Bushrangers trump Miners

Goldminers’ Aly Smead looks for options. Pictures: BEN EYLES
Goldminers’ Aly Smead looks for options. Pictures: BEN EYLES
Goldminers’ Eliza West looks to pass in front of Bushrangers’ Shelby Britten.

Goldminers’ Eliza West looks to pass in front of Bushrangers’ Shelby Britten.

Goldminers’ Mikayla Delcastastegne drives to the hoop.

Goldminers’ Mikayla Delcastastegne drives to the hoop.

THE Victorian Bushrangers have won the under-18 girls’ title, beating state rival the Goldminers in the decider.

The Bushies, led by Traralgon’s Danni Pearce, proved too strong in Saturday’s final, winning 67-46 at Lauren Jackson Sports Centre to remain undefeated for the tournament.

Miners coach Lisa Townsend said her side, which suffered its first loss for the event in the decider, was out-gunned.

It was the Miners’ second straight defeat in the under-18 girls’ grand final, with the NSW Kookaburras winning the title last year.

“It was a good tussle,” former Lady Bandits coach Townsend said.

“It was a nice rivalry but they were just a bit more experienced than we were.

“It was always going to be a tough ask.

“We knew we were going to be in for a hard slog.

“To our girls’ credit we had some really good looks but couldn’t buy a basket.

“That’s what happens after six days.”

Eliza West, Rhianna Barton and Mikayla Watson were outstanding for the Miners, while bottom-age Wangaratta player Carly Perso overcame a shoulder injury to play in the final.

Townsend said she couldn’t fault her side’s efforts at the tournament.

“Some girls really stepped up; it made selection very, very hard.”

In other results, the Victorian Bushrangers beat the NSW Waratahs 61-54 in the under-16 girls; NSW Kookaburras beat the Victorian Bushrangers 62-38 in the under-16 boys; New Zealand Kea upset the South Australian Sharks 65-61 in the under-14 girls; and the NSW Kookaburras beat the NSW Waratahs 91-67 in the under-14 boys.