Basketball: Port Macquarie Basketball Association satisfied with performance in Northern Junior League finals

PORT Macquarie had a mixed bag of success at the weekend’s Northern Junior League basketball finals.

The under-16 boys and under-12 girls’ division one teams were the only two victors across the weekend.

Nick Proud's under-12 boys team had a lot of travelling in their season as their competition combined the eastern junior teams of Maitland, Newcastle and Gosford, as well as the northern junior teams of Coffs Harbour and Tamworth.

The northern league grand final was a see-sawing affair against Tamworth, which saw the Thunderbolts lead the game as many times as Port Macquarie.

The final quarter saw the local Dolphins team, guided by game MVP Lucas Scott take control and were never headed in the final eight minutes of the game, eventually sneaking home 37-33.

Nick Prior's under-16 girls had a dominant season and only dropped two games for a 10-2 record heading into the finals, a record matched by their grand final opponents, the Bellinger Valley Braves.

The grand final match was a similarly competitive affair, with Port jumping out to an early lead only to see it drawn back by half-time

In the latter half of the game however, the Dolphins took control with Ashleigh Grace leading the way and taking out the game's MVP award, registering a 69-49 win.

Glenn Scott took a team of mainly bottom-age boys into the division two under-16 boys competition, and out-performed many bigger and taller top-age teams, before finally stumbling in the grand final to the Taree Tornadoes.

The previously undefeated Tornadoes were pushed all the way by the younger dolphins who led at half-time by eight points.

However, the local dolphins team, led by strong performances from Dan Hedger and Jamie Hammersley couldn't hold Taree back for a full 40 minutes, eventually going down 76-56.

A number of Port Macquarie referees were also in action over the weekend, with Andre Caltabiano, Josh Burghardt and Alex Lister being awarded the opportunity to officiate Grand Final games.

Club president Jason Berry was very proud of the club's finals appearances, particularly for their junior referees who were rewarded for continued efforts throughout the season.

"It's great to see Port Macquarie continuing to be recognised for our high standard of referees coming through our system,” he said.

“Andre, Josh and Alex did a great job controlling the grand final games over the weekend, and continue to be an asset to our weekly domestic competition."


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