Young basketballers return with six wins

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The Waitaki Boys’ High School Basketball Academy’s trip to Australia proved an overwhelming success, says coach Ian Cathcart.

On the tour, the side played eight matches, with six wins, a draw and their only loss coming in their final tour match against John Paul College, who played their top team against the visiting junior team.

Waitaki drew 50-all with a team from Ipswich, then had a tight 43-40 win against a Queensland school’s team. Next they defeated the Southern District Spartans 84-66, Churchie Grammar 64-46, St Joseph’s Gregory Terrace 64-47, Brisbane Grammar 44-33, Brisbane Boys’ 63-26 and then suffered a 70-43 loss to John Paul College.

Cathcart said the boys learned a lot on the tour and the side’s success exceeded everybody’s expectations.

“The boys played really really well over there. They showed how much they have come on and we certainly didn’t expect to perform as well as we did.”

The side were away for 10 days and Cathcart said it was a fantastic experience for them.

“They really enjoyed playing different opposition; they had a training camp with Leonard King and he taught them so much about basketball they never knew.

“Many of the boys have been saying they got the most from his training camp rather than out of the games,” Cathcart said.

Cathcart said Tom Crutchley and Max de Geest really stood out on the tour and Kalib Mullins and Scott Kitto showed plenty of promise.

Next up for the side is the national under-15 tournament, which more than half the team is attending. They will continue their unbeaten run in the Otago Secondary Schools’ junior league, before focus turns to the junior South Island tournament next month.

“We are aiming at a top six finish in the South Island Secondary Schools’ junior tournament and are looking at hosting a small triangular tournament to warm up for it.”

The side was in Australia for 10 days.

PHOTO: SUPPLIED

PLAYED WELL: The Waitaki Boys Academy Basketball team, which only suffered one defeat in their Australian Tour.