School team thrilled with bronze finish at state finals
COFFS Harbour Public School's boys' basketball team made it all the way to state finals.
The group of Year 5 and 6 students travelled to Bathurst as one of the last eight remaining schools in the statewide PSSA competition and came home thrilled with finishing third in NSW.
With teacher and Coffs Harbour Suns player Felicity Cook guiding the group, the Coffs Harbour team sneaked past Quirindi PS in the quarter finals 42-41 thanks to a late basket from the free throw line.
Facing Regentville PS from near Penrith in the semi-final was a tough assignment, according to Mrs Cook.
"They had some very experienced players but the boys held their own,” Mrs Cook said.
"I was very proud of them, the boys were in it right up to the last three minutes but I think experience told in the end.”
Preparing for the 10-hour bus ride home, the boys were told they could play in a playoff for third place against Dubbo South.
Knowing that playing in the extra game would mean getting home at midnight, the teacher asked her boys if they wanted to play and the response was unanimously enthusiastic.
"I told them you've made us stay, so you might as well play properly,” the coach said. Properly they did play, winning 42-24 to finish third in the state.
School principal Leonie Buehler said the success this group of boys enjoyed has inspired the younger students at Coffs Harbour to take up basketball.
"We're exceptionally proud of the boys, their effort and their sportsmanship,” she said.
"I'd really like to thank their coach as well.
"Felicity has done a marvellous job helping the team get this far.”