The Griffith Junior Demons will embark on a trip to Bathurst and Orange this weekend for round two of the BNSW Western Junior Leagues tournament.
The young basketballers are well positioned going into the second round and will use this weekend to cement themselves into the top four in preparation for the finals in May.
Round 3 will see the competition split into two with the Riverina based sides playing in Leeton and Narrandera whilst the Mitchell based sides will compete their series in Bathurst. What is guaranteed is a fight from all the sides to make the finals for the 2019 series.
Our newest Demons are our 12 years boys and girls. They are both loving the experience of the stronger competition and teams both placed in the top five.
Each game sees these young players improve and given that the local junior competition has only just started it is great to see them playing in the new look playing strips. Jason Minato has his boys pumped for the next round and Meg Dal Broi is having a go at the 12 girls this year.
The 14 girls take on the might of Mitchel region as they play four games for the weekend. First up they play Orange Black. The girls are currently undefeated sitting on top of the ladder. This round will be tougher and will bring out the best of the team's abilities.
Led by Timeeka Coleman and Emerson Waide the side is well balanced and should come away with a clean slate. Summer Carlon and Matilda Evans are starting to find their feet coming into the side this season as a bottom age players.
The 14 boys this year again has two sides competing with the blue side undefeated and the white side which is predominately all bottom age and our development side.
The Blue boys are currently sharing top spot with two other sides. By the weekend ends this will change as all these sides will play each other over the course of the weekend.
Mason Salvestro, Alex Minato should control the ball in the front court whilst Emanuel Orake is fast making a name for himself around the basket.
The White side played a gem of a match in West Wyalong against the much-fancied opposition Gilgandra, chasing down a 20-point deficit the boys showed real grit and got back within nine points in the last quarter, unfortunately they could keep the momentum going.
They enter the second round full of confidence and a win is not far away, great job by the coaching staff in getting these boys to where they are. George Jones, Samuel Scott and Lochie Painting are only three of the players who deserve a mention as each game saw the players contribute.
The 16 girls have responded to the training they have endured over the past couple of months and are shaping into a tight unit as they take on the much taller teams in the 16s comp. Alice Macrae is playing strong around the key.
Abbey Fedrigo, Eva Catanzariti and Pip Mitchel are a headache for any defence and the might of Milla Parr makes this side a chance for the finals.
The 16 boys under Beau Edwards found the first round a bit difficult as they struggled like the rest of the sides with the lack of game time, coming away with two wins and one loss the boys would of liked to have made it three from three but dropped the game against Bathurst 70-62.
Sitting forth the boys will undoubtedly throw everything at the opposition this round and would like to cement a higher placing on the ladder.
Lachie Chant, Jacob Testoni, Kai Suine along with first time Demon Damian Bordignon are combining well around the court. It’s a pretty well balanced side and feel that this round will be their foundation of the finals.
The 18 girls take on the same sides as round two on the reverse draw this weekend. Given the results from the first round the girls are very capable of coming away three from three. Hopefully they have a full complement of players this round.
The game of the round will be when they take on the Bathurst side Sunday. Going down by 30 in the first round the girls will lift and will want to close the gap in readiness for the finals. Jenna Richards and Lavinia Magocci stood out in round one.
The 18 boys have a pact to improve on round one and play their full 40 minutes. You can’t give any opposition in this competition a break as they are all of a standard which sees every game in the 18s comp exciting to watch.
Apart from the Bathurst side the rest of the competition is split by no more than 10 points each game.
Isaac Testoni, Liam Blanch and Mitch Salvestro need to be on their game all game and to lead the younger players throughout the weekend.
If these guys fire they lift the rest of the side, Blocking out and failure to convert offence back to defence hurt the boys, they realise this let them down and have been training in preparation for the return games.
Harry Laurant and Sam Payne are starting to shape up into a strong 4-5 player and this could be the round they show through.
It has been a very busy couple of months this year already with Alice Macrae, Isaac Testoni and Josh Trotter taking part in the Country Development tour in Newcastle and Timeeka Coleman, Emerson Waide, Alex Minato, Mason Salvestro, Kai Suine taking part in the Australian Country Basketball Tour in Albury all in January.
Timeeka and Kai where selected in the Australian Country Basketball tours Australian side that will tour New Zealand at Easter. This is a great achievement by these two players, they join a small list of players who have made the touring side based here in Griffith.
Blake Testoni attended the Country tour as a referee and came away from the tournament full of confidence and ready to pass on his knowledge to our junior and senior based referees.
Both Blake and Jordan Magocci have been selected in the BNSW Junior development program for referees. This is a great achievement by these two officials, hopefully they continue and improve throughout the year.