WARRNAMBOOL's youngest female represenatitive basketball side has taken notes after competiting against Australia's best.
The under 12 Mermaids finished 12th at the Basketball Australia National Junior Classic in Melbourne on Monday.
They qualified for the event after winning the Basketball Victoria title in April.
Warrnambool coach Kate Sewell said the Mermaids, who finished with a 2-4 win-loss record, did the south-west region proud and were commended on their sportsmanship.
"It was a big step up on a national stage and a really good learning experience," she said.
"It was great to see how the girls played at the next level.
"We had opportunities today and yesterday where we could've won but our shooting let us down a little bit.
"You have to consider there was greater defensive pressure than what we'd experienced before."
Sewell said the country-based Mermaids came up against city-based rosters which played in high-quality junior competitions regularly.
"There were 16 teams and everyone had to qualify to get there," she said.
"Us winning the country champs knocked 40 teams out there and they were aspiring to be where we were (at the national junior classic).
"We played teams from the VJBL (Victorian Junior Basketball League) who play under intense pressure every week and, coming from the country, that's not something we get to experience often."
Eve Covey, Indigo Sewell, Shelby O'Sullivan, Satu Johnstone, Lucy McLaren, Rosie Bowman, Indi O'Connor and Poppy Myers represented the Mermaids.
Olivia Lenehan missed through illness.
Seven of the nine players will move up to the under 14 age group next season with Bowman and O'Connor to remain as top-age under 12s.
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