Broken Hill Broncos’ Under 12 Boys team won their division at the 2023 Port Augusta Junior Basketball Carnival on the weekend, prevailing 33-23 against Port Pirie in the Grand Final.
The team finished with two wins and two losses from the round-robin fixtures, taking them into the finals. However, the path to the ultimate victory wasn’t without its hardships.
The teams Broken Hill played in the two finals matchups would each be teams the side lost to earlier in the competition. In the semi-final, Broken Hill beat Port Lincoln 33-17, before defeating Port Pirie. It was also the only game Port Pirie dropped in the grade for the tournament.
“It’s always an amazing feeling to come away with a win and even better to do it at the beginning of carnival season with hopefully some more wins to come during the season”, Broken Hill’s Under 12 Boys coach, BJ Johnstone, told the Barrier Truth.
“Going into the semi-final against Port Lincoln, we knew we had to work harder to get in front from the beginning after being beaten by them previously. Thankfully, we managed to do it and came away with the win.
“Coming into the Grand Final against Port Pirie, we knew it was going to be a tough, physical game as they had previously beaten us by 20 points. But the boys managed to stay calm, play hard and went out there and played as a team, and won!”
Away from the obvious feeling of jubilation following the Grand Final victory, the coach was able to find many more positives from the team across the weekend.
“Besides winning the Grand Final, from a coach’s standpoint, the most pleasing part of the weekend was seeing the boys that have already been to a carnival taking the new players and under their wing and watching them gel and play as a team. Also, watching all the players give 110 per cent and trying their best each game.”
Broken Hill entered a team in a further four grades and made the Grand Final in all but one. The Under 14 Boys lost 29-39 against Roxby Downs, the Under 14 Girls lost 34-20 against Yorke Valley, and the Under 16 Boys lost 47-34 against Yorke Valley, while the Under 12 Girls lost to eventual winners Yorke Valley (26-22) in the semi-final.
“I think it shows that Broken Hill kids, coaches, and executive members have been working hard over the last couple of years to help enhance the skills of all players for not only interstate competitions but also out local competitions, which will hopefully lead to basketball getting bigger and better in Broken Hill.”