Limestone Coast juniors dominate at state championships

Mount Gambier and Millicent excelled to score four collective basketball titles at the 2021 SA Country Championships last weekend. South Australia’s biggest country teams plus Mildura all contested for state supremacy across three action-packed days of junior basketball.

Mount Gambier’s Under 13 Division 5 Boys team achieved the ultimate prize, as did the Under 14 Girls Division 5 outfit which overcame Eastern Hills by five points in the final. The Lakers’ Under 14 Girls also fought hard to finish second in Division 3.

The Magic entered eight teams in the competition with half of them progressing to the finals. But few could forget the closing stages of the Under 14 Girls Division 1 competition. Millicent endured a bumpy ride to the grand final after losing its first three group games.

However, the side bounced back with tight wins over Mount Gambier and Port Augusta in the quarter and semi-finals respectively. The Magic knew they were in for a battle facing an undefeated Mildura Heat in the decider. Determined to make amends for the opening game loss to the Heat, Millicent gained an 11-point lead early, but the advantage was cut back to just two before three-quarter time.

The last quarter was an intense battle with the scores level, but the Magic held on by a single point thanks to top-scorer Mia Gysbers. By contrast, Millicent’s Under 14 Girls outfit cruised to the Division 4 trophy.

The Magic were not troubled through the minor rounds and overcame Roxby Downs by five points in the semi-final after an early scare. Keith was Millicent’s opponent in the grand final and made life tough with tight defensive pressure. However, the Magic’s more accurate shooting fronted by Emily Denton and Seballa Coghlan paid off to win by eight points and complete an undefeated campaign.

Millicent’s Under 14 Boys also fought hard to reach the semis in Division 1 and 5, while Division 3 could not progress past the quarter final. The Magic also fielded competitive teams in the Under 18 Boys Division 1 and 4 competitions, plus the Under 18 Girls Division 1.

Millicent was also lucky enough to have George Wimshurst, Tanner Milnes, Cody Milnes, Mason Galway and Makinlee Fultcher represent the association as a referee.

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