Junior teams excel at Country Champs | GALLERY

Port Augusta Netball was represented by the U/17, U/15 and U/13 teams. The teams all advanced to the semi-finals with the U/17s reaching the grand final only to lose by 4 goals to Western Border.

Under 17s

Jasmin Eckert was the U/17 coach and the Manager was Lexia Fullerton. Hard coaching decisions were made as the games progressed to a higher peak of competition. Considering the team was laden with A Grade experience it was difficult to disregard the capability and skills of Ebony Butler, Lily Fullerton, Jenna Glamuzina (A/B), Lucy Janiak and Phoebe Hunter to be consistently on court. The core group did provide leadership in their positions. Tayla Finlay (B) as a goalie worked well with Janiak and on many occasions felt the zealous defending tactics of oppositions and survived to net important goals.

Fullerton and Glamuzina as expected were reliable as goal defenders and their height was a bonus. There were not that many short heighted opposition goalies. The battle to rebound and intercept for possessions was intense. When it came to the midcourt strength Butler and Hunter had the insight to keep ahead of their counterparts. Supporting midcourt roles in selected games came from Zoe Maloney, Madeline Press and Zara Whellum. Kaylanah Reid was amazing in the wing attack position being able to consistently gain centre passes and provide support around the goal circle with Hunter.

It was the team effort that got the team to the grand final. Western Border has a well-known and respected reputation as repetitive winners at the carnival. Port Augusta's best choice of players to challenge this ardent opposition had to take the court. This stage of the carnival and particular game was not about feeling the experience but playing to be a winner. Ten U/17 players represented Port Augusta and it was a team effort to get to the grand final. Well done to all players on the outstanding achievement.

Under 15s

The team was coached by Beaudine Dalla Santa and the Team Manager was Carmen Skinn. When the team was down 4 goals in the quarter final the girls in a brilliant display of desperation and flawless game play stunned the opposition with its 7 goal win to advance to the semi-final against Great Southern. This opposing team was a hard fast moving machine to contest. Every aspect of netball skill had to be perfectly performed by Port Augusta. There were no second chances to score goals or rectify misguided passes. The opposition made it tough for Port Augusta to break through the midcourt. Regardless of the unexpected tactic our girls were courageous in the 16-22 loss.

All through the carnival Maia Scharenberg, Sophie Glamuzina and Alice Ticehurst commendably contested, rebounded and turned over play from the goal defending positions. Shalana Cox in the centre position was a dynamic interceptor of play. Louise Hunter as wing attack found the space in the midcourt to support the flow of play to goalies Teraleyha Coulthard, Charlotte Hill and Rebekah O'Neill. As wing defence Shaniqwa Stuart displayed some unbelievable goal circle interceptions without infringement going over the line. As a team of nine all the players were great competitors and were afforded opportunities to compete in different positions in the various games. Well done girls on a wonderful carnival.

Under 13s

The team was coached by Sherrie Hall and the Team Manger was Michelle Heritage. The team confidently advanced to the semi-final to meet KNTNA (Kowree-Naracoorte-Tatiara) and boldly set the scene it was on court to earn the win. Unfortunately KNTNA had the same intent. The game was a superb test of skillfulness by both teams. Ella Humphrys, Zara Heritage as defenders were persistent hasslers on the opposition goalies grabbing rebounds and keeping the goalies wide of the goal post. Eliza Ashton intercepted some brilliant misguided opposition passes and Kahmesha Wilton found space to support midcourt play.

Sophie Warren, Lilah Hill and Chernille Digance were effective in applying pressure through the midcourt. Their tenacity resulted in turnovers or regaining lost possessions to return the ball to goalies Tia Buckskin and Kyra Mahomed who were absolutely fantastic all carnival with their accuracy in the goal circle. The team of nine players experienced competition at a new level and even though the semi-final was a 9 goal loss every player can be proud of their achievements. Well done girls.