Millicent had strong representation at the SA Country Basketball Championships in Adelaide on the weekend, with six teams competing in Under 12s and Under 16s.
Country region teams competed for the SA Country Title, with Millicent also having referees Mason Galway, Makinlee Fultcher and Kellie Lindner.
The Under 12 Girls Division 4 team were SA Country Championship Runners up, despite having won only one game leading into the competition.
They defeated Whyalla Steelers 25-5, Broken Hill 30-3 and Kangaroo Island 10-8.
During the first two games, the team had good wins and was feeling positive going into the third match against Kangaroo Island. This game was a lot tougher but they managed a win in a low scoring game.
In the quarter final they defeated Barossa Valley 37-13, before beating Yorke Valley in the semi final 29-15.
They just fell short in the grand final against Adelaide Plains, losing 17-23.
This was a great game for the girls with Adelaide Plains getting the jump early and scoring consistently. Livvy Faulkner and Indi Coghlan stepped up their defence and the Magic fought back to take the lead several times during the second and third quarters.
Hannah Arrend was strong under the basket and kept Adelaide Plains’ scoring down in the last quarter. Unfortunately, Adelaide Plains got a few quick points and was ahead on the scoreboard at the final siren.
The Under 16 girls division 4 team was also runners-up, but was affected by unavailability with six girls down and Piper Paul called at the last minute.
The team defeated Mount Gambier Lakes 26-18, Riverland 31-23 and Kangaroo Island 26-21, before going down to the Naracoorte Kings 15-28.
This left them second on the ladder and playing Naracoorte again in the grand final.
Millicent came out firing in the first quarter and the game was quite physical from both sides, and at half time the Magic was only three points down.
In the second half Naracoorte was strong at the basket and made the most of opportunities, unfortunately Millicent missed many shots and gave Naracoorte a 10-point lead at the third quarter break.
The Magic made some ground in the last quarter but not enough to win, going down 23-31.
The Under 16 Boys Division 1 team made it to the semi-final, having a tough series of matches during the tournament.
The team lost to Barossa Valley 33-65, defeated Riverland 70-65, went down to the Great Southern Slammers 63-73 and in the quarter finals defeated Mildura Heat 60-51.
This was a thrilling win as Mildura were a strong contender to claim the title so Millicent had to bring its A-game.
At times the Magic knew it could play better and fought hard, coming away with the win despite Jed Tranter feeling extremely unwell.
In the semi-final the team met Barossa Valley and went down 41-64. Meeting the well drilled Barossa side was always going to be tough and they were relentless in the first quarter.
At the first quarter break, coach Damien Venn was less than pleased with the score 0 to 27.
To the boys’ credit they fought hard with great defensive pressure and accurate shooting and won the second and fourth quarters. Jackson Bowden and Jack Haggett top scored for the weekend.
The Under 16 Girls Division 1 also made it to the semi-finals after playing some tough matches.
First up they defeated Naracoorte Kings 55-50, before going down to Port Augusta 52-72 and then getting over the top of Great Southern Slammers 63-39 and Eastern Hills 73-55.
This put them in the top four teams in their division, with the win against Eastern Hills needed to stay in the championships.
In the semi-final they played Yorke Valley and went down 41-62 in a tough match, as Yorke Valley was the favourite and the Magic had a variety of persistent injuries that would not subside.
Millicent started well and held the lead for most of the first quarter, but unfortunately just before the first break Yorke Valley shot six points within the last minute to lead 16-10.
The second quarter was quite even and at half time Yorke Valley led by seven. The Magic were in foul trouble in the second half and Yorke Valley’s offence was classy.
Late in the last quarter an injury to dominant Magic player Edie Easterby was disappointing and unfortunately Millicent could not close the gap. Easterby was the top scorer for the weekend with 97 points.
Yorke Valley went on to win the title.
The Under 12 Boys Division 2 made it to the semi-finals, playing three very close games.
First up they defeated Roxby Downs 42-41, then Bordertown Bandits 26-25 and finally Great Southern Slammers 32-27.
With three close games and the boys learning to keep their cool under pressure, the team was confident to take on Naracoorte in the quarter final, defeating them 39-34.
At the first quarter break scores were level and at half time there was only four points in it.
The third quarter was a tight contest and defensive pressure from both sides was good.
In the last quarter, Ryder Lindner scored quick points and the Magic was able to win by five.
The team came up against the Slammers again in the semi-final, but this time the result was reversed, with their opponents taking the win 33-31.
It was a thrilling final for the players and spectators. The lead changed many times during the first three quarters and at the third quarter break, Millicent was down by one point.
A vocal crowd and intense last two minutes rounded out the final quarter.
Unfortunately, the Magic could not hold out to win, going down by two points. Ryder Lindner was the top scorer with 85 points for the weekend.
Unfortunately, for most of the weekend the Under 12 Girls Division 2 team could not get their shots to drop and therefore could not add to the scoreboard.