A PROMISING south-west basketball team has its sights set on country championship success.
Warrnambool Seahawks’ under 14 boys’ squad will take a quiet confidence into the Basketball Victoria Country Championships in Bendigo this weekend.
Isaac Thomas and Cooper Atchison are the new faces to the team which won the under 12 title two years ago.
They will join Liam Herbert, Hayden Rhook, Jay Rantall, Bayley McGowan, Jarra Blackney-Noter, Paddy O’Brien and Dom Occhipinti in the Tim Rantall-coached side for the three-day under 14 tournament which starts today.
The 37 teams will be separated into four divisions for finals on Monday.
Rantall said Warrnambool fancied its chances.
“Our goal is to get into division one and see how far that can take us,” he said.
“It will be good to be up there and see where we sit in with other country associations.
“The first tournament was in Warrnambool in October and we started training in September and this has been the end goal.”
Warrnambool won tournaments in Bendigo, Portland and Colac in the lead-up to the country championships.
“We haven’t seen a couple of the big associations which generally compete in the Victorian Junior Basketball League in Melbourne,” Rantall said. “Our depth is our strength. We have nine really good players and we’re able to rotate players throughout the tournament.
“If we’re lucky enough to make the grand final, it would mean we’d have played nine games in three days and we can rely on two or three players to do that.”
Warrnambool will send its under 14 girls’ side to the tournament as well.
Coach Allan McCullagh expects it to be a learning curve.
“They will improve but it will be tough,” he said. “Usually they grade them after the first day so on the second day you’re playing against sides of your same ability.”
Georgia McCullagh, Molly McKinnon, Lauren Zanker, Ruby Moloney, Charlotte Lenehan, Ebony Marais, Ella Thornton, Faith Bruce and Juina Lual will represent Warrnambool.
Portland, Terang and Colac will also send teams to the tournament.