Ararat Redbacks finish basketball season with big win in Ballarat

The Ararat under-18B team following its grand final win on Monday. Picture: CASANDA WOODS
The Ararat under-18B team following its grand final win on Monday. Picture: CASANDA WOODS

Ararat’s under-18B basketball team capped off a strong season, winning the Ballarat junior basketball tournament at the weekend.

The team had mixed results, losing its opening game against Sunbury by 11 before bouncing back to account for Craigieburn by 10 to go into Sunday’s games with some confidence.

The two Sunday games played out in a similar way with the Redbacks losing to Geelong by five points before accounting for Melton by seven points to qualify for the semi-final on Monday.

A re-match against Sunbury awaited the squad with the group’s resilience on display, as Ararat reversed the result earlier in the weekend to knock off its opponent by seven points to progress through to the grand final.

It was a tense decider with the Redbacks edging out Geelong 60-40 to finish the season with a big victory.

Coach Donna Spalding said it was a great performance from everyone involved.

“Baydn Cosgriff was solid in defence and attacked the basket strongly in the final, scoring the first few points for us,” she said.

“Rhiley McKinnis dominated the defensive rebounds and was able to play his part in starting transitions to the offensive end.

“Scotty Cocking was unorthodox but successful finding the basket and DJ Woods who was Ararat’s best player in the grand final.

“DJ is an exceptional basketballer and works hard, giving 110 per cent on the court and was inspirational for the team, leading from the front as captain.”

The Ballarat tournament was the final one for this season with squad selection set for later in the year for the next season.