Horsham Hornets under-14 sides ready for country championships

Jemma Thomas, Ashley Ellis, Max Bryan, Ryan Pfitzner and Olivia Brilliant will be in action for the Horsham Hornets under-14 in Ballarat. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI
Jemma Thomas, Ashley Ellis, Max Bryan, Ryan Pfitzner and Olivia Brilliant will be in action for the Horsham Hornets under-14 in Ballarat. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

FUNDAMENTALS and enjoyment will be a continued focus for Horsham’s under-14 sides at the country championships this weekend.

The girls have been drawn alongside Churchill, Korumburra and Echuca under the guidance of Nicole Lakin.

She said she hoped her side could make a winning start on Friday in order to qualify for division one or two. In order to do so the side will need to finishing first or second in its pool.

“For most of the group it will be the end of their third season together and they are really excited,” she said. “We know Korumburra will be a very tough match up so we may need to make sure we win out other two games. We haven’t managed to beat Echuca yet this season but we’ve certainly had our chances.”

Lakin’s seven-player squad will is small in comparison to many other sides at the championships. She said that makes it harder to run out games.

“Every player in the team will have different roles to play and everyone will need to perform in order for us to get the wins,” she said.

Owen Hughan said it was difficult to assess how his boys would fare grouped with Leongatha, Bacchus Marsh and Sale.

“A lot of the teams we come up against are playing a lot more basketball together than our sides,” he said. “At this level we are focused on getting our players fundamentally sound so they can compete against teams that often have bigger players.”

His squad of players has a good mixture of top and bottom-aged players. He said the way they had learned to understand the game was the source of the most improvement this season.

“They’ve learnt how to work without the ball more,” he said. “At an under-14 level we are starting to get them to think as a the team rather than individuals.”

He said he enjoyed working with the under-14s because they were exciting.

“You’re never quite sure what they are going to do,” he said. “When you see them do something you’ve taught them it’s great.”