The toast of the coast
By DEBBIE HARDWICK
LAST Wednesday, the Mid North Coast Zone team headed off to Ballina at the bleary hour of 6am for the North Coast Senior Girls' High School Knockout.
With such an early start, it was understandable that they were a little fatigued in their first game against Richmond.
Court captains Eden Conklin and Merinda Rhodes soon pulled the team together, controlling loose balls and feeding guards for a 50-17 win.
The Far North Coast team were intent upon being in command of the next match, but with the strong defensive power of Jade Tubbs, Charlotte Rhodes and Karla McCann, MNC overcame the offensive pressure.
Man to man defence strengthened their cause, with Millie Bendell and Christie Hardwick exacting a good return by anticipation and strong court-length passes to guards Beth Van Der Wal, Courtney Donkin and Aimee Durbidge for another solid win 56-28.
Coach Brenton Hope called for a full-court press in the next match as he knew it would be a tough one against competition rivals, Lower North Coast.
The whole team stepped up to meet his demand in what became a match of strength and determination.
Lower North Coast responded strongly, taking Mid North Coast by surprise.
With the scoreline close, every Mid North Coast player claimed command of the court and they emerged victorious 34-32 to remain undefeated in their three games.
Congratulations and good luck to Millie Bendell (Orara), Eden Conklin (Orara), Jade Tubbs (Orara), Merinda Rhodes (Grafton), Karla McCann (Grafton) and Beth Van Der Wal (Woolgoolga), who have been selected as members of the North Coast team to compete at the New South Wales Combined High Schools Girls' Basketball Championship to be held at Minto on May 10-12.