ECHUCA Basketball Association’s under 14 Pirates side has placed third overall in the Victorian Country Championships after making the semi finals at Ballarat.
The tournament, played April 7-9, saw the Pirates match-up against a powerhouse Geelong side in the semi final game of division one and two, Geelong proving too strong in the eventual 36-24 loss.
The first game saw them play Warragul, the Pirates coming out with confidence and showing great defensive skills in the first quarter.
Noah Long was first to score with Sam Deola knocking down a three pointer to lead at half time, and with multiple goal scorers into the second half led by Will Rohde, Hunter Dixon and Darby Wileman, and Luke Caine able to rebound well in defence, the Pirates ran out a 37-14 winner.
The second game was against home town Ballarat and the Pirates knew this was to be a hard contest, with Ballarat applying full court pressure from the start.
Long and Deola were able to score in the first quarter, with Elijah Bruns and Anthony Huismann able to convert in the second quarter for the Pirates to be down by one at the half time break.
All players brought their A game in the second half to win 30-24.
Friday’s final match against Maryborough saw a slow and sloppy performance from the Pirates.
Coach Lachlan Huismann reminded the players to get their heads in the game and focus on the job at hand and a stronger second quarter from Kobyn James and Bruns saw a much needed improvement to lead 15-4 at half time. Both Wileman and Caine contributed well in the third quarter and held Maryborough to just one score, extending the final score to 37-14.
The Pirates made it in to division one and two for Saturday and lined up against Traralgon, Wodonga and Terang under the 24 second shot clock rule with wins in each.
Again the Pirates were able to score well under pressure and their teamwork and defensive skills set them up to a division one play off on the Sunday.
Scores were: Echuca Pirates 34 def Traralgon 30, Echuca Pirates 31 def Wodonga 22, Echuca Pirates 31 def Terang 10.
In the elimination final, Echuca fronted up against Ballarat for a tough game ahead.
Again the fantastic teamwork from all players enabled goal scorers Noah Long and Elijah Bruns to keep the scores nearly level at every change.