TAMWORTH’S Northern Junior League Division 1 sides made a promising start to their seasons at Tamworth on the weekend.
After Armidale had hosted the opening weekend for the Division 2 sides the previous weekend, the Division 1 sides all converged on the Tamworth Sports Dome.
The host association’s sides all went well, highlighted by the 12 girls earning a spot in the Central Premier League (CPL).
With only eight teams nominating for the CPL and NJL, officials combined the two competitions with all eight playing in Tamworth and the top four going into the CPL.
That will be classed as Division 1 and pit the Tamworth girls against the likes of Newcastle and Gosford.
They won their place by winning three of their four games on the weekend.
The Jason Kennedy-coached side started with a strong 75-25 win over the Maitland Mustangs, producing a great defensive effort.
They then pipped a strong Newcastle Green outfit 38-37.
“The match went right down to the last seconds with Bianca Watson shooting a basket and giving us a one-point win,” Kennedy said.
There were no such heroics required against the Newcastle seconds (White) team with the Tamworth girls restricting Newcastle to seven and scoring 63.
Their loss came in their final game for the weekend, going down to Port Macquarie 48-42.
“Olivia Whittemore had a great game, scoring 21 points and playing most of the game with four fouls,” Kennedy said.
Whittemore was fantastic for them all weekend, top-scoring in all four games.
The 16s women had two good wins. They beat Coffs Harbour 63-25 and followed that up with a 64-23 win over the Bellinger Braves.
Bronte Chillingworth was their chief scorer in both games and was well supported by Whitney Martin, while India Dietrich was their best defensive player in both games.
It was a great defensive effort from the girls over the weekend, coach Luke Krug said.
He said in their second game they really started to improve on the little things and started to communicate better with each other.
The 18 women improved over the weekend and finished with a convincing 75-32 win over Bellinger Valley.
Coach Liz Johnsen said they really played like a team and were able to trial and execute some plays.