<![CDATA[Basketball - WMSport - Wimmera Mallee News]]> https://www.horshamtimes.com.au/wm-sport/basketball/feed.xml Tue, 09 Apr 2024 00:00:00 +1000 en-AU Copyright Wimmera Mallee News 2024 <![CDATA[Bibby one step closer to Paris]]> 322616f5-5328-4f36-a6db-9bad53c93e0f https://www.horshamtimes.com.au/bibby-one-step-closer-to-paris-2024-04-09 Tue, 09 Apr 2024 00:00:00 +1000 Warracknabeal's Chloe Bibby has been selected in the Opals short list of 26 players for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

The selection comes off the back of an outstanding season for Polish club Gorzów Wielkopolski in Poland's top professional league, Poland-OLBK.

The 25-year-old was named MVP and selected in the All Star five in a season in which she scored 498 points with an average of 20.9, 5.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 24 games as Gorzow Wielkopolski finished runner up to Polkowice.

The club also played in the Eurocup where they made the quarterfinals, losing to Turkish club Galatasaray. Bibby was fifth on the leading scoring in that competition with 220 points.

Bibby said that she is honoured to be selected.

"I feel very honoured. Anytime you get picked in any squad in the short list, or final squad, feels great and I am really honoured to be recognised in that," Bibby said.

Bibby's highlight in the 2023/2024 season was a buzzer beater in the Euroleague against Slovakian club Piestanske Cajky.

With the scores tied 81 a-piece with 1.2 seconds left, Bibby received the ball from teammate, Elena Tsienke and pulled off a remarkable shot to win the game.

"It was great to win the game and you always want to be given that opportunity and it was a cool feeling and a lot of fun," Bibby recalled.

Bibby enjoyed Europe and will be looking to go there again later in the year.

"I went to quite a few places around Europe. Poland is great and a great country. It was awesome," Bibby said.

"It was a very physical league with great players. It was competitive and really fun."

"I won't decide where I play until middle of the year. I will try and work out the best opportunity."

"There are a lot of great leagues in Europe and I am excited to see what I am offered and go from there. I have the right people working for me to get me the best opportunity."

Bibby will now set her sights to NBL1 where she is playing for the Ballarat Miners.

The Miners kickstarted their season with a loss against Bendigo Braves on Wednesday, April 3 and recently on Sunday, April 7, Chloe played her first match of the season and they defeated Geelong 95-85.

Bibby produced a double-double scoring 22 points with 11 rebounds in the victory.

<![CDATA[Hornets recognised for great seasons]]> 5236da32-ca3f-4a9a-a8e1-4c503ae936cd https://www.horshamtimes.com.au/hornets-recognised-for-great-seasons-2024-02-14 Wed, 14 Feb 2024 14:00:00 +1100 Hornets players have been recognised for their great seasons. Alongside leading scorers Austin McKenzie and Emalie Iredell, Cody Bryan and Maddison Iredell have been named defensive players of the year whilst Olivia Jones was named in the 'All Star Five' team of the year.

Bryan had an outstanding season, not only defensively but offensively, as he finished fourth highest in points this season with 262.

McKenzie was the only Hornets player in the men's 'All Star' team which featured Mt Gambier duo Simon Berkefeld and Tom Daly, Millicent's Jack Haggett and Portland's Nathan Hardingham.In the women's team, Olivia Jones as the second leading scorer was named alongside the Iredell sisters.

Portland's duo Tyleah Barr and Millie Jennings were named alongside them as well as Mt Gambier star, Tenielle Human.

Scott Benbow said Cody Bryan was outstanding this season.

"He was unlucky not to be in the All-Star Five," he said.

"To get defensive player and be a top-four scorer showed what an unbelievable season he had.

"Our MVP is going to be between him and Austin and I have no idea who will win. It will be close."

The Hornets host their MVP award on Saturday March 2.

<![CDATA[Hornets fall short in electric finale]]> 86e82d6c-bbf9-457c-b7a9-9bf619cd3365 https://www.horshamtimes.com.au/hornets-fall-short-in-electric-finale-2024-02-14 Wed, 14 Feb 2024 11:00:00 +1100 The Horsham Hornets lost to Mt Gambier Lakers by 12 points in the Country Basketball League's South West division Grand Final at Horsham on Saturday night.

A massive crowd of approximately 500 witnessed an unbelievable, fast-paced action game of basketball.

The Hornets were up and about early as Matt Brown in his final game was landing baskets as Horsham took a one-point lead into the quartertime break.

The Hornets then extended that lead to eight points at halftime.

The Lakers started to land shots mainly thanks to Simon Berkefeld and Tom Daly and they leveled the scores at three-quarter time.

The last quarter was hotly contested as the Lakers started to take control landing nearly every shot they took. The Hornets fought to the end, but the Lakers were too strong running out 12-point winners, 100-88.

Simon Berkefeld was named MVP with his 37 points. Tom Daly scored 24. For the Hornets, Matthew Brown top-scored with 25.

Hornets coach Scott Benbow said it was an unbelievable game.

"That was one hell of a game. We had beers with Mt Gambier after the game and Berkefeld said that he loved everything about it and it was easily the best game of the year," Benbow said.

"Obviously I'm a bit disappointed. In the final minute and a half, I said to Matt Lovel what can we do and he said 'nothing, they are just making every shot.'"

"We were beaten by the better side in the last quarter."

Benbow said despite the loss he is proud of the boys.

"I could not be any prouder of them. They gave everything they had," Benbow said.

"Brown's game was amazing with 25 points. We knew they would focus on Aussie and Cody, and they double-teamed Cody and Matty got in the right spots."

When asked if he would like to coach again next year, Benbow said he would love to if given the opportunity.

"I would love to stick around if they have me," Benbow said.

"I had a couple of beers with the boys on Sunday as we farewelled Damien Skurrie and Matt Brown and the vibe around the group is to keep everyone together.

"The expectation is next year that we have some younger players like Fred Frew, Hugh Dougherty and Tarkyn Benbow that can step up, so we know we are in a good place."

Benbow would like to thank the crowd and Horsham Basketball for Saturday night.

"The rat pack was fantastic. We have a dozen guys that follow us and their support was amazing," he said.

"The home crowd too was excellent. We are thankful for the support we get. Berkefled mentioned after the game that he will never experience that atmosphere again.

"Horsham Basketball did a fantastic job in having the flashing lights when players entered the court and ladies singing before the game. It's something they do well and everyone had a great night."

Max Bryan also celebrated his 50th game for the club.

<![CDATA[Junior Hornets shine in Albury]]> 63914248-321b-4d1f-85de-64bd4e963823 https://www.horshamtimes.com.au/junior-hornets-shine-in-albury-2024-02-08 Thu, 08 Feb 2024 17:30:00 +1100 On January 16-20, the Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup (ACJBC) was held in Albury where Ruby Bethune, Rani Potter and Levi Munyard all participated.

The ACJBC is an annual state representative tournament that features upward of 60 teams and 700 players, coaches and officials featuring teams from NSW, SA, VIC, Tasmania and New Zealand in the U14, U16 and U18 age groups.

All three basketballers played in the tournament for the first time and were pivotal for their respective teams.

Potter played for the under-14 Goldminers which won the tournament. She scored 78 points and was their top scorer.

It was her first interstate representative tournament. Before that she played in Jamboree in 2022, a country Victoria tournament in Echuca.

Potter's mum, Jodi Bigmore, said that she enjoyed playing at the higher level and it was a different experience, one which she will remember for a long time.

"She felt she got better and better as the week went on," Jodi said.

"There were team meetings, team plays and reviews. She learned a lot and enjoyed playing at a higher level. It was really good for her."

Potter got selected for the Nunawading Spectres in the Victorian Junior Basketball League (VJBL) which started in December 2023. The VJBL is the premier pathway program for juniors in Victoria.

"She wanted to try out and kept asking if she could go," Jodi said.

"Owen Hughan said she has the ability and needs to play in the VJBL. He organised a tryout for her.

"I wasn't allowed to watch but afterward Rani said she loved it and that is where she is meant to be."

Potter will be playing this year and Jodi is proud of her.

"A lot of kids that play at the high level tend to get intimidated but she isn't. I am very proud of her," Jodi concluded.

Ruby Bethune played for the under-14 Bushrangers which finished third. She scored 39 points, averaging 4.88 a game.

Like Rani, it was her first representative interstate tournament, previously participating in Jamboree for the under-12's.

Ruby's mum, Alana, said that she was nervous to begin with but loved every minute of it.

"She was nervous at first but really enjoyed it. It was not what she was used to. It was all skills-based and a lot of new plays," Alana said.

"The main thing that was different was the intensity in preparation and recovery featuring hot and cold showers and nutrition.

"She is a quiet girl and it was a big thing to stay away for a week but she handled it well. It was a fantastic opportunity and I am so proud of her."

<![CDATA[Determination pays off for Munyard]]> 9430b50f-aae2-4eee-8986-63d97acd1958 https://www.horshamtimes.com.au/determination-pays-off-for-munyard-2024-02-08 Thu, 08 Feb 2024 08:40:00 +1100 Levi Munyard has been selected as an emergency for the Victorian Under-18 Country Men National Championships team which will be playing in Brisbane from April 7 to 14.

The 15-year-old has been recognised following years of hard work and an excellent Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup (ACJBC) in Albury, January 16-20.

Initially named as an emergency for the ACJBC for the second year running, which made him more determined to work harder on his basketball, Levi got the call-up in December and took it with both hands.

In the tournament, Munyard played for the U18 boys Goldminers which made the semi-final, losing to the NSW Kookaburras. He scored 52 points, averaging 6.5 a game.

He played exceptionally well which was enough to be recognised.

Last year, he was named as an emergency with the under-16 state team for the Nationals in Perth after being the only basketballer not to play in the ACJBC. He was close to playing and was on standby but at the last minute the player who he would have been replacing passed his fitness test.

Levi's mum, Amanda, said that Levi is looking forward to the opportunity this year.

"He will be competing with kids that are 12 months older and he is excited about it," Amanda said.

"It's a fantastic opportunity and a great experience.

"Hopefully this time next year he will be in the state squad and a lot of work needs to be done for that to happen, but it's a goal he is working towards. He gets an opportunity to train with state squad teams with high-quality kids so it's a great step."

Levi does a lot of work behind the scenes training hard and is in various programs. He trains with Rebecca McIntyre as well as the Cam Bruce Basketball Academy at Horsham College.

Amanda said they are proud of him.

"We are very proud. He puts a huge amount of work in and it's incredible," Amanda said.

"He gets a lot of feedback and it's amazing to watch a child set themselves goals and achieve them. Learning nothing comes free and it makes him more determined to achieve."

Levi plays for the Ballarat Miners in the Victorian Junior Basketball League, which plays games in Melbourne every Friday night.

Alongside those commitments, he also is in the state development program, a year-long program for kids in the state team system.

A typical week for the Munyard household sees Levi go to Ballarat on Monday nights for the state development program, training for the Miners on Tuesday, and then games on Friday nights.

It's a lot of travel and Amanda said they make it work.

"Myself and my husband make it work and we share the driving. It's a big commitment and it's great for Levi," Amanda said.

"It's a long game and it's exciting to see where he could be in 12 months.

"He wouldn't be here without Horsham Basketball behind him. They have done an incredible job."

<![CDATA[Hornets through to the Grand Final]]> 2f49e563-eda0-41af-81c8-286499fc8bb8 https://www.horshamtimes.com.au/hornets-through-to-the-grand-final-1-2024-02-04 Sun, 04 Feb 2024 00:00:00 +1100 The Hornets men are through to the Country Basketball League Grand Final following a seven-point win over Portland at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Saturday night.

With a packed stadium cheering them on, the 0-2 record against Portland this year wasn't an issue for the Hornets, as Mitch Martin was landing the three-pointers early with Max Bryan, Austin McKenzie, Cody Bryan and Matt Brown all sensational to help the Hornets to a 27-23 lead at quarter time.

The Hornets scored 21 points to Portland's 14 in the second quarter with Damian Skurrie and Jake Hobbs joining in on the action with four and two points respectively to guide the Hornets to a 48-37 lead at half-time.

In the third quarter, Portland came hard, but the Hornets stayed true, extending the lead to 11 points at three-quarter time.

Portland charged at the Hornets in the last quarter to get within four points, but the Hornets stuck to their game plan withstanding the fightback to win 84-77 to book themselves a grand final berth at home next Saturday against Mt Gambier, who easily disposed of Warrnambool by 20 points.

Cody Bryan led the Hornets with 22 points, whilst Mitch Martin 17, coupled with Austin McKenzie and Matthew Brown with 16 a-piece in a shared performance.

Coach Scott Benbow was ecstatic after the win.

"It's unreal. We got a good start and it set us up for the game," Benbow said.

"It was good to see Mitch get his confidence early and Cody was up and about and it was a bit of a shootout which helped."

The last time they played Portland they had a comfortable lead and when Portland came storming back in the last quarter, Benbow praised the team for sticking to the task.

"With five minutes to go we called that timeout just to get some experience on the court," Benbow explained.

"Matt Lovel was very good in that last quarter. I took Max Bryan out and put Matt in just to steady things. The younger boys were amazing at getting us the lead but we needed a bit of a father figure on the court.

"We had a reset and I told them to trust the process and don't rush the ball. Matt Brown stepped up and made some critical baskets which was great to see."

When asked about the shared shooting between four players, Benbow said it was excellent.

"We have talked about it all year that the ball needs to go through different hands to make it hard on the opposition and it worked. I was very happy," Benbow said.

Unfortunately, the ladies ended their season with a 63-87 point loss against Portland in Portland. Emalie Iredell led the way with 25 points.

With an abundance of youth, the Hornets will learn from the experience and will be challenging in years to come.