The Narrandera Knights recently had four basketball representatives participate in the 2018 Country Championship League (CCL) The participants had to show exceptional skills to qualify for the CCL.
Narrandera’s Western League representatives Lachlan Kerr (U16s Boys), Marnie Grintell, Lani Wall and Katelyn Johnson (U14s Girls) had the opportunity to experience basketball at a high level while representing CCL.
They travelled to Maitland, Newcastle, Wollongong and Minto over the past seven weeks, competing against teams from Coffs Harbour, Illawarra, Newcastle, Taree, Moss Vale, Bathurst and Gosford.
Western Reds is a composite team selected from the Western League representative teams. The players are made up from teams from Bathurst, Lithgow, Cootamundra, West Wyalong, Griffith, Dubbo, and Orange.
It can be challenging at first, as the players initially have very little training with each other. Because they are thrown in at the deep end, it does take time to figure out team combinations. As they played on, they became more familiar with each others’ play.
It was a steep learning curve for the coaches as well to become familiar with the players’ skills, trying to figure out combinations and which players worked well together. With individual skills the teams competed well against high class teams and the friendship gained from the experience was one they will never forget.
Throughout the competition there were many close games. The U14s girls qualified into the finals. Their first game was against Newcastle, although they unfortunately lost by nine oints. The team then played Taree in a thrilling game, going down in the last second by one point. It was an incredible performance by the team, who finished fourth overall.
The 16 boys endured some very tough games. This was a great effort from Lachlan, as he is at the bottom end of his age, and will have another year in this age group. The U16s Boys wound up in fifth place overall.
Parents were very proud of the children and encourage future representatives to play well and attain the level these Narrandera children experienced.