Eagles lose final in overtime

THE Maffra Eagles under 16 boys’ basketball team came agonisingly close to claiming another major tournament.

The Eagles reached the grand final of the Easter Canberra Invitational Tournament, losing to the Canberra Gunners in overtime.

The result was more impressive considering the Eagles took on teams from major associations like the Melbourne Tigers, Frankston, Hills (south-west Sydney) and Penrith.

Little separated the teams throughout the match. The Eagles led 18-17 at quarter-time, before the teams went into half-time level 34-34, then the Gunners went into the final term leading 53-52.

Scores were again locked at full-time, 72-72. The home side overcame the Eagles in the extra period, winning 85-79.

The result was more impressive considering the Eagles took on teams from major associations like the Melbourne Tigers, Frankston, Hills (south-west Sydney) and Penrith.

The tournament was played at the Belconnen Basketball Stadium, with the players staying at the Australian Institute of Sport, giving them a taste of life as an elite athlete.

The Eagles were invited to play after winning the Victorian country championship in February. They have also been nominated to play in the National Junior Classic in June.

THE Maffra under 16 girls’ team won the division three final of the country championships by one point in Bendigo recently.

After defeating Morwell and Wonthaggi, the Eagles lost to a physical Wallan side by one point, before rebounding to win over Wangaratta to put them on top of their pool.

In the semi-final, Maffra was too good for Korumburra, winning 41-23.

The Eagles won a close final to Swan Hill by just one point after a nail-biting finish.

Chelsea Allman, Annika Hennig and Kate Harrington dominated in defence, and Jasmyn Hennig, Kheali Oldham, Jaime Gallatly, Lucy Jones and Rebecca Bourke teamed up in offence with accuracy.

Coach Leanne Gallatly was proud of the girls.

“It was a real credit to them, they showed fantastic sportsmanship all weekend and deserved the win,” she said.