QUIRINDI High School might have lost its regional finals of the State Under 15 Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball Knockout in Tamworth yesterday but it is still alive.
Despite regional final losses to Peel High (girls) and Armidale High (boys) on the Tamworth Sports Dome Show Court, the two sides progress to the next round of games, coach Terry Beresford said.
The Louise Taylor-coached Peel High side won the girls’ regional final 37-18 after a brilliant start where it led 15-nil just before the quarter-time break while Armidale High beat Quirindi 71-43 in the boys’ regional final where brothers Makuach and Matur Maluach scored 40 and 25 points respectively in a 71-43 win.
“The girls had a slow start,” Beresford said of their 19-point loss.
“We lacked a bit of aggression. But we always seem to struggle against Peel.”
He said his side is delighted to have a second chance but will have a tough game against a Sydney school “away”.
Taylor was delighted with her side’s 37-18 success.
“We did start well but died in the second half,” Taylor said.
She thought little guard Tshinta Knox was outstanding whilst Kiata Knox was also in good form and big centre Rheannon Berry also starred.
“Rheannon has the best game I’ve seen her play,” Taylor said of a young lady who had a dominant game inside.
Thsinta Knox was outstanding though and finished with 17 points despite dishing off many chances to teammates.
Peel’s win set the scene for a brilliant display from Makuach and Matur Maluach.
Matur, who had won two gold medals at the State CHS Athletics Championships in Sydney last week (javelin and high jump), bombed away brilliantly from outside the three-point line.
He hit three big three-pointers in his 25-point game but older brother Makuach was almost unstoppable inside.
He harvested 40 points from some acrobatic lay-ups.
One magical lay-up in the first half from the top of the key was breathtaking.
He soared to the rim a la Michael Jordan in his prime to lay in the effortless bucket.
Late in the game he also unleashed two huge dunks.
It impressed Beresford, who has seen plenty of the two Armidale brothers play in Northern Junior League.
“Take Makuach out and I think we might have been able to handle Matur,” he said.
“They are just too good.
“Armidale hase a good team but so do we.
“Our boys never stopped trying.
“I’m very proud of them.”
Tyler Porter (10), Andrew Roos (11) and Bailey Beresford (14) kept the Quirindi side in touch for much of the game, with Bailey Beresford dropping a couple of three-pointers of his own.
While the Maluach brothers were dominant, inside and out, little guard Dennis Cutmore had some good plays while Reid Davidson and Elijah Rasiga also had their moments for stand-in coach Debbie Turner.
“They are a good bunch of kids,” Turner said.
“Ther’re very reliable and train almost every lunchtime two on two.”
She said regular coach Steve Bartolo was away but would be back for the side’s next game against the winner of the North Coast region in Armidale.
NW Girls’ regional final: PEEL HIGH 37 (Tshinta Knox 17, Kiata Knox 7, Chantelle Lee 6, Rheannon Berry 5, Aleisha Brown 2) d QUIRINDI 18 (Issy Robinson 6, Rechelle Robinson 5, Taylor Verrell 4, Lucy Crane 2, Dayna Porter 1).
NW Boys’ regional final: ARMIDALE HIGH 71 (Makuach Maluach 40, Matur Maluach 25, Dennis Cutmore 2, Reid Davidson 2, Elijah Rasiga 2) d QUIRINDI 43 (Bailey Beresford 14, Andrew de Roos 11, Tyler Porter 10, Will Roxborough 4, Jamie Green 2, Ryan Beresford 2).