions at the recent Country State Championships at Bendigo.
After a warm-up tournament at Warragul where the girls performed admirably making the semi-finals, hopes were high for continued good form and an improved result.
The team played its first grading section match on the Saturday morning, easily defeating Colac 53-16.
Regular player rotations gave everyone a good slice of court time to settle in for future matches.
The next match against Terang saw another convincing win 46-17 and the team was settling in to a solid routine.
The next match against Echuca was a much more competitive contest in an extremely hot stadium which tested the girls’ resilience, but they were up for the challenge and won 38-29.
The last of the grading rounds was against Myrtleford and a place in the higher division finals was up for grabs.
The girls had to fight hard in their fourth game of the day with their stamina tested, but the Coasters won Myrtleford 35-26.
The Sunday of the tournament saw the Coasters play in knockout finals, where a poor game would bring an end to their tournament.
Seymour came out hard but were no match for the Wonthaggi girls, who were starting to peak at the right time, winning 40-14.
The Coasters progressed to the semi-final against Camperdown, who had just knocked out Coasters’ arch rivals Korumburra.
Korumburra knocked out Wonthaggi at the Warragul tournament so the utmost respect was held for Camperdown.
Unfortunately for Camperdown, they left their best form in the previous game as they were smashed by the Wonthaggi girls 52-21.
The Coasters were now in ominous form heading into the grand final against Horsham.
Horsham had also been untroubled and unbeaten going into the final and were quietly confident of upsetting the Wonthaggi girls momentum to take home the Division 3 State Title.
But the Coasters rose to the challenge and despite Horsham’s valiant attempts, Wonthaggi ran out comfortable 53-35 winners.