Hoops talent shine on state stage

Adelene Wells (right) and Lauren Barton won silver medals in the NSW State Cup basketball grand final in Gosford.
Adelene Wells (right) and Lauren Barton won silver medals in the NSW State Cup basketball grand final in Gosford.

Tumut local Adelene Wells continues to impress on basketball courts around the state.

Adelene and her close friend Lauren Barton, of Wagga, were outstanding contributors as they led the under 18 Queanbeyan Basketball representative team to the grand final of the NSW State Cup.

The State Cup was held in Gosford on Sunday afternoon and involved the victors of each of the Country Junior leagues and Sydney Metro competitions.

It is a wonderful annual display of some of the finest young basketball talent that NSW has to offer

The greater Riverina region is renowned as a great nursery for national sport so it was wonderful to see two of the regions finest basketballers make outstanding contributions.

It is also a real testament to the dedication of Adelene’s and Lauren’s parents – Barry and Lisa, and Andrew and Tanya – who have made the long drive to from Tumut and Wagga to Queanbeyan every Sunday.

The lengthy drive has allowed the girls to play in the more intensive and competitive competition that is on offer in the Canberra/Queanbeyan club competition.

It is from this competition that both girls were selected to play in the Queanbeyan representative team.

Queanbeyan started slowly in each of the round games of the State Cup, but with Lauren forcing turnovers and grabbing steals at will, it enabled players like Adelene to pick up fast break transition ball for unopposed layups.

Lauren’s strong gritty defence has no doubt been moulded in her impromptu games of league in the backyard with her Dad, Andrew ‘Bardo’ Barton.

Lauren is also the younger sister of Claudia Barton, also a well-credentialed basketballer and netballer, who is on scholarship at a Sydney sports high school.

Adelene complemented Lauren’s outstanding defence with brilliant ball handling and contributed 19 valuable points in a tight final.

In the grand final, Queanbeyan came back from a 20-point deficit early in the third quarter to press hard and reduce the margin to just three points in the last quarter, which was helped by 10 clutch points by Adelene.

However, some highly technical referee calls that would befuddle most resulted in the home team claiming a 63-49 victory.

The girls’ grand final was played with vigour and physicality that would not be out of place in any sport, but was also played with excellent spirit and was a true credit to these young women.