The Under 14s girls’ team, from left, back, Poppy Miles, Ksenia Dear, Kiahra Maloney, Lily Cengia, Ruby Morris; front, Isla Spradbury, Millie Brosnan and Star Ruri. Absent: Cam Lean (coach), Dom Miles (assistant coach) and Catherine Spradbury (team manager).

THE Wonthaggi Coasters Under 14 girls’ and boys’ teams travelled to Traralgon to compete in the BVC Under 14 Country Championships on April 16, 17 and 18.

An 8am kick off on the Friday had the girls up early to face Colac Kookas in their first game of the competition. It was a tough start to the first day of competition.

The defence was just too strong from Colac and the girls went down by 17 points, 20 to 37.

The second game of the day saw the girls up against the Western Port Steelers, where the Coasters secured a 10-point win, 32 to 22.

The third game of the day saw the girls up against Wodonga Wolves, who were very tough competition. Although the team was unable to come away with a win, it was by far their best game of the tournament. They never stopped fighting with the final score being 10 to 46.

In the fourth and final game of a very long day, the girls played Bellarine Storm. The girls were very competitive, but the length of the day saw them tire as the game went on and suffering another loss, 22 to 38.

Day two was another early start to another long day. The first three games of the day saw the team suffer losses to Shepparton Gators, 11 to 25, Moe Meteors in a tough and very physical game, 11 to 32 and Mansfield Eagles, 20 to 34. The final game of the day saw the girls come up against a team from a little closer to home,

Foster Breakers, and they ended the day nicely with a win, 42 to 24.

At the completion of the first two days, the team had qualified for Division 4.

Day three saw the girls come up against Macedon Ranges in the quarter final. The team got off to a good start and maintained the lead to secure a 10-point win, 30 to 20.

The next game saw the girls up against Wallan Panthers in the semi-final, where they were defeated by 10 points, 24 to 34. Overall, it was a
challenging tournament and the girls played terrifically to the conditions presented to them from the other teams.

Under 14 boys

The boys started their campaign on Friday with a solid performance against Morwell Magic. It was a great confidence booster for the team, with some set plays coming together and each member contributing to the eight-point win, 32 to 24.

Next up the boys took on Wodonga Wolves. They played well but ultimately their shooting accuracy was the difference and Wodonga took the win 35 to 26.

The third game of the day was a tough one. The boys never gave up and gave their all against a very skilled and well drilled Swan Hill Flyers team. Wonthaggi 57 def Swan Hill Flyers 22.

The first game on Saturday saw the team come up against a strong Melton Thoroughbreds team. The boys got out to an early lead but they were unfortunately not able to maintain it and ended up losing by seven points, 33 to 40.

The team lined up against Lakes Entrance Pelicans next in their fifth game of the championships. The boys struggled to deal with a fast-running Lakes Entrance side who, from the onset, got away to a quick lead, which saw the boys playing catch up for the entire game. The team was unable to overcome their slow start and lost, 42 to 21.

After some pep talking, the boys shook off the disappointing loss in the previous game against Lakes Entrance Pelicans to regroup and focus on the game at hand, this time against Surfcoast Chargers. The boys played some exciting passages of play and displayed quality solid defence efforts. It was also great to see some of the top age players finding their voices and contributing to the leadership of the team. Final score Wonthaggi 48 defeated Surfcoast 29.

Sunday morning was the elimination final. The team met Bairnsdale Bullets in a tough physical contest. Wonthaggi was in foul trouble early and the depth of the team was challenged, but the boys rose to the occasion, winning 40 to 30.

The boys’ quarter final was against Wallan Panthers. The team played some great basketball under constant defensive pressure. The boys never gave, playing to the final siren and they should be extremely proud of their efforts and fantastic sportsmanship. Although they lost the game, 45 to 32, the team’s continued growth and improvement they had achieved, through the championships and the representative season, was on display.

Above all, the team had a terrific weekend and it was lovely to see them playing tournament basketball again.