CROWNING our final nine Country champions of 2019, Basketball Victoria Country Under-12 Championships came to a close in spectacular fashion.
Thrilling victories across the board were showcased by our champion associations as Ballarat, Warrnambool, Bellarine Storm, Melton, Churchill, Southern Peninsula, Portland, Moe and Hamilton picked up titles across our boys and girls divisions.
A number of matches throughout the tournament were livestreamed via Playsight – if you’d like to rewatch any of those matches click here for all the schedules and links.
Ballarat trailed Southern Peninsula for most of the Division 1 Boys grand final but eked out an extraordinary 43-41 victory to take the title. Ethan Drever (nine points) and Aiden Wiltsher (nine points) led the scoring for the Miners while Sharks’ Thomas Williamson (18 points) and Campbell Bilston (14 points) excelled.
Warrnambool starred from start to finish to take out the Division 1 Girls title 57-29 over Traralgon. It was an emphatic performance from the Mermaids Eve Covey (34 points) in league with Poppy Myers (nine points) while the T-Birds had plenty of superstars of their own as Mica Nightingale (17 points) shone alongside Lexi Charles (six points) and Hannah Smith (six points).
Bellarine Storm took out the Division 2 Boys championship with a 47-34 win over Mildura Heat as Darcy Harrington (30 points) put on a show for the Storm alongside Keegan Johnson (nine points). Colby Geister (nine points), Jye Porker (seven points) and Ashton Reid (seven points) were gallant for the Heat.
Melton took out the Division 2 Girls title with a 40-16 triumph over Sale. The Thoroughbreds charged to victory through the efforts of Elle Price (14 points) and Maddison Brady (seven points), amongst an even spread of scorers, while Mia Ballinger (nine points) was the standout for the Sonics.
Churchill surged to take a 55-23 Division 3 Boys triumph over Warragul as Ford Gore (25 points), Eli Sutherland (13 points) and Jay Rogalsky (10 points) led the Blue Devils’ charge while for the Warriors George Morgan (six points) and Olliver Muir (six points) held their own.
Southern Peninsula’s Division 3 Girls took out a 48-16 victory over Shepparton with the likes of Imogen Eckman (12 points) and Shaelee Higgins (11 points) proving pivotal in the final. The Gators were well led by Alice Ludlow (seven points) and Adau Thon (four points).
Portland claimed the Division 4 Boys championship 57-37 over Colac as Klay Nicholls (22 points), Brodie Lucas (18 points) and Jake Payne (12 points) shot the lights out. Colac was led by Sam McCarthy (10 points) and Ned Molan (eight points).
Moe took the Division 4 Girls’ crown with an emphatic 34-9 win over Surfcoast. Mackenzie Rankin (10 points) and Jamie Chapman (nine points) were the best for Moe while Milla Browning (four points) and Millie Allen (three points) led the Surfcoasters.
Hamilton took out the Division 5 Boys crown with a 55-37 win over Leongatha. Joshua Sevior (14 points) and Kobe Krause (10 points) were the best of the Hurricanes’ gale force offence while Leevi Lidstone (11 points) and Hamish Gill (10 points) surged for the Lightning.
Horsham Under-12 Boys also won the inaugural Fair Play Award – with a $1000 prize – for their sportsmanship, behaviour of their team staff and creating an overall positive environment.
The Hornets played respectfully and proudly and this was highlighted by the referees and referee coaches, who voted for this award after every game of the Under-12 Country Championships.
“Congratulations to our participating 76 teams, players, coaches and referees for making this weekend another exceptional tournament,” BVC Competitions Coordinator Sammy Cartwright said. “It is great to see our Under-12 Country Championships put on in such good spirits and played the way basketball should be.
“We couldn’t put on these events without the hard work of our host associations and volunteers – the efforts of everyone involved make these tournaments a highlight on the calendar.
“All told this tournament closes out another brilliant Country Championships season and we’re keen to see what 2020 will offer.”