Annie's silver medal triumph

WARRNAMBOOL basketballer Annie Blackburn has won a silver medal for Australia.

Annie, 17, represented Australia Green in three-on-three basketball at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney.

Australia Green lost to Australia Gold in the women’s gold medal play-off on Saturday, 16-11.

“We were 6-3 and Gold, because it was a taller team, got into the post and finished well,” she said. “I didn’t know what to expect from 3 x 3. It was very different to 5 x 5.

“You have to be really fit because it’s really continuous.In 5 x 5 you get a break and there are time outs.”

Australia Green won all bar two of its preliminary games.

Its losses came against Australian Gold and New Zealand.

Games were played on specially designed outdoor courts near the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Thursday and Friday.

Annie said weather conditions then forced games indoors to Sydney Boys High School.

“Friday was the hottest day ever in Sydney,” she said. “It was 46 degrees, I think that’s what it got to.

“The actual courts were 76 degrees. They said if we fell on the courts we would get burnt.

“They called games off at 3pm. We played one game and then because of rain they were moved to a stadium.”

Annie said the outdoor courts, which drew interested onlookers, had their benefits and negatives.

“They were cool but it got very hot and there was not much shelter and you had to drink a lot,” she said. “But I liked it.” Annie said her introduction to half-court basketball, a fast-paced concept where games are packed into 10 minutes, was a learning experience.

“I was pretty happy with my tournament but it really is a team game,” she said.

The promising shooting guard will now turn her attention to Vic Country under 18 girl’s state trials.

justine.mc@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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