Boom Mercy hoopers reign supreme for U/14 Meteors and Meteorettes
By CHRIS KARAS
AUSTRALIA’S bronze medal winning Olympic basketballers continue to inspire a new generation of young hoopers.
Nine students from Mercy College Mackay are living the dream after recently helping the Mackay Meteors and Meteorettes clinch a rare North Queensland Junior Basketball Championship double.
In a huge fillip for basketball in the Mackay region, the talented local products underlined their potential with superb performances on the boards against Cairns and Townsville to bring home their respective Under 14 trophies.
Outstanding 13 year old point guard Cooper Currie skippered the triumphant Meteors who produced impressive team efforts over the Tri Carnival series to claim the tag of North Queensland Age champions.
Currie was supported by rising stars in power forward Treyce Ciantar, shooting guards Usai Bickey and Sam Osborne, small forward Landon Naylor and point guard Winton Martin.
The Meteors swept all eight games in the challenge legs in Cairns and Mackay but lost three matches during the Townsville leg with a depleted squad after key forward Ciantar broke his foot.
Secret to the team’s success is their ability to combine effectively with each other on court, tactical nous and natural lay-up and shooting skills.
Currie, Ciantar, Martin and Naylor are products of the Souths club in the Mackay Junior Basketball Association with Bickey lining up for the Magpies and Osborne, a Renegades colt.
All six have represented the Meteors in the Under 12 and Under 14 age divisions - Treyce and Usai for the past five seasons; Cooper (four seasons) and Sam (two) which stands as a proud achievement.
The boys’ immediate goal is to be part of basketball’s Future Development Program and to push for selection in the Queensland Under 16s representative squad.
Following their North Queensland regional success, the super six will represent Mackay at the upcoming State Junior Basketball Championships in Brisbane.
It doesn’t end there for Cooper, Usai and Treyce who will spearhead the Mercy College Year 10 basketball team at this year’s Champion Schools Basketball tournament to be staged on the Gold Coast during October.
The gifted 13 year olds will take on players three years their senior in the annual competition to determine the best Junior Basketball school in the State.
Mercy College trio Tahlia Jenson, Lily Mapp and Cleo Ape starred for the all conquering Mackay Meteorettes who were also crowned North Queensland Junior Basketball U/14 age champions.
Promising point guard Jenson and skilful forwards Mapp and Ape were instrumental in the team’s success with top performances against Cairns and Townsville in the Girls division.
Also heading to the Gold Coast later this year is exciting prospect Lily, who will be part of a strong Mercy College Year 10 Girls squad that will pit their skills against the best schoolgirl basketballers in Queensland.