2017 Basketball Victoria Country State Championships under-16 girls: preview

OPPORTUNITY: From back Kate Sleep, Lavinia Fox, Gemma Souness, Ella Friend, Elizabeth Crocker and Steph Glover and absent Molly Lakin.
OPPORTUNITY: From back Kate Sleep, Lavinia Fox, Gemma Souness, Ella Friend, Elizabeth Crocker and Steph Glover and absent Molly Lakin.

JUNIOR Horsham Hornet under-16 girls will challenge in the division three and four Basketball Victoria Country Junior Championships in Bendigo over Saturday and Sunday. 

The side, under the guidance of coach Damien Kilpatrick, has had one of its most impressive seasons to date, winning its first tournament as a unit for the first time. 

It has been drawn against some unknown opponents such as Morwell Magic which has a strong junior program set-up. 

Kilpatrick said this is the competition in which every team wants to do well.

“The outcome of these titles determines your ranking in two year’s time so any team would want to do well at this tournament,” he said.

“This is what it is all about.” 

The basketballers are coming into the tournament in the best form of their short careers with a 7-5 record for the season and showing a spring in their step at training after winning the Naracoorte classic on the weekend of February 26-27. 

“The girls are coming off of a good practice match against the under-14 boys squad and they have improved since the last time the two sides played,” Kilpatrick said. 

“The girls have played them three times now, the two times before that the boys won by 30 points but on Monday they drew. 

“So there is a lot of improvement – the only reason the boys drew with them was because one of the boys hit a three-pointer on the buzzer.” 

It has been a huge year of development for the girls’ side with both their offence and defence improving dramatically over the course of the season. 

“I base all my structures off of defence, I feel good defence creates good offence,” he said. 

“The less points you chase the easier it is to catch.” 

Kilpatrick is confident the basketballers will perform at their best. 

“I have no doubts that they will try and be competitive,” he said. 

The young Hornets have been playing against division one and two teams all season which may have contributed to the massive improvement throughout the campaign.