DRUMMOND Public School was in celebration mode yesterday as its victorious boys’ basketball team came back to school after its success at Bathurst.
For the second year in a row the Armidale school is the PSSA champion after beating Samuel Gilbert Primary School 55-42 on Monday in the state final.
Just to get to the final the regional champions had to win two games earlier in the day and both were close.
They won the quarter-final by six points and the semi-final by 10.
Hillvue Public almost made it a double victory for the North West in the girls’ finals.
The Tamworth side made it to the state final for the second year in a row but was battling much taller sides all the way.
In the quarters, Hillvue beat Erina Heights 23-15 after leading by four going into the last quarter.
“It was a very hard game,” team manager Lyn McDonald said.
“As we expected, all the other teams were much taller than us.
“Our girls got knocked around a lot.
“It was a very physical game.”
In the semi-final, Hillvue met Hamilton and the margin was only four points again at three-quarter time.
But strong defence made way for a good last quarter and Hillvue won 38-22.
“It was a very different game because the other side had twins who were very tall,” McDonald said.
“They scored all of the other side’s points.
“The girls had to adjust to that.
“Taylor (Nean-Bell), Sharika (Nean-Bell) and Dhalara Knox upset their play so much because they kept taking the ball off them.”
That set up a final with five-time previous winners Korora Public and this time the Hillvue girls met their match.
“For the first time we played a side that was as good in defence as we were,” McDonald said.
“The only difference between the two sides was their height and we didn’t make our shots.
“At halftime it was 17-12 so we were still in it.”
It’s the second year in a row that Hillvue has finished second in the state.
“They’ve all played to a higher level than we’ve had to before,” McDonald said.
“We’re very proud.”