Tournament triple treat for young Seahawks talents

A TRIPLE treat was Warrnambool Seahawks’ reward for a weekend of solid basketball at the South West Classic at Portland.
The Seahawks’ under 18 boys, under 16 boys and under 14 boys all tasted division one success at the tournament on Saturday and Sunday.
The under 18s defeated Hamilton in their grand final 54-40, having already claimed a come-from-behind 38-32 win in a pool match.
The under 16s edged out home-court fancy Portland 26-22 while the under 14s were convincing 45-25 winners against Hamilton.
Seahawks under 18 boys coach Bobby Cunningham said he was pleased with the way his teens rose to the challenge against rivals from across the region.
Cunningham said the title was built on a unique substitution strategy known as the “Green Wave”, whereby all five players interchanged every four minutes.
“It all spins back to our last two games at the Bendigo tournament back in January,” he said. “We’re trying to play a style of basketball where everyone felt like they were involved in the action.
“As frustrating as it can be for some of the players to go five on, five off, we as the coaching panel think the kids have bought into this system.”
Cunningham said he would have no hesitation using the strategy at Victorian country championships at Bendigo in a fortnight.
The Seahawks’ under 16 and under 18 boys and girls’ sides will be in action in the Goldfields city. Country titles for the under 14s are not until April 5 and 6. “We feel there isn’t one kid that is head and shoulders above everyone else, that he should be getting 35 or 40 minutes,” Cunningham said.
“It’s a good team atmosphere, everyone has bought into it. Our patience was tested a little bit against Hamilton in one of the pool games.
“Hamilton was beating us but I just said ‘we’re going to stick with it, they’ve got a good start but we’ll wear them down. We ended up winning 38-32.”
In other results, Mount Gambier took the honours in the under 18 girls’ grand final with a 30-18 win against Portland.
Colac defeated Terang 36-20 in the under 16 boys’ division two decider, Horsham defeated Millicent 30-20 and Colac defeated Millicent 37-15 in the under 16 girls’ grades.
Ararat won a thrilling under 16 boys’ division two final, edging past Terang 41-39
The under 14 girls’ grades went the way of Portland, 28-21 against Mount Gambier, and Terang, 44-13 against Warrnambool.
The closest grand final of the weekend was in under 12 boys’ division one, with Portland defeating Horsham 26-25 in double overtime.
Millicent scored one of two successes in under 12 boys’ division two, 33-23 against Koroit.
Millicent also won under 12 girls’ division one courtesy of a 31-15 defeat of Mount Gambier while Hamilton won division two, beating Portland 20-16.

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