Ready to pounce
WITH Warwick Basketball having one of its most successful seasons, I often get asked why it is that we are doing so well this season. I guess there are a number of reasons.
As a small association (compared to the rest in the regional league), we have been able to secure minor premierships in both A and reserve grade, as well as third place in reserve grade out of the three teams we entered.
First of all, let me say that we had originally intended to have even stronger teams in the competition this year, however, to help the competition, we had to enter three teams instead of the planned two. This meant that the available talent was spread more than expected.
To counter this we intended to set up all three teams so they had a good blend of "old and experienced" mixed in with "youth and enthusiasm".
This seems to have had the desired effect.
With 13 of the representative players in the three teams being 20 or under, we have been able to get the boys to step up a level in competition without being overwhelmed by the opposition. I must say that the job is still far from done, with two of the teams playing in the grand finals from 5pm today.
However, we are all still proud of the achievements and improvements this season - win, lose or draw.
As the A-grade coach, I have tried to work closely with assistant coach Darin Page as well as reserve-grade coaches Darren Byrne and Jay Clark, to make sure that we implement good structure in our plays this season, and provide good court balance for the teams to build on.
The senior players have certainly taken on the responsibility in all three teams to ensure that the younger players are receiving the direction and experience that they need.
The most pleasing aspect would probably be that the teams are winning a majority of the close games, which shows the maturity levels when they are needed.
With this said, my predictions for this weekend! As much as I hate to sound over-confident, I believe the Warwick Green reserve grade team, which has gone through the season undefeated, should win quite comfortably against the Dalby team. This team has been playing like a well-oiled machine, with coach Clark ready for every scenario Dalby can throw at us. Warwick to win by 10.
The only two times the Tenterfield Bullets and Warwick Wildcats have met with full strength teams in A-grade this season, they have both finished in one-point wins to either team. For this reason, I believe we are in for another cliff-hanger of a finish.
While this is not good for the health of me as a coach, it should prove to be another exciting night for the fans.
Even though I would like to be confident in saying we will be the victors, anything can happen in close finishes like this.
I would hope the experienced players in James Legan and Snowy Quinn in particular will be able to call the right plays down the stretch and bring home the trophy. Wildcats by two.
Today at Downlands College in Toowoomba:
5pm: Warwick Green v Dalby in reserve grade.
7pm: Warwick Wildcats v Tenterfield Bullets in A-grade.