Wimmera juniors impress at Southern Cross Basketball Challenge

FOUR Wimmera junior basketballers finished up their representative duties for Basketball Victoria Country on Monday.

Thomas Berry, Sacha McDonald, Jordie McAuliffe and Jeremiah McKenzie played on separate squads at the Southern Cross Basketball Challenge in Melbourne.

Basketball Victoria Country split its teams into two squads the Bushrangers and Goldminers for each age group.

Berry was on the boys under-15 Goldminers squad and McDonald was with the girls' under-15 Bushrangers.

McKenzie was picked for the under-14 boys Goldminers side and McAuliffe made the girls' under-14 Bushrangers squad.

While none of the four teams came away with the overall trophy in their age group, all of the Wimmera players made solid on-court contributions.

Berry's Goldminers had a successful conclusion to the tournament with a 57-37 win over their home-state rival, Bushrangers .

The win capped off a performance that saw them win two pool matches, against WA Country and South Australia Metro Blue, while losing to Vic Metro White and South Australia Country.

Berry's best performance came against WA Country when he scored five points.

Sacha McDonald was enjoying a solid run through the tournament with the Bushrangers before an ankle injury sidelined her in the third pool game.

She was taken to hospital for scans on the ankle after she landed awkwardly, but it was not broken.

McDonald said she had never played for a Victoria country team and was nervous before the tournament, but felt she played well.

"I thought I wasn't going to go so well, but I think I improved over the matches that I played," she said.

"I think my best match was the one against Vic Metro Blue before I hurt my ankle.

"They had some really tall centres and trying to get in front of them was pretty hard but I got there eventually.

"The experience was fun but it would have been better if I had been able to keep playing."

Her team went on to finish fourth after losing to Vic Metro White in the third place playoff.

McAuliffe posted the best numbers of the Wimmera players, averaging nearly seven points a game for her Bushrangers team.

The team lost its first three matches but rebounded to win the final three, with McAuliffe putting in an eight point performance in the final match against ACT.

McKenzie also played well, scoring in each of his matches.

His best game came against ACT on Sunday when he scored eight points, and he averaged just under four points per game for the tournament.

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