Tamworth U14 boys face tough weekend

TAMWORTH’S Under 14 boys’ basketball side has an extra tough weekend ahead of it.

Tamworth Under 14 men’s basketballers (back from left) Ryan Bath, Nathaniel McGrath, Dylan Sanderson, Brody Blackett-Gregg (front from left) William Meyers, Cooper Kelly, Rohan Birrell, Sam Ellicott, Rowan Meyers, Brock McMahon.

Tamworth Under 14 men’s basketballers (back from left) Ryan Bath, Nathaniel McGrath, Dylan Sanderson, Brody Blackett-Gregg (front from left) William Meyers, Cooper Kelly, Rohan Birrell, Sam Ellicott, Rowan Meyers, Brock McMahon.

The Troy Jeffriess-coached side will  play in the top division of the Under 14 Country Championships at Bathurst.

“The boys will be playing in Division 1 and will be competing against country powerhouses in five very tough games of basketball,” Jeffriess said.

“We will play Illawarra, Newcastle, Gosford, Central Coast Waves and the ACT but I’m confident if the boys can produce the basketball they displayed in Port Macquarie then they can hold their own in every game.”

Jeffriess’ side played Northern Junior League round three games in Port Macquarie last weekend, winning all three games.

The first game was against Quirindi, with the boys running out winners 81-23.

“The scoreline didn’t reflect the closeness of this game and the Tamworth boys had to really work for their victory,” Jeffriess said.

“Quirindi never gave up and sure pushed the boys to the final whistle. 

“Quirindi must be congratulated for this and also on their improvement and the Tamworth boys know that when they meet again in round four in Coffs Harbour on June 29,  they will be in for an even tougher battle.”

Scorers for Tamworth were Nathaniel McGrath (25), Brody Blackett-Gregg, Cooper Kelly and Sam Ellicott (10pts each).

Tamworth then   took on Port Macquarie. 

The last time these two teams met, Tamworth had to come from behind to win by four points. 

“This time was different and the Tamworth boys came out running hard and didn’t want to give the Port team anything easy,” Jeffriess said.

“We jumped to an early lead and the boys built on their lead every quarter for a convincing 68-34 victory.”

Scorers for Tamworth were  McGrath (18), Brock McMahon, Blackett-Gregg (15) and Kelly (8).

On Sunday morning the boys faced their round two nemesis, Armidale. 

“Armidale had beaten us by eight in the second round in Tamworth when the boys learnt a lot about that game and sure did want to make up for their first loss,” Jeffriess said.

“They did. Just like the Port Macquarie game, the Tamworth boys came out running hard and won the first quarter and were able to win every quarter for a 70-31 win.

“The most pleasing thing in this and the Port Macquarie game was the fact that we had followed our game plan and  ran our motion offence extremely well.”

Scorers for Tamworth were  McGrath (22),  Kelly (16) and  Blackett-Gregg (8).

“In all three games all players contributed with William and Rowan Meyers, Rohan Birrell, and Ryan Bath (all bottom aged players) certainly playing well above their age,” Jeffriess said.

“Probably one of the most pleasing things was to see these four boys putting their bodies on the ground and diving on loose balls at every opportunity. 

“It’s also great to see these four improve with every game they play and I’m sure that the older players in the team got motivation from seeing the younger guys putting their bodies on the line like they did.

“The Port Macquarie weekend was certainly a great preparation for this weekend’s Country Championships.”

TAMWORTH UNDER 14s: William Meyers (5), Cooper Kelly (6), Brock McMahon (7), Rowan Meyers (8), Rohan Birrell (9), Sam Ellicott (10), Ryan Bath (11), Nathaniel McGrath (12), Brody Blackett-Gregg (13), Dylan Sanderson (14). Head Coach - Troy Jeffriess, Assistant coach - Blake Brown, Manager - Luke McGrath.

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