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Top results in heated conditions

Thursday, 23rd January, 2014

Angel Simmons was a part of a South Australian side that claimed the Under 14 title at the Australian Junior Country Basketbal Cup. Angel Simmons was a part of a South Australian side that claimed the Under 14 title at the Australian Junior Country Basketbal Cup.

By Ethan James

The only thing hotter than the recent heatwave was the performance of a bunch of Broken Hill girls on the basketball court.

Four locals were in the thick of the action when South Australia experienced their most successful Australian Junior Country Basketball Cup in Albury last week.

Angel Simmons and Eliza Cumming (Under 14s), Chelsea Masclet (U16s) and Whitney Smith (U18s) represented various SA sides at the annual meet.

Simmons, Cumming and Masclet all made it through to the grand final of their respective competitions, with Simmons and her team winning the title.

Broken Hill Basketball Association President Graeme Semmens was overjoyed at the outcome.

“The results were simply fantastic,” he said. 

“I’m very proud of the Broken Hill girls... and I think they all had a fantastic time, I mean, a lot of them were in their first tournament and they’re walking away with medals.

“In the Under 14s we actually ended up with two of our girls (Cumming and Simmons) competing on either team in the grand final.”

According to Graeme, the U14s final was an arm wrestle with Simmons’ Sharks side “just a little too tall” in the end. 

He was exceptionally proud of his own U16 girls outfit, who were pipped in the grand final after going through the regular rounds undefeated.

“There were two minutes to go and it was a two point ball game but we ended up going down by about six points or so,” Graeme recalled. 

“I think my girls did very well but in the 40 degree heat everyone was just exhausted.

“It was just horrific... they brought in a rule where there were drinks breaks midway through every quarter.

“It felt like it didn’t drop below 40 degrees for the whole week, I think the coolest day was actually the grand final day when it got down to 38.”

Aside from the state’s success on the court, Graeme said that from a personal perspective the results were a nice reward.

“It’s a big pat on the back for all us country coaches that we are doing the right thing,” he said.

“I know I got some very nice feedback congratulating myself and everyone else which was fantastic to hear.”

In total, SA claimed four grand finals and two runners up trophies to make it their most successful meet.

On the back of their success at the tournament, Cumming and Simmons were named in the Under 14 national representative squad which will travel to New Zealand at Easter to take part in the Pacific Rim Championships. 

Masclet was selected as a reserve for the U16 squad and is rated a massive chance of being added to the touring party.

Keep an eye out for further stories in the BDT as we follow the girls’ progress. 

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