WARRNAMBOOL Mermaids are planning to use experience gained from the National Junior Classic at their next major tournament.
The talented basketball team, under the guidance of coach Shane Smith, finished eighth at the Melbourne-based competition on Monday.
They will come up against some of the same teams at the Australian Club Championships in Sydney in October.
Twenty-four rosters from across Australia will compete.
Smith said the Mermaids would try and organise practice games and train regularly in the lead-up.
"We'll keep working on our skill-set and do better," he said.
"We've seen what the best look like so now it's just trying to emulate some of their performances."
Warrnambool won two of its three pool games at the National Junior Classic - a high-calibre tournament which featured now NBA star Josh Giddey only three years ago - to be ranked in the top eight entering the finals stage.
The Mermaids lost to Diamond Valley and Norwood Flames in their first two playoff games. They drew Sandringham in the seventh-place playoff match and fell one point short, losing a thriller 34-33.
"We came back from 16 down and had a buzzer-beater that just missed," Smith said.
"It was a great weekend for us, the girls did really well."
Smith said to be in the top-eight section was testament to the players' hard work.
"They were the best eight teams from New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia and it meant you played strong competition which was perfect for us," he said.
"It was a challenge - there was some really big girls and some really strong teams - but we really hung in there which was great.
"There were games where we looked like we were gone and we bounced back."
Indi O'Connor, who contributed 50 points across their six games, and Sophie Smith, who scored 68 points in total, were "on-court leaders" for the Mermaids.
"Their scoring was good but defensive-wise they were really good," he said.
Chloe Gleeson, Milan Clark, Rosie Bowman, Zoe Dobson, Stella Marris, Paige Lenehan, Emma Hill and Annika Baker made up the Mermaids' roster.
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