Magic Teams Compete at Mt Gambier Junior Tournament
Magic teams featured in 6 Grand Final appearances but despite some very close encounters, only the div 2 under 16 girls won the title.
The other teams that won through to the Grand Finals and were runner-ups were, under 12 boys div 1 and div 3, under 12 girls div 2, under 16 girls div 1 and under 18 girls div 1.
Millicent had 12 teams participating in the popular Mt Gambier Junior Tournament and with 100 teams competing from 12 different Associations from the South East, Western Victoria and strong numbers from Murray Bridge, Victor Harbour, Mt Barker and Strathalbyn, the Millicent contingent performed very well. Magic fielded teams from under 12 to under 18s in both boys and girls
During the weekend the div 2, under 16 girls team played and defeated Casterton, Mt Gambier, Keith and Naracoorte. At 7.30am on Sunday morning our girls were undefeated and so were Naracoorte and the result of this game was going to shape the participants in the Grand Final. Our girls came out firing on all cylinders and never allowed Naracoorte to get in the game at all winning 44/12. This set both teams up for a re-match in the Grand Final.
The girls won the Grand Final in convincing fashion after Naracoorte competed hard early getting our ball carriers under strong pressure, but once our girls settled down, Keah Lynch and Victoria Lucas showed the way with accurate shooting and were well supported by Jess Allan and Grace Chay. Kristen Freeman, Leia Stupple and Maddi Pulmer worked hard in defence which created many early scoring opportunities for the others and this eventually saw Millicent win 52 – 37.
The under 12 girls narrowly lost to Murray Bridge in the grand final of div 2 in the tournament, losing by 5 points. During the weekend they played Great Southern and were only defeated by 13 points, which is a huge turnaround from last time they met where the result was in excess of 35 points. The difference in the two teams was that Magic really struggled to score but their defence was outstanding at times which kept them in the game. Game 2 was against Eastern Hills who were bigger and stronger but our girls were very competitive until half way through, but couldn’t stay with the opposition after the half way break. This again was a loss but not a blow out with the final score being 24/14. Game 3 was against Murray Bridge and the girls recorded a 2 point nail biting come from behind win with Magic scoring 12 points in the final quarter. Final score was 24/22. The girls finished 3rd in the pool which meant they were playing a semi-final playoff in div 2 for the grand final. This game was against Casterton and although it was a low scoring, hard fought battle, our girls held their nerve to win by 4 points 11/7. The Grand Final was against Murray Bridge who the girls had defeated earlier but Murray Bridge had their focus on the win and never allowed our girls to gain control. The under 12 girls team for the weekend was Maddie Haggett, Paige and Hannah Nitschke, Charlotte Turner, Maddie Wilkinson, Celeste Stratford, Kayleigh Taylor and Kate Walker.
Both under 12 Boys teams were successful in the Mt Gambier tournament with both teams making Grand Finals without being victorious. The div 1 boys weekend started the tournament off very strong again with wins over Mt Gambier, Murray Bridge, and Naracoorte,a 1 point loss to Eastern Hills and a 13 point loss to Great Southern who they again played later in the Grand Final. This game was very close until ¾ time where it was anyone’s game, but Great Southern showed great poise and determination and gained the upper hand to win by 10 points. The div 2/3 under 12 boys also played in a Grand Final. They played 5 games for the weekend winning against Casterton 24/22, Losing to Strathalbyn 35/19, losing to Bordertown 34/20 and drawing with Eastern Hills. This placed them in a Grand Final against Eastern Hills where they, despite being very competitive and in the game, just couldn’t finish off their opportunities enough and ended up losing by 6 points.
The under 16 div 1 girls made it to the Grand Final but were defeated by their nemesis Mt Gambier in a very close physical game that could have gone either way up until half way through the last quarter. In the end Mt Gambier showed their experience and continued to score where- as Magic just couldn’t find a way to counter the Mt Gambier defence. The final score in the Grand Final was Millicent 22 lost to Mount Gambier 31. During the weekend there were many close games with Magic having a win against Eastern Hills 35 / 30, a draw with Mt Gambier 34 all, and a loss against Strathalbyn 29/25
These results put the girls in a quarter final against Portland and despite not being in front for almost the entire game the girls dug deep and through some inspirational play from Alex Walker and great team play from team mates to create for her, they managed to get their noses in front at the right time to win by 2 points 26/24. This placed the girls in a semi-final game against Great Southern.
In the semi Magic got off to a flyer and were 10 points up with Olivia Fuller, Annabel Brooks and Alex Walker hitting shots and this coupled with aggressive team defence had Great Southern in early trouble. But like all good teams they found a way to get back in the game and then it came down to trading baskets and fortunately Magic were in front at the right time winning by the narrowest of margins with the final score being 36/35.
The weekend was an encouraging performance for another ‘new look’ under 16 division 1 girls team. Alex Walker was a real leader, top scoring in each game but also using her skills to bring other players into the game. Olivia Fuller was the recipient of the MVP for the weekend with her tenacious defence and persistent offense. Alana Winter, Leila Buhlman, Katelyn Wilson and Alex Lucas were tireless in defence while Isabella Stratford and Annabel Brooks got some excellent shots to sink.
The under 18 girls finished runners up to Mt Gambier A in a tight, low scoring contest. Both teams played strong defensive games limiting each other’s scoring opportunities. Lucy Walker & Sarah Allan again showed good leadership with Chantelle Fuller & Megan Allan doing some good work under the basket. On Saturday Millicent easily won all 3 games to finish top of their pool with Erin Watson & Sally Houlihan showing some good form. The semi-final was a close game with some basic skill errors keeping Great Southern in the game. With a determined effort from Alana Fensom & Alice Bowering the players steadied in the last quarter to win by 5 points and earn a place in the grand final. The team has had a good month with two successful tournaments playing off in both grand finals and bridging the gap against a quality opposition.
Game results: Won 52 – 17 V Mt Gambier B, Won 45 - 16 V Murray Bridge, Won 51 – 19 V Strathalbyn
Semi Final: Won 34 – 29 V Great Southern
Grand Final: Lost 21 – 34 V Mt Gambier A
U14 Girls Div 1
Under 14 girls div 1 showed great improvement over the weekend despite a slow start against the arch rivals Mt Gambier going down 33/19. The girls never really showed the fight from 2 weeks prior when they defeated Mt Gambier at Warrnambool, but from this point on showed great character with 3 wins and a close loss from 5 games.
The 2nd game against Strathalbyn was totally different and the girls showed plenty of fight and determination. The girls started strongly and that continued throughout the game with quick passing into offence that gave loads of scoring opportunities with Izzy Turner and Emily Winter, who were blitzing the fast breaks and top scoring for the game. A high level of pressure in defence paid off to win 55/15.
A battle against a much taller and bigger Murray Bridge side saw the girls stand to the challenge. Madi Turner took her opportunities driving to the basket and converted while Keely Venn and Lauren Fensom were strong under the basket making the most of their opportunities. The final score was 30/26.
An early morning start on Sunday always seems to be a worry for these girls, to their credit they came out on fire against the talented Great Southern girls and managed to keep up with them all game. The passing down the court was good and the team pressure on the ball was outstanding, but late in the game the Magic girls got in to foul trouble which cost the team dearly. The loss was a huge improvement against this talented team as in Millicent 4 weeks ago, Great Southern defeated the girls by 30 plus points and to only lose by 8 points was encouraging.
The last game for the weekend was against Eastern Hills. Speed and team work led the under 14 girls to an 8 point margin at the end of the first term. The Hills stepped up their defence and put Magic under pressure which caused a number of errors and allowed them to get back I the game. Magic rallied though and finished the game the stronger and came out victorious with a 25/21 win.
The div 2 under 14 girls had a good weekend having a couple of wins. The Venn twins (Chloe and Jess) were in good shooting form in these games, but playing division 2 as the development team always creates problems when you come up against bigger, stronger teams from other areas. The teams they played against were Naracoorte Red and won, Bordertown was a loss but the girls showed a huge improvement in this tournament because last time they played Bordertown won by 26 points and Keith was a win. Then they played Great Southern in semi-final and lost and in the consolation final they drew with Naracoorte Blue. This weekend was another where these girls showed big steps forward.
Under 14 div 1 boys had a very good weekend narrowly losing their semi- final by 1 point to Naracoorte after being 12 points down halfway through the 3rd quarter. This was their best weekend tournament by far that they have had during this town team season as they have, despite playing well, failed to record a win at previous events.
Their 1st game for the weekend was against the taller talented Warrnambool team who made our boys pay for any mistake they made and this was a bad loss for Magic. The 2nd game was against Eastern Hills and our boys showed some great determination and poise and some tough defence which was missing earlier in the day to record a win to the surprise of the Hills team. Josh Levison, Alex Buhlmann and Jack Gray really turned their form around in this game taking many strong rebounds and scoring when their team needed it. The next game was against Strathalbyn which was a tight affair as well but Matt Withers, Doug Treloar and Kade Bradley chipped in and tightened up in defence which allowed some breathing space on the score board. Magic won this as well to place them in quarter final against Murray Bridge which they won by 2 points. This result placed the Magic boys against Naracoorte in the semi-final where they got off to a good start and then allowed Naracoorte back in the game with some poor defence. It wasn’t until late in the 3rd quarter where the defensive effort improved and Kade Bradley, Josh Levison and Alex Buhlmann found ways to get to the basket and they found the way back into the game. Unfortunately, the final shot of the game did not drop and the Magic boys missed out on making it to the Grand Final by 1 point.
The div 2 under 14 boys had a good weekend playing fairly consistent basketball and they managed to get a win in their last game with Billy Pretty, Will Chay, Hamish McRae and Tanner Stuart all contributing very well to this result. Over the weekend the boys showed that as they combine and implement more of their training in their games, players like Finn Grimes, Colby O’Connor and Max Telfer will develop fast and results will flow.
The under 16 boys div 1 team had a much better weekend than at Warrnambool and are now showing signs that all players are starting to understand what is required but they still go through periods where their application is not there for the entire game. However this is getting better as well and making the semi-finals this time with 2 good wins over Strathalbyn and Bordertown, and a narrow win over Murray Bridge. This saw the boys win their way into the semi-final. Jonah Grimes showed that against bigger players he can match them but now needs to go back to concentrating at training so as to further improve. Callan Hobbs and Aidan Schultz are starting to relish their point guard roles while Tanner and Cooper Hutchesson along with Brodie Fabris are growing into town team basketball.
The Under 18 Magic men’s team showed that with each tournament they are improving and playing bigger, stronger teams is making them realize what is involved. Despite not getting a win over the weekend, they were competitive in most games.
The first game against Strathalbyn was a narrow loss by 3 points. This was a close game for the full 40 minutes with moments of loss of concentration that let the team down in the 2nd & 3rd quarters.
The next game was against Mt Gambier which is the toughest competition the boys faced. The Magic boys did match it with the them until half time, then the pure strong athletic ability of Mt Gambier saw them run away with the game.
The game against Portland was a highlight game with Jed Telfer shooting well from the 3 point line and with the strong scoring penetration from Ben Wilson, Magic was in with a chance to win almost to the end. Coupled with the offensive end there was signs of good team defense from James Wallis and Austin Galli.
On Sunday afternoon the Magic boys played against Murray Bridge. The Bullets seemed to start the game thinking Magic would be an easy opposition and they were quite sluggish which soon developed into a game that the Magic boys showed they had the ability to out play the opposition. Josh Murphy & Charlie Bullen both had moments of brilliance and James Wallis & Austin Galli hassled well for turnovers but towards the end of the game Murray Bridge regained composure and went on to win. The new comer to the team playing for the first time was tall Patrick Reid who proved a true asset.
The next event on the agenda for the Millicent teams is Horsham this weekend with 3 team teams attending and then Victor Harbour a week later where we have 9 teams participating.