23 February 2022
The Traralgon T-Birds had three junior representative teams present over the weekend of February 19 and 20 at the Basketball Victoria Country Junior Championships in Bendigo.
Our U18 girls, U18 boys and U16 girls were all representing the association with their respective coaches in Grant Little, Reece Hamriding and Karen Joyce at the helm.
While preparation has been minimal leading into to Champs over the past few seasons, 2022 was no different. However, this didn’t affect the application and determination of our athletes in their endeavour to get the best out of themselves.
Grant Little and the U18 girls fell narrowly to Warrnambool on the opening day of the Championships and then a loss to Sale dampened their aspirations as the were relegated to Division 2. The girls responded with a morale boosting win over Echuca to close out day one with all focus shifting to Sunday.
The girls never looked backed once Sunday rolled around and they quickly regained their momentum and their focus on capturing the Division 2 title. This they did with solid wins coming against Southern Peninsula, Korumburra before edging past Geelong with a 38-29 championship victory.
Our U18 boys, coached by Reece Hamriding, played some very solid basketball across the opening day of the Championships with three solid victories against Shepparton (42-33), Colac (41-32) and Pakenham (45-41). This enabled the boys to head into day two of the Championships full of confidence but awaiting the boys was a talented Wonthaggi outfit.
Despite leading for much of the contest our boys were unable to match the polish that Wonthaggi displayed down the stretch and the boys succumbed to a narrow 56-60 quarter-final loss.
Karen Joyce and the U16 girls produced some lop-sided wins throughout day one which didn’t help their cause heading into some tough match ups on Sunday.
The girls pushed past Wodonga (65-13), Shepparton (51-14) and Bellarine (63-31) with relative ease before confronting a stronger opponent in Geelong in the quarter finals. In a tough battle, the girls were resilient in a gripping encounter where Traralgon eventually prevailed 36-30.
However, the girls were faced with some adversity that was too tough a challenge to overcome and Ballarat took full advantage of the situation to end their campaign. Traralgon suffering a heavy 32-48 loss.
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