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Top talent to hit road

Friday, 3rd January, 2020

Local basketballers (from left) Ava Hinton, Montana Philpott, Meg Butcher, Brooke Ryan, Zali Beattie and Logan Ferguson are keen to get their hands on the ball at the upcoming state carnivals. PICTURE: Emily Ferguson Local basketballers (from left) Ava Hinton, Montana Philpott, Meg Butcher, Brooke Ryan, Zali Beattie and Logan Ferguson are keen to get their hands on the ball at the upcoming state carnivals. PICTURE: Emily Ferguson

By Emily Ferguson

Six local basketball talents are heading to Albury and Melbourne in mid-January to represent South Australia Country in state carnivals.

From experience in Meg Butcher (U18s) to first timers in Brooke Ryan (U16) and Logan Ferguson (U14), as well as those going back for more in Zali Beattie (U15), Ava Hinton (U15s) and Montana Philpott (U15s), all will ensure Broken Hill is well represented on the court.

While Ava and Montana are in the same Under 15s age group they will be playing on different teams, as will Zali and Brooke in Under 16s. 

The Australian Junior Country Basketball Cup in Albury from Monday, January 13, to Saturday, January 18, will have Meg, Zali, Brooke and Logan in attendance. While Ava and Montana will head to Melbourne for the Southern Cross Challenge from Friday, January 17, until Monday, January 20. 

The determined locals have been training for the past two months, travelling back and forth to Adelaide as well as continuing to play in the local competition and representing at carnivals with the Broken Hill Broncos. 

They have been partaking in extra training and more high performance sessions to ensure they are at the peak of their game.

The six players all travelled to Adelaide to participate in the state team trials and all of those that trialled were selected. 

At the state carnivals, those in age groups of Under 16 and up are eligible to potentially be picked for nationals.

Broken Hill Basketball Association Director of Coaching, Meg Clarke said she is confident in these players and is expecting them to perform at the level she knows they can.

“I’m very proud of them all, it’s been a great achievement for all of them and especially their dedication and commitment with their parents to travel to and from trainings is a testament to themselves.

“All of them should be very competitive and get good court time with the positions they’ll be playing,” she said.

“Hopefully we might come back with a couple of players moving onto nationals we’ll see how that goes, but I think just the experience and exposure especially for Logan and Brooke being their first time, it’s going to be a great experience for them,” said Meg.

“Meg is a veteran in her fourth and last campaign, she plays hard and aggressive and is extremely versatile, playing multiple positions across the court and is always there for her team.

“Zali is strong and competitive, she can play her role extremely well but can also play as tall if required and moves the ball through the court quickly and efficiently, she’s not afraid of a challenge.

“Rapid development and commitment over the last 12 months has seen Brooke develop into a strong, reliable tall player. She is an asset under the basket, both at the offence and defence end.

“Montana is a sharp shooter, extremely competitive, has presence on the court wherever she is and never backs down. She is an overall reliable and consistent player. This will be her last time playing for Broken Hill before she moves to the Southern Tigers in Adelaide.” 

“Ava is a very athletic player, fast and mobile for her height. Loves to gain strong rebounds and use her voice on the court, she is a true team player.”

“Logan has a great understanding of the game where he is able to adapt to the game play and be used across all areas defensively and offensively, being a strong shooter and pressures the ball well.”

The youngsters are Broken Hill’s elite on the basketball court and they’re looking forward to showing off their skills and Broken Hill heart on courts across the country in the next few weeks.

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