Coach Lawrence 'Loser' McLean and the girls have been training now for nearly 6 months. With most of the girls having part-time jobs it was becoming almost impossible to train at night. So the girls put it to Lawrence to train Tuesday mornings at 6 A.M.
Russell Sawford has been helping Lawrence not only with the session, but on game day too. Not only his experience, but also his leadership and voice is invaluable to this group...Great job by all the group.
Here's a few snaps and some shooting and scrimmage work they did this morning.
Are these two doing some mating dance??
Under 12 Girls By Ebony Curwood.
The Under 12 girls started the carnival with a very fast game against a much taller Port Augusta team. Missing three valuable players in Tia Bails and Myrrhn Milton-Hutchinson due to the ever popular Taylor Swift concert and Katelin Morgan with a broken arm. The shorter girls of the team had a hard job of rebounding and making their way inside the key against their bigger opponents. They didn’t give up all game and showed off their improving shooting ability with Nellie Cowan and Maddie Foran hitting some great shots outside the key. The Whyalla team ended up going down by six points but the score did not reflect the hard work the girls put in all game.
The focus in the second game was all about teamwork and the girls followed instructions exactly as coach Ebony Curwood had asked them. Some excellent defensive efforts from Annabel Gurnett, Alice Morgan and Sarah Simmons saw the girls completing lay-up after lay-up, rewarding themselves of the smart pressure they were applying to the Roxby Downs team. The Whyalla girls definitely went out to win after their loss in the first game and that’s exactly what they did, comfortably beating Roxby.
The next game was always going to be a tough one, playing arch rivals Yorke Valley in a game that always promises to have parents and supporters on the edge of their seats. Right from the start of the game the girls went out with an attitude to try their hardest and play strong. Shannon Herbert and Bails showed their excelling speed and grunt, being given the difficult task of defending Yorke Valley’s best player. Both girls did an excellent job. Kelsey Mitchell and Milton- Hutchinson were outstanding under the basket, continuously being strong on the rebounds and scoring valuable points for the team. In the tightest finish of the carnival the Whyalla girls were very deserving winners over Yorke Valley by 1 point.
By the fourth and final game of the day the Whyalla girls were looking very tired but that didn’t stop them from playing with all their heart and never giving up until the final siren. They continued to make things difficult for the opposing Port Lincoln team who seemed to be struggling under the enormous amount of pressure the Whyalla girls had them under. An exceptional effort was put in by every single member of the Whyalla team but they ended up losing by a very small margin.
This was to be the last game of the carnival for our local girls who won enough games to earn a spot in the finals but unfortunately just missed out due to having the least percentage of a very close competition.
Coach Curwood was extremely impressed by all of the girl’s improvement over the weekend and is looking forward to having another chance to play some hard games at the Country Championships in just over a months time.
Under 14 Girls By ........
The under 14 girls started the weekend with a low scoring loss to Pt Augusta, with a high amount of talent in both sides, the games between these two was always going to be tight. Tayla Crocker and Jasmine Bridgman showing good form, and Jenna Daniels showing her experience from making the state team with her robust playing style and energy levels were extremely high. The girls played well, but went down by 4 points.
The next game was against the try hard Pt Pirie outfit, the girls were running through the offences well and the girls coming off the bench in Taylor Tarran, Grace Smitheran and Ivy Corbertt helping out extremely well. Young Riley Fischer was in there helping the team out and with this being her first carnival was eased into the games. She played extremely well, as did the whole team. Getting a win game by 8 points. They moved onto to play Pt Lincoln in their third game and got off to a flying start, with all the players playing extremely well and ripping through the Lincoln girls by a massive 27 points.
Moving on from that game, the girls again met a team nowhere near the standard of the Stealers in Broken Hill and with the girls now gaining some momentum kept the Broken Hill team to 8 points. Again, this was an excellent time for players such as Riley, Ivy and Grace to gain some experience and much needed court time. The young Stealers charges running this game out 37 point winners.
With the preliminary rounds now finished, it was the Yorke Valley girls waiting for Whyalla in the Semi Final. An extremely hard team and a very experienced team, but the Stealers girls were certainly up to the challenge. The girls going end to end and goal for goal, Tayla Crocker doing a good job to bring the ball down. Jasmine Bridgman was playing an excellent post game, grabbing valuable rebounds and getting some good points. Jenna Daniels stepped up to the max with a game stopping effort on one of the best players in the Yorke Valley team. The girls finished out a tight tussle by 3 points.
The Grand Final was a rematch against Pt Augusta, in what was always going to be one of the tightest games; the Stealers come out to play and play hard. Nikeisha Macnamara certainly come to play and was attacking the basket at any cost, Jenna Daniels was again damaging and Bianca Clements grabbed plenty of rebounds and also attacked the basket when she could. Jasmine Bridgman had the dubious job of containing Pt Augusta’s potent Payton Fuller, a job she did exceptionally well. With the game continuing to be tight, the Stealers girls didn’t stop trying and were well supported by the girls on the bench who cheered the house down. Whyalla revenged the earlier loss, winning this game, and the one to win by 4 points. This has turned out to be a fantastic win and something for the girls to build on heading into the country championship.
Under 14 boys – Whyalla Carnival BY Tegan Curwood
The boys were slow off their blocks in the first game, with a result of a loss to Port Augusta. The next match against Roxby was a hard game, with the boys having a height disadvantage. This meant that the shorter boys had to step up and face a mismatch for majority of the game; they held their heads high and didn’t give up.
As the carnival went on the boys intensity picked up.
In the third game against Yorke Valley the boys really started to work well as a team and this only got better as the carnival went on. Josh Waugh and Sam Sawford played some great defence, putting lots of pressure on the ball carriers and creating some great transition play with Jayden Marshall, Josh FInkler, Callam Mitchell running the lanes hard. The boys came out with a win and a boost of confidence.
Against Port Lincoln the boys really started to play a great team game, offence settled down and the boys made better decisions. Lewis McLauchlan got some great rebounds, with Miles McNamara playing some awesome defence. Matt Clarke and Jaykin Turpin stepped up to the pressure and played a good offensive game. This was the completion of Saturday’s games, coming out with 2 wins and 2 losses, putting them in 4th position on the ladder.
Sunday morning was the semi final, against Roxby Downs who finished on top of the ladder. The boys arrived focused and determined, and got off to a great start. Sawford had a ripper of a game, putting the first points on the score board. McLauchlan and Waugh worked hard all game and never let easy shots go up despite the early foul trouble they got into. Jaykin Turpin stepped up and made some great inside shots. Myles "Speedy" McNamara, Matt Clarke, Jayden Marshall, Josh Finkler and Callum Mitchell played some tuff and smart defence which was rewarded with transition lay-ups. Although the scoreboard showed the boys were down for most of the game, they never gave up, playing tough defence and smart offence. Right until the final siren the boys worked extremely hard but unfortunately went down by 1 point.
The boys improved so much as the carnival went by, and all boys should be congratulated for their efforts on the weekend.
Under 16 Girls By .......
The Whyalla girls come into this carnival with some inconsistent form from previous carnivals. They had been training well and were expecting good things from themselves, unfortunately when they hit the court they played against the very highly fancied Pt Augusta. Kaitlin Wallace, Rhianna Stringer and Brittany White played with some speed and tempo, but with the shots missing and Jasmine Frusch not getting her lay-ups the team went down by 11 points.
Next up for the girls was Roxby Downs and the girls found some much needed form and come out hard and ready to play, Mackenzie Burns, Jasmine Frusch and Eirin Hunt helped the girls get out to a good start, and Rhianna Stringer, Brittany White kept the scoring going, finishing the game strong and with a healthy 13 point win.
Yorke Valley were the next team and proved to be too much for the team where they showed little fight back, failing to stop any of Yorkers advances. Losing by 11. Coming off such a hard game and getting some stern words from Showtime Quinn, the girls come out to play against Pt Lincoln. Smashing them at every turn, and gaining some much needed confidence, over powering them and getting the win by 21 points.
With a win ratio of 2 wins and 2 losses the Stealers girls the girls found themselves in fourth spot. There they faced Pt Augusta, and this time they showed the fight and heart that they were much needed. Playing the game of the carnival, the girls were able to play Pt Augusta at their own game, attacking the basket and hard at the ball. Scoring was hard to get at both ends, and at the end of the final siren, scores were tied, 30 all. Mackenzie Burns fouled out early in the overtime and all the other girls had played their hearts out to lose in overtime by 14. Kaitlin Wallace was extremely strong on the post, and grabbed some fantastic rebounds for her team. This was the best game by the young ladies and will give them some confidence heading into the Country Championships.
Under 18 Girls By Lawrence McLean
Coming of a long lay off from the Port Pirie carnival, the under 18 girls were quickly into stride play same great team basketball at both ends of the court with some impressive defence and some good shooting from outside make really tough for Port Lincoln to settle into any rhythm and Whyalla ran out easy winners with all contributing well.
Game two we played our rivals from Port Augusta and our defence tempo set up and we were able to strangle their offence limiting them to a low score and what would say was an easy game but only the score board as Whyalla won by 18 but these two teams always have a strong tussle no matter what the score is.
The last game of the minor round was against a short Pt Pirie side that Whyalla was able to restrict the offence and Whyalla played some really good transition offence to keep the the score board ticking over well to allow Whyalla to run out comfortable winners.
In the first semi final against Pt Lincoln Whyalla played a good trap that was able to build an early lead and maintain this lead through out the game.There were good shots being landed from all points of the court which made it hard for Pt Lincoln to defend.
In the grandfinal we played our arch rivals Pt Augusta and again Whyalla got off to a good start making it extremely hard for Port Augusta to score, but Whyalla did not kill them of on the score board and only led by a small margin at half time. In the second half Port Augusta starting hitting three's and scoring from the inside and was able to keep the scoreboard ticking over, whilst Whyalla just struggled to score regularly. Port Augusta were able to come up with the answers every time Whyalla challenged in the second half and managed to hold Whyalla at bay and win the carnival.
With only three weeks to the state titles Whyalla needs to keep the improvements that they showed on the weekend and show the other cities we are ready to be state champs.
MVP for the Under 18 Girls was Hayley Stone. Great stuff by Hayley, another really good carnival by her.