Ashburton College’s senior girls’ basketball side defied the odds to beat Cashmere High School in Canterbury secondary school basketball’s Whelan Trophy in Christchurch on Tuesday night.
Seeded last in this year’s competition, the college girls headed into the competition determined to finish higher than their seeding and after two games were one from two.
They bounced back well from their first-round loss to Christchurch Girls’ High School to beat Cashmere 94-63 and coach Mark Douglas couldn’t have been happier with the spirit his young side showed.
“We played them (Cashmere) pre-season and it was a bit closer than that so it was good to have a hitout and get the W,” Douglas said. “It was targeted as one of the teams we should beat so we were confident without being cocky, but that’s part of the learning, playing with confidence.”
The odds weren’t in their favour. Cashmere were seeded higher and Ashburton College’s bench resembled a hospital ward at one point, Douglas said.
He had one player with a sore leg, one on crutches, one who was sick and another who’d received a knock to the head. But the team rallied.
Douglas said he’d wanted them to work on their discipline and reduce the number of silly fouls they gave away, to ensure they had everyone available towards the end. There were a few early indiscretions, but the college girls produced a much better second half, Douglas said.
Sophie Adams was in top form with a personal tally of 49 points, but Douglas said had it not been for the hard work of her team-mates across the court, Adams wouldn’t have been in a position to shoot those goals.
“Our biggest learning we talked about from the first game was our turnovers, because we turned over a lot of ball, but we made good progress in one week,” Douglas said.
They’d need to keep improving, too, with one of the competition’s top four sides – Rangi Ruru – their next opposition.
It would be a big night at the Oxford Street basketball stadium in Ashburton on Tuesday, with the Ashburton College senior boys also having a home game against Rangiora New Life School.
The college boys had the bye in the first round of their Thomson Trophy competition, so had their first hitout this week. Despite also struggling with injuries and sickness, the boys also notched up a win, beating Linwood College 84-73.
– Erin Tasker