AN undefeated run has led the Wodonga Wolves under-14 girls team to a historic division one championship at the Basketball Victoria Country championships in Ballarat last weekend.
Depth was the key for the Wolves, who had the luxury of rotating 11 players throughout the tournament, ensuring their best five were fresh for the grand final.
The 46-41 win over the Southern Peninsula Sharks was the Wolves first Division One state championship in the under 14 girls, and follows the under-12 boys team winning the same title last year.
Coach Nic Conway said the championship would be a moment to remember for every player on the team.
“I couldn’t have dreamt we’d win a championship like that," he said.
“Southern Peninsula were an unbelievable team, and it was by chance we met them in the final.
“Our girls played the game of their lives, we got to the final feeling reasonably fresh and were able to save out best for the last game of the day. “
Evie Hughes (19 points) and Sienna Harvey (10 points) offered solid scoring contributions, but it was Christine Oguche’s 13 points, eight rebounds and a whopping 10 blocked shots that proved to the be difference.
“Christine played the game of her life,” Conway said.
“We had a decent spread of scorers, including Tahli Smith who hit two big free throws down the stretch.
“We have five bottom agers in the team, which is rare for such a strong side.
“It’s a credit to all the girls, they showed early on they were willing to work really hard for this.”
In other basketball news, the North East Bushrangers have signed import Richard Townsend-Gant for the rest of the Big V season.
Townsend-Gant replaces Kannon Burrage, who elected to return to the U.S. for personal reasons.
The Portland, Oregon native suited up for the team on short notice last weekend, travelling with the team to take on the Mildura Heat.
With just one training session and an eight hour bus trip to Mildura to get to know his new teammates, Bushrangers head coach Emma Henry said Townsend-Gant had proven to be a valuable addition.
“I thought he did a fantastic job for us considering the circumstances,” she said.
“This all came about very quickly and a credit to Richard, he has slotted in straight away, running our offence and buying into our defensive principles.
“Most importantly for us, Richard is a team first player and he really showed that on the court on Saturday night.
“There is a good buzz around the group and we are looking to feed off this energy.”
The Bushrangers and Lady Bushrangers head to Wangaratta this weekend to take on the Sherbrooke Suns.