Port Augusta was represented by nine teams at the 2018 SA Country Championships held in Adelaide last weekend.
Teams come from all over regional South Australia to compete for the title of the best SA Country side for their individual age groups.
The Under 12 Girls were represented in both the Division 1 and 3 competitions.
The Division 1 team started their weekend against eventual Runners Up, Riverland, who shocked them with high intensity basketball defeating them by 15.
After regrouping the girls went on to beat a strong Millicent outfit in their quarter final cross over by two, setting up a date with Riverland in the semi-final.
On the back of a strong second half performance, the girls eventually went down by two points in a thriller.
In a six-team competition that saw only the top two progress to a Grand Final play off, the Under 12 Girls Division 3 had a consistent weekend.
Losing to Division 3 champions Whyalla by only five in the minor rounds, these girls showed that Port Augusta will continue to be competitive next year in the U12 age group.
It was a tough weekend for the U12 Boys, unable to secure a win in the Division 1 competition.
Beaten by the bigger bodied teams from the south of Adelaide, they showed resilience to continue to fight to keep games close.
Unfortunately, the minor round results lead them to miss out on a finals appearance.
Represented by two sides, the U14 Girls played in the Division 1 and 2 competitions.
An easy win Saturday morning for the division 1 side looked promising for the girls to continue their unbeaten run.
However, a close loss to Riverland in the following game halted their chances and they were unable to regain their composure to launch an attack at the championship.
They were eventual losers to Mildura in the quarter finals.
The U14 Girls Division 2 side performed well across the weekend.
Two tight losses in the minor round meant a third place pool finish, setting up a cross over final against grand finalist Whyalla.
Unable to handle the full court pressure applied by Whyalla in the quarter final, Port Augusta was unable to stem the scoring flow and lost in a one-sided affair.
Strong numbers in the U14 Boys again meant we were represented by two sides in Division 1 and 3.
In a tough pool the division 1 side finished third, meeting Strathalbyn in the quarter final cross over.
On the back of a 27-point haul from Kane McAuliffe Port Augusta were unluckily eliminated from the competition in a two-point classic.
In a future development move, our U14 Division 3 boys had a tough weekend at the office.
In a strong competition they were unable to secure a win in the minor rounds which lead to an early exit from the competition.
In a tight five team U16 Girls Division 2 competition Port Augusta finished third.
Two close losses in the minor rounds set up a semi-final match with nemesis Whyalla.
In a game that swung both ways it was Whyalla who finished up on top beating Port Augusta by six and ending their attack at the championship.
Rounding out our teams for the weekend, the U16 Boys were represented in the Division 1 competition.
Losing star forward Mitchell Searle before the weekends play commenced meant a change in game plan.
Outdone in the minor rounds by the strength and depth of opposing teams, in a pool that boasted both grand finalist Port Augusta finished fifth.
Missing out on a win in a close final minor round going down by five to Mildura.
Port Augusta Basketball would like to thank all coaches who gave up their time over the carnival season, your efforts have been appreciated by all players, parents and officials – U12 Girls Libby Harrison and Kellie Von Senden, U12 Boys Brett Humphrys, U14 Girls and Boys Ryan Struck, Travis Rabig and Tylah Jackson, U16 Girls Ben Leahy and U16 Boys Damien Pearce.
Thank you also to the umpires who thanklessly put up their hand to represent Port Augusta at carnivals throughout the year.
The Port Augusta Basketball Association commends all players on their attitude and sportsmanship shown across the weekend and hope that we can return bigger and better next year.
With the Monday public holiday, finals for our local competition started Tuesday March, 13.
As the finals fever rises we wish all teams competing the best of luck over the next 10 days in their bid to secure a Grand Final berth and we commend all club’s on their effort in the minor rounds.
The first round of finals will see A Women’s favourites Falcons Black take on Spartans Grey at 8 pm on Thursday night.
And if you are looking for some high class entertainment Friday night, the A Men will be in action with unbeaten Cobras taking on a red hot Wildcats in a final that is not to be missed. Tip off is at 8 pm, see you there.