Port Augusta were represented by 11 junior basketball sides in Whyalla over the weekend in the annual McDonalds Whyalla Junior Basketball Carnival.
In a near perfect lead up to the upcoming South Australia Country Championships in Adelaide in March 2018, we had seven Grand Final appearances with six victorious teams.
The U12 Girls Port Augusta Div 1 side kicked off Grand Final success with a win over Whyalla, 29 to 17.
In a first win over Whyalla in three carnivals the team work displayed underpinned success.
Silky skills in the back court meant transition into offence resulting in open scores. Krystal Thompson had a terrific carnival winning carnival MVP.
The U12 Girls Port Augusta Div 2 side were unlucky to finish eventual runner ups in an overtime thriller that had the stadium at a stand still and the crowd on edge.
Losing to a bigger stronger Pt Pirie side the tenacity showed through defensive intensity almost secured a win.
Losing by two with a score in the final minute of play. Pt Pirie 29 defeated Pt Augusta 27.
In a break out carnival for the U12 Boys their defensive pressure across the floor was unmatched.
A quick start in the Grand Final seen them jump a strong Broken Hill team 24-4 and were not challenge agained.
Finishing 42 to 18, the boys under the guidance of Brett Humphrys gave a lesson to others in the competition in team work and defensive intensity.
They will be looking to continue this form into the upcoming Country Championships to be real challengers for the Division 1 title.
Young guard Josh Saunders was awarded carnival runner up MVP.
Our stellar U14 Girls group played off in the semi with Port Augusta overcoming Devils who were undersized.
After easily accounting for Pt Pirie in the minor rounds the girls were challenged and forced to play to a higher standard in the Grand Final.
Using all their assets to their advantage Port Augusta were able to overcome a gallant Pt Pirie side in the final minutes of this tight contest.
Port Augusta were eventual winners 33 - 29. The versatile Ellyssa Myles was awarded carnival MVP.
The U14 Boys had an indifferent carnival not displaying their true class in the minor rounds.
Leaving their best for the finals, Port Augusta meet a talent filled Pt Pirie side and in a game of strategy and multiple lead changes the boys were able to make some clutch plays in the final minutes to secure a hard fought win.
Port Augusta won 47 to 39. Kane McAuliffe had an outstanding carnival and was awarded joint carnival MVP.
Outsized in their competition the U14 Boys Div 2 Port Augusta team beat Port Lincoln 29 - 23.
Utilising their speed up the floor and finishing ability around the basket they were able to outscore a tenacious Port Lincoln team.
The result of the U14 Boys is promising leading into both the Country Championships and the 2018 - 19 carnival season.
John Weimer’s presence inside seen him take home carnival MVP.
In a three team competition the U18 Girls finished top progressing straight to the Sunday Grand Final.
Meeting an intense Whyalla team, Port Augusta were able to carry over their strong form from the Saturday minor round games.
In a longstanding rivalry between teams Port Augusta were able to get the win in what will be the last for the top age U18 Girls.
The U16 Girls and Boys as well as the U18 Boys were unsuccessful in progressing past the semi final stage.
Both the U16 sides lost in close encounters while the U18 Boys were unable to match the eventual winners Whyalla in a fast pace high scoring game.
Well done to the U18 Boys and Girls that concluded their junior Port Augusta representative basketball at the Whyalla Carnival.
We wish them every success in their basketball future and hope to see them playing Port Augusta senior representative basketball in years to come.
Good luck to all players, coaches and officials competing in the upcoming Junior SA Country Championships.