Junior campaigns begin

By DEBBIE HARDWICK

SPORTZ Central in Bray Street will have the resounding patter of good competition basketball next weekend as the Northern Junior League Division 2 begin their 2006 campaign.

Commencing Saturday morning, junior teams from Armidale, Ballina, Bellinger Valley, Grafton, Gunnedah, Inverell, Kempsey, Lismore, Port Macquarie, Tamworth, and Taree will descend upon Coffs Harbour.

Around 250 enthusiastic players plus coaching staff and supporters enjoyed excitement of the first central venue of Northern Junior League competition.

To top off the weekend, the Camera House Suns Men's State League team will match up on the Central Coast with Lake Macquarie Lightning and Power Basketball in their first round.

n Coffs Harbour Basketball Association is proud to have entered a team in the New Zealand International Club Championships to be held in Auckland, New Zealand at Easter, 2006.

The Under 18 women's team have demonstrated that they will be a highly competitive participant in these championships and are training extensively to hone their already excellent skills.

Naturally, sport and competition does not come free, and together with travel, accommodation, game fees, uniforms, training etc, the team have been madly fundraising.

To raise the much needed funds, parents and players alike have enjoyed many hours of selling raffle tickets, running barbecues and the girls put some gruelling hours into a basketball-athon, all with the support of the local business community including Palm Shopping, Coffs Harbour Toyota, Sportz Central and Centro Toormina.

The girls will be accompanied and supported by coach Herb Haddon, manager Naomi Markham and bench statistician Debbie Hardwick.

Good luck to Rebekkah Atkinson, Millie Bendell, Christie Hardwick, Emma Kopcicas, Ashley Markham, Brooke Seccombe, Gabby Staines, Clare Thomson, Kate Wallace who will be wonderful ambassadors for not only basketball, but also our community of Coffs Harbour.

n Coach Brenton Hope has been looking forward to watching his crackshot basketball team compete at the New South Wales Combined High Schools girls basketball championships this week.

Selections for the team were made from the four regional zones when the teams met in the Regional challenge.

Congratulations and good luck to Orara High School basketballers, Millie Bendell, Sammy Cooper, Jess Bailey and Emma Howarth who have been selected as members of the North Coast team.

n AREA trials for the PSSA North Coast team were held at Grafton Indoor Stadium on Monday.

Each of the four zones of Lower North Coast, Mid North Coast, Northern Rivers and Far North Coast, brought both a boys and girls team to compete.

With a running clock, the Mid North Coast girls' team was convincingly successful and dominated all matches set before them.

Congratulations and good luck to Samantha Bastick (Urunga), Evangelina Edwards and Kacee Taylor (Sawtell), Courtney Martyn (Korora) and Tiarne Saunders (Boambee) who were selected as members of the North Coast PSSA team.

Coach Gordon Kovacevic plans a training session in the holidays and feels positive that the team is strong enough to compete with the best at the New South Wales PSSA State Championships on the Central Coast from May 24 to June 1.



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