Boys from the Coffs Harbour under-11 team having fun in Grafton.
Boys from the Coffs Harbour under-11 team having fun in Grafton.

Rep teams show Coffs? strength

THE 22 representative teams from Coffs Harbour travelled north to Grafton last weekend in their first hitout in the Odd Age season.

There was a sea of Coffs Harbour uniforms in sizes XX Small to XX Large as our kids took to the courts in the under-11, under-13, under-15 and under-17 divisions.

Thanks to all of those coaches, parents and supporters who travelled to Grafton to assist with teams.

It was terrific to see the level of support the teams gave each other throughout the weekend, and a special thanks to Coffs Harbour referees Mattison Devine, Ryan Cross and Sandra Mottram who travelled to Grafton to help fulfil Coffs' refereeing obligations.

Thanks also to the player referees who assisted with our referee obligations.

Coffs took out 5 of the 7 divisions in which we had teams, with the under-17 boys perhaps being the surprise gold medal winners of the tournament.

Under rookie coach Garth Wales, the boys played terrific team basketball, defeating the strong Lismore team in the final.

Coach Wales was greatly motivated by the weekend's performance and is keen to get his full team on the court at Port Macquarie.

"Three of our starting five players were at the State All Star carnival this weekend, so the team's achievement is even more impressive," Wales said.

The under-11 boys' and girls' teams looked fantastic, decked out in matching hair ribbons, headbands and sweat bands. And once on the court, these youngsters showed just how talented they are, totally outplaying their opposition.

This a reflection of the high standard of play in the CHBA Saturday basketball competition and the Future Stars program.

The girls' and boys' grand finals featured Coffs v Coffs teams. Selectors on the weekend were obviously astounded by the talent on display in this young age group, and it will be a difficult decision to determine division 1 and 2 teams.

In the under-15 boys, Coffs entered three evenly matched teams.

The teams were a mix of some very experienced players to some that had never previously played in any rep team. This created some very exciting games, not only against each other, but the teams were more evenly matched against Grafton and Lismore as well.

It was the Coffs Black team that made it through to the final against Lismore 1.

This was a very physical, hard-fought game that had spectators from both sides on the edge of their seats.

Unfortunately, Coffs went down by just four points.

With so much talent on show, the selectors are having an extremely difficult time trying to decide on next year's Northern Junior League team.

It is for this reason that the committee has given selectors an extension of time until after the Port Macquarie carnival to make a final decision.

The future of Coffs Basketball in this division is looking very bright with so many talented athletes.

Three Coffs Harbour under-15 girls' teams participated in Grafton with excellent results.

Ably coached by Trevor Jackson, Paula Lacey and Aileen Wilson, the three teams threw themselves into every contest with determination and intensity, realising the importance of their individual performances in the current 2006 Suns representative team selection process.

Every carnival game was close and keenly contested but it was the Aileen Wilson-coached number three white team that came out on top, soundly defeating an excellent Lismore Lakers team in the Sunday afternoon grand final 46 points to 28.

Coffs entered five teams in the under-13 girls' division and played against Tamworth, Phantoms, Lismore and Grafton in a keenly contested competition.

Coffs Red and Coffs Black, both undefeated in the preliminary rounds, faced off in the grand final.

What promised to be an even contest at the start, with plenty of fast flowing action by both teams soon changed into one dominated by Coffs Red, who won by a comfortable margin.

Best for Coffs Black were Liza Goulding, Nicole Howarth, Jessica Wilson and Giranee Wonisch while for the champions the standouts were Brittney Ainsworth, Laura Bamford, Rebekah Farrah, Ruby Mayson and Meghan Rae.

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