Pirates take plenty of positives out of trip away

By Riverine Herald

U12A Girls

The U12A girls have been strong this season, winning the tournament in Wangaratta and runners-up at Shepparton, Swan Hill and Echuca.

Unlike the previous four tournaments, the Pirates did not make the grand final.

The side lost in the semi-finals after being defeated by the Wodonga Wolves by three points.

The girls had played well leading up to this match defeating Ballarat Rush and Bendigo Braves, and drawing with Colac in an absolute nail biter.

U12A Boys

Our little underdog, aggressive, never-give-up attitude from our under 12A boys this weekend was outstanding.

An absolute credit to our coach, Bianca Fleming, for her passion and investment into these boys. Her hard work and effort paid off after winning seven close, nail-biting games in a row to finally come out with a grand final in division one.

The opposition coach was quoted in the post grand final speech saying, “We could not respond or compete to their defensive pressure, it was outstanding.”

We know this result will bring a new lease of confidence to our team going into the championships in April.

U14A Boys

The U14A boys showed a lot more promise at this tournament.

Matching up against Portland in our first game, we went down 32-42, playing well in patches.

In the next match against Bendigo, the boys listened to the coach’s instructions and an impressive team effort saw us go down in a very close game by just one point 33-34.

Our first match on Sunday pitted us against the eventual division winners in Melton.

Despite the 24-38 loss, the boys showed promise throughout the match.

Our next game against Colac was the most disappointing game of the tournament – the Colac team controlled the game and the Pirates went down 26-46.

The next match against Bacchus Marsh was not much better, with another 20-point loss, 24-44.

The coaches emphasised the need to play as a team and follow the game plan if they wanted to be successful.

Our last game of the tournament (and our highlight game) was against Mildura.

With some great intensity, defensive pressure and some smart team play, the boys finally cracked a 29-17 win – it is great to finish a tournament as winners.

Hopefully, this will set us in good stead for our next tournament in Wodonga in two weeks’ time.

U14B Boys

Our tournament at Bendigo saw excellent combinations in defence and rebounding.

The extra height under the ring and ball-handling skills assisted players to have a very exciting drawn game on Saturday.

We went into Sunday’s match against a very strong team, but no result.

We all had a fun and enjoyable basketball weekend.

U14A Girls

Under 14 girls had a tough but tight competition through the whole Bendigo tournament.

A draw against Ballarat in the first game, a close three-point loss to Bacchus March in the second game, while Bendigo, Colac and Hamilton were also close losses.

A tough tournament for the girls but they came out strong each game and gave it their best.

U16A Boys

Echuca Pirates U16A boys team played in the championship division at the Bendigo tournament.

In their pool games the Pirates boys had strong wins against Shepparton twice, Mildura and Bendigo.

The younger brigade of Will Poulton, Will Rohde, Nash Ramage and Hugh Byrne played important minutes in each of these games.

These results put them into a quarter-final against Horsham on Monday morning.

Horsham started well but big games from Noah Long and Luke Caine saw the Pirates finish strongly and claim a three-point win.

In the semi-final Echuca played Warrnambool, with great shooting from Anthony Huisman and good games from Elijah Bruns and Sam Deola kept Echuca in the game, but Warrnambool were too strong and won the game by 11 points.

U16A Girls

The hard training and improved fitness paid off for the girls at the Bendigo tournament.

With wins against Mildura, Bendigo and Ballarat we saw the girls play off against Shepparton in a semi-final.

It was a well fought out game, but unfortunately the height and strength of the Shepp team proved to be too good for our team.

The girls did Echuca proud and are looking forward to the championships in March.