Bushrangers trump Miners

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.

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