EIGHT Tamworth basketballers have spent the last week representing NSW teams at Country Tours around the state.
Whitney Martin, Hannah Page, Riley Murphy, Rhys Chillingworth and Taylor Skelton were at Albury for the Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup; Martin, Page and Murphy with the U14s and Skelton and Chillingworth the U18s.
Izaac Taylor, Jayden Gimbergh and Amelia Dadd were a little closer to home.
They were at Port Macquarie to play for the NSW U15s in the Pacific Coast Slam.
Taylor’s Waratahs team, which was coached by Tamworth’s Jono Willis, went on to win gold.
Dadd went close with her Kookaburras side. They were beaten in the final by the NSW Waratahs, after taking out the preceding 3-on-3 competition.
“We went down by nine,” she said.
“It was the first game we lost.”
It was her first tour.
“It was awesome. I had so much fun,” she said.
Gimbergh played with the NSW Blues.
They didn’t finish among the placings with their best result a win against one of the New Zealand teams, but did improve as the tournament went on.
Down in Albury Chillingworth and his Explorers side, which was the U17s team, came in ninth.
“We won four out of our eight games,” he said.
The best performing side among the Tamworth contingents was Murphy’s Waratahs. They were runners-up to another NSW team after being undefeated through the pool games.
The final margin ended up about 20, but the Waratahs were in it early.
“We were winning by about 10 in the first quarter,” Murphy said.
He said it was a good experience.
All of the teams participated in a two-day training camp before the tournament began.
Martin and Page were also both in the girls’ Waratahs.
They finished seventh after wins over Albury, Tasmania and the other NSW team, and four losses, although they were up by eight points after the first break against eventual champions New Zealand.
Tamworth also had six players in The Northern Allstar invitational teams, one of which, was coached by John Ireland.
Nathan Paff also refereed down in Albury and was one of four NSW referees selected to tour New Zealand with the U14 and U16 Australian Teams.