St John Paul College Coffs Harbour win state basketball title

The St John Paul College Coffs Harbour Year 9/10 girls’ basketball team. Back: Isla Anderson, Bella Morrison, Eve Genrich, Brooke Dart. Front: Charlotte Cougle, Charlize Morrison, Maya Duncan.

ST John Paul College Coffs Harbour has produced a tremendous team of state champions.

The school’s Year 9/10 girls’ basketball team won the NSW Combined Catholic Colleges Basketball Championships in Sydney.

The girls finished as state champions after winning the two-day competition which featured the top 14 teams from across the state, with each team having to finish top in their Diocese Carnivals to automatically qualify for the championships.

There were many large Sydney Catholic schools represented as well as the best of the country schools.

Finding themselves in Pool D, the SJPC girls played Sydney teams from Stanhope Gardens, Pennant Hills and Milperra.

Despite these big city school teams, the SJPC girls rose to the challenge, successfully navigating their pool on Day 1 to finish first, undefeated with an impressive for and against percentage of 400 percent.

The second day was just as successful when the girls beat St Pius X High School from Adamstown, to then progress to the grand final against Xavier High School from Albury.

The grand final was a seesawing, tightly contested event, with neither team able to take charge and pull away.

With about three minutes on the clock, and an amazing three-pointer from Charlotte Cougle, strong defensive rebound work from Isla Anderson and a flashy finish from Charlize Morrison, the team pulled away to win 26-23.

Their coach Danielle McAra explained how they were able to win the state title.

“They are just such well-skilled individuals who also had the ability to promote the strengths of their teammates and exploit the weaknesses of their opponents,” she said.

“They were exceptionally well led by Charlize Morrison and Charlotte Cougle who were the on-court strategists and combined as though one person on many occasions,” she said.

“The strength and finishing ability of Isla Anderson, the gutsy determination of Bella Morrison and clinical play of Maya Duncan helped secure the wins.

“And of course, the strong supportive role of Brooke Dart and Eve Genrich meant that any combination on the court was a winning one.

“The girls coach, Mrs Trish Furey, was unexpectedly unable to accompany the team to Sydney which resulted in the fortunate and very proud opportunity for me to take on the task of coaching this highly talented and motivated group of young ladies.

“To say it was an honour is an understatement.”


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