ANOTHER fantastic under-12 country tournament concluded on Sunday with the best and brightest from around the state competing for the coveted prizes.
But there was more to the tournament than the nine divisional winners. The stories proliferate across all divisions in a number of ways.
From the teams that battled to rise up to Division 1 – a paragon achievement for many associations heading to the event.
Making the elite grade is never easy and sometimes eighth in Division 1 can feel more like a burden than a reward. But the lessons learned from a weekend of difficult games and elite competition will improve your players out of sight. There is no shame in making the standard and falling to the best of the best.
In the girls, Traralgon, Sale, Bendigo, Warragul, Moe, Geelong, Ballarat and Warrnambool raised the flag as the best sides and those worthy to go head-to-head for the Division 1 championship. The standard of Gippsland girls basketball remains in incredible shape with the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th positions going to that region’s best.
In the boys, Warrnambool, Bendigo, Maffra, Ballarat, Whittlesea, Mildura, Warragul and Southern Peninsula earned a place in the hugely-competitive Division 1 competition. Each final had the atmosphere and intensity of the grand final itself; such was the tempo of these clashes. With many separated by only a few shots at most, it highlighted the evenness at the top level for those teams and the best continue to shine when it matters.
But a championship like this isn’t just about Division 1’s champion. There are elite stories of success and overcoming huge obstacles just to get out there.
For Foster Basketball Association – one of our smallest associations – to take home a silver medal in Boys Division 5 is a resounding success. Shepparton girls taking an overtime semi-final nail-biter against Maryborough. The elite sportsmanship in earlier rounds where our elite teams met our up-and-comers and played the game with the respect and dignity it richly deserves.
The amazing sacrifices and hard work put in by referees, volunteer coaches, team managers and the eternal support of friends and family to drive our players across the state is just as magnificent as the winners’ trophies and the medals.
The treks undertaken by associations like Mildura, Orborst, Yarrawonga-Mulwala, Portland, Warrnambool and Swan Hill amongst others of equally incredible distance… those efforts alone are staggering. To pack up your team and prepare for a trip to Bendigo from all of our participating associations never fails to amaze us – especially when the journey is almost point to point on the state compass.
It is the country spirit after all – you go where you need to go just to see the kids smile. Just to find the right level of competition. Just to give it a go.
To the 76 teams, all the referees, staff, parents, friends and family that made the #BVCChamps such a joy to attend… here’s to you. We hope you enjoyed your time in Bendigo and we can’t wait for the next round of #BVCChamps this weekend where a new generation of under-14s will carve out similar stories of success and perseverance.
If you have any stories from the #BVCChamps you’d like to share on Basketball Victoria Country, please contact Jarrod Potter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BVC CHAMPIONSHIPS – 2018 U12 BOYS RANKINGS
1 Warrnambool – D1 Champion
8 Southern Peninsula
9 Shepparton – D2 Champion
12 Corio Bay
15 Phillip Island
17 Leongatha – D3 Champion
18 Macedon Ranges
23 Swan Hill
25 Moe – D4 Champion
29 Lakes Entrance
31 Western Port
33 Terang – D5 Champion
BVC CHAMPIONSHIPS – 2018 U12 GIRLS RANKINGS
1 Traralgon – D1 Champion
9 Wodonga – D2 Champion
14 Southern Peninsula
17 Korumburra – D3 Champion
20 Swan Hill
25 Colac – D4 Champion