One of the longer bus trips in recent memory was undertaken by our junior basketball teams when they ventured to Tamworth for the CCC Junior Finals. All four teams were successful at the Wagga Wagga Diocesan level, qualifying to take on the best teams from all around NSW.
In what turned out to be a very tough pool, the junior boys were for the most part unable to put together consistent efforts for the full duration of their games. All Saints St Joseph’s of Lochinvar managed to get the early jump in the boys’ first game which proved to be the only difference. The second game against St Leo’s was much closer, with the teams unable to be split at the end of regulation time. The final two round games against St Dom’s and St Paul’s showed flashes of brilliance from the Xavier boys, however, this was not sustained resulting in two defeats.
The leading lights of the campaign were our junior girls. Remarkably, these girls were involved in the tightest division at our local carnival, showing a great strength in our region for this age. In the girls’ first game against All Saints Saint Peter’s of Maitland, determination was abundant.
In spite of some questionable calls, the girls were able to hold on and win by one point. Monte Saint Angelo from Sydney have recently proven to be quite strong on the basketball court. Our girls acquitted themselves extremely well and emerged nine point victors. With two victories under their belts and feeling confident the girls came up against Coffs Harbour. Limited scoring in the first half held the girls back, however, they rallied to get within three points.
Unfortunately it was not to be and the girls went down in a close one. Their final game against Caroline Chisolm was another hard fought battle where the girls managed to get within three again at the final siren. Unfortunately the girls just missed out on the semi-finals, in which it turns out they would have been a massive chance.
Promising a great amount from the onset, the intermediate boys’ side showed some inspired displays of skill and finesse throughout their round games. The first game against McCarthy College could not be split with a 38 all draw. An extremely athletic Patrician Brothers’ Blacktown proved to be too strong on the boards and the boys went down by nine in the second game. Not for lack of enthusiasm, the boys last two games against Coffs Harbour and Bellambi were tough going against very classy opposition. At stages throughout both games the boys showed excellent creativity, however the sustained pressure from the opposition made it difficult.
Through injury, our intermediate girls were a little understaffed. Showing a great amount of spirit and fight, the girls battled through their round games. Drawing a pool with MacKillop, St Mary’s Star of the Sea, St Mary’s Gateshead and John Paul College things were always going to be tough. Much like the intermediate boys, the girls were able to put together some outstanding defence and offensive passages, however, sustaining these efforts proved to be difficult.
Congratulations to all students involved in the trip on the way in which they conducted themselves and represented Xavier. A trip like this, especially with the distance travelled, could not go ahead without the assistance of a few people. A massive thank you to Mrs Gleeson, Miss Gooding, Mr Oldfield and Brooke Cincurak for their efforts in preparing the teams and the other tasks such as supervision and cooking meals that they undertook on the trip.
That is it for another year of Xavier basketball. We look forward to doing it all again in 2014.
by Andrew Gibson