THE Under 18 Girls Coasters team headed to the Country Championships in Bendigo last weekend with a goal of reaching the Division 1 finals.
It’s the pinnacle competition in Victorian Representative Country Basketball.
There are no easy games at the Country Championships and the girls started their campaign impressively with a strong eight-point win over Seymour, and later backed it up by defeating Shepparton by 14 points.
The third game of the day saw the Coasters match it against a very strong Geelong Supercats team.
The teams could not be separated on the scoreboard at the end of regular time and so they headed into overtime.
Geelong eventually took the win by just one point, but the Coasters had qualified for Division 1, a truly outstanding achievement.
In Sunday morning’s quarter final, the Coasters dominated the Wodonga Wolves with a very strong team performance to blow out the Wolves by 25 points.
The Semi-Final can only be described as a classic, as the girls took on a powerhouse team from Bendigo.
On their home court with a team boasting two state representative players, the Bendigo Braves claimed victory by just one point, and then went on to win the championship.
“I can’t deny we are disappointed with the result,” said coach Cathy Garnham.
“But to finish third in this competition is an outstanding achievement.
“We competed against players who have represented both Victoria and Australia, and against Associations with resources much greater than our own; and our girls were nothing short of exceptional.
“This group has an enormous capacity to compete at a high level and to say we are proud of them would be an understatement.”
This will be the last junior representative competition for some of the girls whilst others will be back competing next year for the Coasters.