SURPRISE PACKETS: Emerald's Bre Walsh shoots a free throw with her team mates Abbey Denyer and Gwen Stevens lining up in the key.
SURPRISE PACKETS: Emerald's Bre Walsh shoots a free throw with her team mates Abbey Denyer and Gwen Stevens lining up in the key. Contributed

Local gals perform strongly

WE HAVE just returned from the 2019 u/12 girls state championships held in Brisbane.

This is the second year in a row taking this age group, however this year we over achieved.

For some perspective, we are the smallest club to participate at State Championship level and probably the smallest in stature too, except when it comes to heart, persistence, fighting through the soreness, highs and lows and pushing way outside the comfort zone to step up for each other in each and every game.

The girls came through incredibly tough pool games winning three from four after coming up against a Townsville team, two Brisbane teams and going down to another Brisbane association to finish top two in our pool - much to the surprise of many teams.

I think we were able to sneak up on a few big associations who tend only to worry about other big teams with reputations. Well they now know who Emerald is.

This automatically put us in the top eight of division two, first Emerald team to do this.

We crossed over in our quarter final to put ourselves in with a chance to win a bronze medal but unfortunately went down to our good friends and central rivals Bundaberg.

Next semi was to give us a chance to play for fifth and sixth or seventh and eighth. We had a fighting win over a Brisbane side to get us to fifth and sixth playoff.

Our eight exhausted young girls showed what they were made of and came back from a 10 point deficit going into the fourth quarter to win by three, finishing top five in division two at a State Champs.

Unbelievable result for our little country girls and our club.

It was such a team effort its hard to single out individuals. Of about 170 odd players, we had two in the top 10 in points scored.

We are able to compete with bigger associations. We knew we weren't a tall side so we practised hard on the fundamentals of basketball three times a week plus their usual games club games on Thursday afternoon, making our skills as high as possible allowed us to compensate for the height difference we came up against.

Damon Walsh, U12 Girls Emerald Basketball Coach


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