OFFICIALS are playing down reports of unruly crowd behaviour which marred an under 12 basketball final on Sunday.
The Standard received text messages complaining about poor sportsmanship during the Warrnambool and Millicent under 12 division one grand final at the Warrnambool Junior Seaside Classic.
Millicent won a close game, 20-15.
One text read: “Well done Warrnambool basketball, a great weekend and true to form spoiled by bad sportsmanship. Booing a visiting team who beat Warrnambool under 12s. Report that Standard!! — disgraceful.”
Another said: “Wbool basketball players and supporters booing 10-year-old Millicent kids!!!! I was embarrassed to be from Wbool! —Disappointed supporter.”
The Standard yesterday confirmed reports about spectator behaviour.
Warrnambool Junior Basketball chairman Michael Gray said the crowd might have perceived a couple of referees’ calls in the dying stages of the game as controversial.
“It was a very close game and very passionate by both teams,” he said.
“There was a massive crowd watching. There was spirited barracking from what I can gather.”
Gray said the Warrnambool association did not condone bad sportsmanship.
“With junior basketball we work hard to promote the sportsmanship, endeavour and effort and the game was an outstanding example of that,” he said.
Gray said the seaside classic followed a “play by the rules handbook”, which followed the motto “play fair, strive to achieve your best, show respect and contribute positively”.
He said he was happy to speak to anyone who was unhappy with any crowd behaviour.
“If they have an issue, direct it to the Warrnambool Junior Basketball committee and we would certainly follow it up,” he said.
“The Millicent coach spoke highly of the passion and had no concerns from their point of view and I spoke extensively with him after the game.”
Millicent basketball manager Peter Seebohm said the crowd was “very vocal, loud and supportive of the home team”. “There was crowd reaction to every call,” he said. Seebohm said Millicent’s young players were not deterred and were fully focused on the game.
He said the Millicent association had a strong relationship with Warrnambool and Millicent was pleased with its tournament.
“The Millicent kids all wore their medals to school today,” he said.
“We had a very good tournament.
“We had 10 teams and they all showed improvement from the week before so we were happy.”