PORT Macquarie Dolphins have dived deep in a show of basketball skills at the 2019 Seaside Classic.
Basketball courts were flooded with more than 200 games at the Port Macquarie Indoor Stadium, MacKillop College and St Columba Anglican School as NSW teams took part in the competition on November 2 and 3.
Tournament organiser John Minihan said nine games were held every hour during the carnival.
"This carnival has been our biggest by far with about 90 teams spread over nine courts, compared to 80 teams over eight courts last year," he said.
"We have teams from Hornsby, Newcastle, Coffs Harbour, Taree, Bellinger, Sydney and Port Macquarie.
"We have gone pretty good.We had two boys teams in both competitions and they were both balanced so we were probably going to struggle to compete against towns with one team.
"We really use this carnival as a way to hold trials for teams, play them at Seaside and pick those final squads after. They aren't as strong as they could be.
"In our girls teams we only had one team in each pool so our 15 and 17s girls were both pretty strong.
"Generally we do pretty good and we had good numbers in the younger age groups for Port Macquarie.
"The organisation of the 18 referees (by Andre Caltabiano) was great and we had a lot of support from all of Port Macquarie, the association board and parents of players."
"It's run in a great environment in a great town and it will continue to grow each year."
Port Macquarie under-17 girls team was a quick home favourite to contest the finals on Sunday, November 3. The Dolphins swam through against Newcastle West Gold Diggers, 43 points to 30 in their first game on Saturday.
They quickly followed up with a 42-14 point win against Bellinger Valley Braves Orange and a 56-27 point win against Bellinger Valley Braves Black.
The team advanced to the grand final and won 57 point to 28 against Bellinger Valley Braves.
Team captain Maddi Baxter said the competition was all about having fun and improving basketball skills.
"It's been lots of fun and we have been playing well," she said.
"We have got lots of major players back in our team and they have all improved a lot, it's good to have them back.
"We're just here to enjoy and become better as players, stronger for next season."
A number of players from the team were part of a winning lineup in the St. Joseph's Regional College girl's intermediate basketball team, which had a recent win at the NSW Combined Catholic Colleges Championships State Cup in Penrith.
"State championships was a very tough competition and we did a great job there," said Baxter.
"A lot of our players were in that team so we have had a lot of confidence coming into the Classic."
The division one under 17 mens team for Port Macquarie struggled with the team registering three losses from their first four games including a bye.
The Dolphins under 15 mens division fared better with two wins and two lost opportunities from their games, while the under 15 womens side was knocked out in their semi-final by Coffs Harbour
The Under 13 womens team collected one win and two losses from their outings against two Newcastle Academy teams and Coffs Harbour.
Both under 13 mens sides collected two wins and a loss on their way to a finals match against each other on Sunday afternoon. Port Macquarie winning the under 13 mens grand final against Bellinger.
Port Macquarie's under 11 mens pool one and two sides both collected three losses on the courts. The under 11 womens side won two games and lost one.
Junior basketball players have shown great behaviour, basketball skills and good sportsmanship throughout the tournament said Seaside Classic court controller Torren Hunter.
"It's a really good atmosphere to be around and gives the juniors a chance to showcase their skills in front of a lot of different coaches," he said.
"They are all playing with mixed abilities, there aren't necessarily strong or weak teams which gives them a chance to lead the other kids on their team.
"Port Macquarie, Newcastle, Bellinger and Coffs Harbour I've noticed are playing strong. We've had no dramas so far with behavior."
A coach mentoring weekend was held in conjunction with the Seaside Classic, more than 100 coaches attended the training.
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