LOCH Primary School has 92 students, yet somehow, its girls’ basketball team reached the state finals and finished in the top five.
The team set numerous records along the way.
It was the first time in School Sport Victoria’s history that a school with a student population of less than 100 had reached a state final.
In fact, it was the first time a team from Loch had progressed beyond district level, let alone the regionals.
They may have been from a small school, but they had the biggest cheer squad at the finals.
School Sports Victoria was so impressed with the achievement, it granted permission for the girls’ school mates to be there.
Grade 4, 5 and 6 kids cheered their loudest, even brandishing posters in the MSAC stands.
The girls lost their first game, but won against Kilberry Valley and also St Simon The Apostle Primary School in a thriller.
Alas, their percentage was not strong enough to reach the semis and they finished fifth overall.
An incredible effort, given all eight schools in the final had student populations of more than 1000.
They were undefeated all the way through the local, district and regional levels.
The Loch team is made up of eight of the school’s 15 Grade 6 girls.
Six of them play locally at Warragul, Korumburra, Poowong and Wonthaggi, but two of them don’t play at all.
Star of the team, and all of her teammates were quick to point this out, was Dallas Loughridge, the pocket dynamo who is a state representative.
But Dallas was quick to deflect attention.
“We all work together well and our press is very good,” she said.
Her brother Darcy and cousin Jye were the team’s coaches.
The team has height with Georgia Lightowler and Abigail Farmer playing as posts, Dallas is the point guard, and then there are the all-rounders Kate Cronin, Tara Wilson, Laura Standish, Acacia Wallis and Beth Derrick who fill whatever role is required.
They trained together every day at school.
The girls only have a couple of weeks left of their primary schooling days, but this achievement will stay with them, and the school, forever.
Loch girls defy the odds