New team off to final

ON THE UP: Coach Matthew Doherty, Xander Hall, Taylor Boyd, Harrison Sherrington, Carlo Urbano, Max Brown, Rashaon Stone, Jordon Bannister and coach Troy Bannister after their semi-final win.
ON THE UP: Coach Matthew Doherty, Xander Hall, Taylor Boyd, Harrison Sherrington, Carlo Urbano, Max Brown, Rashaon Stone, Jordon Bannister and coach Troy Bannister after their semi-final win. Contributed

BASKETBALL: Junior basketball in the Whitsundays is making a resurgence, with the under-16 team making the preliminary finals in the Mackay Basketball Association competition.

Coach Matthew Doherty floated the idea of putting a junior team into Mackay this season and after a slow start, the boys are coming together in leaps and bounds.

Along with coach Troy Bannister, they have been taking a team to Mackay every Wednesday and last week they won their semi-final.

"There was no basketball happening in the area for kids,” Doherty said.

"There's a men's team but there was nothing for underage players. I went to the PCYC and they said go with it and it's been great. The parents have got involved and Troy Bannister as coach.

"The numbers have got pretty big actually.”

Last Wednesday PCYC played Magic Blue in the semi-final, after finishing joint fourth in the competition.

Winning 36-29, it was a very high tempo game with both teams running into foul trouble throughout the game.

The boys headed to Mackay last night to play Renegade Raiders for a chance to play in the grand final against Magic White.

"Good luck to the boys they have trained hard to get here and are hungry for the win,” Doherty said.

It's been a big season for the new team as the boys had to adapt to playing in competitive games.

"It's an achievement on its own. None of the boys have played in a refereed environment before they went down this season,” Doherty said.

"They had a slow start. It was a very big learning curve for them but they scraped their way into the last four and made the finals.

"They actually tied for fourth to make the finals.

"The boys have worked very hard to get there. They've put so much work into it.”

Next year Doherty said he hopes they will be able to field a second team - under-13s for the younger players.

"The under-12s are already asking when their team is starting,” he said.

"We'll absolutely look into expanding into more teams next season.”

PCYC play every Wednesday night.

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