The Tumut Timberwolves under 12s development team are NSW Country silver medallists after a strong showing at the John Martin NSW Country Basketball Tournament in Terrigal over the June long weekend.
In an action-packed three days of basketball, Saturday saw Tumut defeat Maitland 67-1 and Illawarra Red 58-4.
On Sunday, the Timberwolves secured top spot in their pool after defeating Lithgow 30-4, before a quarter-final win over Illawarra 38-13 that afternoon.
On their third and final day, Tumut accounted for Shoalhaven 30-16 in the semi-final on Monday morning, meaning a final showdown with Canberra in the gold medal match.
In a close contest, Tumut only trailed Canberra 19-15 at the three-quarter break, but eventually went down 31-19.
“They are a bunch of little champions in our eyes,” said coach, Stephanie James.
Tumut’s strong defence earned praise from their coach, who was proud to see her players using what they had learned after months of training.
“The way they took everything they had learned at training on board, all of the skills that we practiced, especially with our defence, it was great,” James said.
“Our defence really improved, and looking at the points the other team scored, you could tell our defence was good.
“We did not get one player fouled and their positioning was a lot better.”
James said a tough Canberra team was just a little further along in their development in the final, but a strong three days should give her girls a lot of confidence for the future.
“They just improved each game; they kept getting better and better,” James said.
“We finished first in our pool, and we played the fourth team in the other pool and the girls played really well.
“In the grand final we had them 15-19, and they only got to 30 in the last little bit.
“They were a bit more finished with their screens, but we did extremely well.”
A young Tumut team has been playing and training for more than six months, and James was pleased to see dedicated players and parents rewarded for all their effort.
“We continued to train the whole time, they were committed, they turned up and put in the effort,” James said.
“They were committed from the end of last year, we didn’t just turn up and train for this tournament, we worked hard and it is well deserved.”
Tumut’s representative season is now over, and with the Tumut Basketball Association approaching their annual General Meeting on Wednesday, James is hoping to see these girls and more players turning out for 2021/22 rep trials.
“After the AGM, we will have rep rials again,” James said.
“It will be up to the committee where we move forward and what carnivals we play and hopefully the girls all come back.”