IF Portland's Country Basketball League premiership says anything, it's that the sport is thriving in the south-west seaside city.
The Ellen Zeunert-coached Coasters were untouchable as they stunned Warrnambool Mermaids in Horsham on Saturday night, posting a dominant 71-49 triumph.
The club's men's side - which played Horsham Hornets in the decider - went down in an seven-point thriller.
Zeunert said the success of the season was a major vote of confidence in Portland basketball.
"Portland Basketball Association has just been right behind both CBL teams," she said.
"Jordy Cook is just... He's just a gem. He's been awesome. It's a really good achievement as we're a place of about 10,000 and we're coming up against places like Warrnambool and Mount Gambier which are big places and have more resources to pull from.
We're a place of about 10,000 and we're coming up against (bigger) places.- Ellen Zeunert
"It's a real credit to the association in getting it up and about. It'd be lovely in the future if we could look at getting into the Big V but that comes down to finances and travel and things like that. We've got a good pool to keep rolling on with."
Youngster Millie Jennings, who also plays netball for Hampden league club Koroit, was the Coasters' top-scorer with 21 points while captain Nicola Handreck drained 17.
Alana Strom drew praise from Zeunert for her defensive showing but the experienced coach said her side as a whole executed its game plan to perfection.
"We'd watched quite a few of their matches. We had a structured game plan going in to run pretty much a lot of press, run an up-tempo game," she said.
"We wanted to take it out of their structure. They're good in offence, good at moving the ball through set plays so we just wanted to throw them out of the rhythm.
"We played a lot of press and locked down defensive. They have three main avenues with Leah (Bartlett), Molly (McKinnon) and Katie (O'Keefe) so we just wanted to shut them down and play more an up-tempo game which suits us a bit more."
Zeunert said Portland had "the utmost respect" for O'Keefe, assistant Louise Brown and the entire Mermaids organisation.
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She said a strong Portland crowd turned out to support both the women's and men's teams.
"It was brilliant. They had the junior tournament on up there and we had fantastic support," Zeunert said.
"It was the same with the men - obviously it was more pro-Horsham with the game being in Horsham - but we've got nothing but respect for (Warrnambool).
"They're just great players and great leaders part of a great unit."
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