DALLAS Loughridge of Bena doesn’t have the typical stature of a basketballer, but that hasn’t stopped her from becoming one of the most talented young players in the country.
The pint-sized point guard has had an extraordinary year on the court playing for the Warragul Warriors and the Dandenong Rangers who she led to the Victorian Championship Division junior title.
The Rangers finished the season second on the ladder and reached the grand final where they played off against the undefeated Bulleen Boomers and won by three points to become the best team in Victoria.
Dallas was awarded the Most Valuable Player for the game.
Her Dandenong Rangers team had earlier qualified for the National Junior Classic in June 2017 where they won bronze.
Continuing their success, the Dandenong Rangers also qualified to play in the Australian Under 14 Club National Championship earlier this month held at Dandenong featuring the 32 best teams from Australia.
Dallas was captain of the team. Dallas, and the captain of the boys’ team were, given the task of reading the Basketball Oath at the opening ceremony.
The Dandenong Rangers and Bulleen Boomers were both undefeated in the championships, and met again in the final for the gold medal in front of a packed stadium.
This time the Boomers won by three points in the final stages of the game when the Dandenong Rangers got into foul trouble.
But Basketball Victoria’s Jarrod Potter was most impressed with the Rangers’ skipper.
“Dallas Loughridge (10 points) proved a massive headache for the Bulleen defence as she found gaps in the defensive net seemingly at will,” he said.
“She’d dart to the basket with the utmost consistency and zoom back down the court to pick up her guard at the other end. It was a sublime performance from Loughridge.”
Half way through the Championships Dallas received the news that she had been selected to represent Country Victoria in the Southern Cross Challenge and selected for the National Intensive Training Program NITP squad.
Earlier in the year she impressed talent scouts at the Basketball Victoria Country Academy where she was also selected to attend the Gold Nugget Camp in Shepparton.
To help with all that travel, Landmark Leongatha came on board as her sponsor.
Dallas also plays netball for Dalyston Football Netball Club where she plays up an age group in Under 15s and the won best and fairest for the club, best finals players and was also runner-up in the new West Gippsland Football Netball League best and fairest.
Dallas is the daughter of Matthew and Tanya and has two older brothers, Cody and Darcy.
She attends St Paul’s Anglican Grammar at Warragul where she is part of the elite sporting program which supports her to balance her school work and busy sporting commitments.
Pocket rocket Dallas leads Rangers to the top