Under-14s crowned country champions

The Macedon Ranges Under 14 squad with their Division 1 Country Championship medals (Supplied) 235499_01

By Oliver Lees

The Macedon Ranges Basketball Association (MRBA) is king of the country for the first time, following its championship win last weekend.

The MRBA under-14 boy’s squad has taken out the Division 1 title of the Basketball Victoria Country (BVC) Championships after winning 10 straight games in their round robin tournament in Traralgon.

The Country Championships are held annually between the under-12 and under-18 age groups, with the best players from across each association selected to compete.

MRBA president John Gehman said he was proud of the team’s achievement.

“[It’s a] huge effort from the boys going 10 for 10 against the best from much bigger associations like Geelong, Bendigo, Warrnambool and Ballarat,” he said.

The MRBA boys faced opposition from across the state, with their round two contest versus Warrnambool being their closest match, winning by only five points, while they cruised to victory in the quarter finals beating Shepparton by 41 points.

That game saw a full team effort with nine different players contributing to the scoreboard and five players scoring double digits.

Reflecting on the tournament head coach John Maxwell said it was their work in defence that was instrumental to their success.

“Our main focus this weekend was our defensive intensity,” Maxwell said.

“From game one we were able to maintain a very high standard which is a credit to the team’s depth and fitness.”

In the final, Macedon Ranges played off against Ballarat, beating them 50 to 42. Sonny Maxwell top scored with 16 points.

Basketball Victoria member and community services general manager David Huxtable said the victory was particularly impressive given that the MRBA isn’t as big as other associations in the state.

“The Macedon Ranges should be extremely proud of the boys’ achievement in winning Division 1 at the Country Championships,” he said.

“It is a testimony to the hard work of all the players, coaches and committee for such a small association to achieve the Division 1 Victorian Country Championship flag.”

The MRBA squad will now face-off in the National Junior Classic in September, where they’ll take on the best metropolitan and country teams across Australia.