TAMWORTH and Armidale’s junior basketallers will be shooting for Waratah State Cup success at Sutherland this weekend.
After claiming the Northern Junior League title in their respective divisions earlier this month, the Tamworth U12 girls and boys, U14 boys, and Armidale U16 boys will be matching up against some of the best teams in the second tier of the state junior competition.
The three Tamworth sides were undefeated in the NJL and are all in with a good chance this weekend, Tamworth Basketball administrator Peter McDonald said.
He also coaches the girls.
They have had a great season, with success at the Country Championships before taking out the NJL title with a 48-28 win in the final over Port Macquarie.
“They’ve been great all year,” McDonald said.
“They’ll be a really great group as they come through.”
Most of them were part of the 12s side last year and McDonald said they have a good chance of doing well this weekend.
“It’s a matter of how good the metro teams are,” he said.
They’ve drawn Canberra White, Norths and Gosford in their pool and will play all three over today and tomorrow morning.
The top side in both pools will then contest the grand final tomorrow afternoon.
The 12 boys face Shoalhaven first-up today followed by Camden Valley, and finish with Cessnock tomorrow morning.
They won through to the state finals by beating Quirindi in the NJL final.
The 14 boys have blitzed the NJL competition this season, winning the final by a massive 48 points.
“They’re a very exciting group of young men,” coach John Ireland said.
“They’ve got lots of skills, lots of talent and a really good mix of size.”
He said they have performed outstandingly this season.
The closest anyone got to them all through the NJL was about 40 or 50 points.
“We challenged them by competing in Division 1 at Country,” Ireland said.
They lost most of their games but were competitive.
The Armidale boys are also undefeated this season and anything they achieve this weekend will be a bonus.
Their main goal was to make the state finals where they will come up against Camden Valley, Newcastle and Canberra in their round games.