Korumburra Basketball Association president and U/16 coach Mat Holmes with Bena’s Dallas Loughridge.

CO-CAPTAIN of the Vic Country U16 team, Bena basketballer Dallas Loughridge has belittled her opponents with her handful of finishes, comp leading steals and perimeter shooting to help her team to a bronze medal, as they represented Victoria at the Australian Junior Basketball Championships at Darwin.
‘Doing it for the team,’ coach Mat Holmes was blown away by the delight Dallas was to coach and her 23-point, best on court performance for their medal play off.
“Dallas’ one-on-one ability to get to the ring is impressive, her speed and variety of finishes really brought focus to her from opponents and other coaches,” says coach Mat.
“Other teams were well aware of Dallas’ skills and started to apply defence to restrain her. They struggled to shut her down.”
Though Mat comes from Korumburra and Dallas from Bena, this is the first time the pair were on the same team.
“I’ve worked with her before in high performance programs. Coaching her; she really puts the team first, it was amazing the way she lifted the whole group when they were playing off for the medal.”
Dallas, who stands a foot below some of her competition, plays an intense defensive game and has tremendous attack; racking up the tournament high with 3.62 assists and tenth most steals with 2.88 per game, over the eight games.
Mat says that Dallas’ recent focus on perimeter shooting in training has lifted her game.
“Dallas brings a hype wherever she plays and for the second time at the nationals her name was well familiar with visiting American College scouts.”
Shooting 123 points in total – fourth most for the tournament – she averaged slightly over 15pts per game.
“Her talent is matched with hard work, playing VJBL for the Dandenong Rangers on Friday nights, training multiple times a week, and working out with experienced coach Mike McHugh has helped improved her skill set.”
Dallas was co-captain this year with Georgia Koopmans who is from Warragul.
Her family wanted to express their thanks to; Loch and District Community Development Association, Strzelecki Lions, Leongatha RSL, supporting friends and family.