JUMP: Harry Blair goes for the basket for the Byron Beez.
JUMP: Harry Blair goes for the basket for the Byron Beez. Kylie Robertson.

Beez U16s go back-to-back

FOR the first time in Byron Bay basketball history, our under-16 boys are the Waratah NJL back-to-back champions.

Their first game on Saturday against Coffs Harbour had them shake out the cobwebs in an 84-88 victory, which gave them a berth directly into the grand final on Sunday morning, where they faced Coffs Harbour again.

With coach Nash Campbell away, and stand-in coach Jason Smith at the helm, the boys came out firing on all cylinders straight away. Controlling the pace of play on both ends of the court, they grabbed the lead and never looked back.

The third quarter saw Coffs battle back to within four points, but the boys made another strong push to regain a 10-point plus lead, and by the fourth quarter Byron had a stranglehold on the match.

Final score was 92-80, with Harry Blair named MVP of the match.

Meanwhile, our under-14 boys timed their peak for the 2018 Waratah NJL season at exactly the right time last weekend.

First they took care of the tough Coffs Harbour Suns on Saturday morning 42-35, then in the evening took on Bellinger Valley Braves and scored a shock overtime upset win 54-49.

Led by a fired-up Jackson McCabe, who rebounded everything, and point guard Jonah Caoyonan they refused to take a backward step.

Jye Barlow came off the bench to make a massive impact and Angus Wilkie had two huge three-pointers down the stretch.

The win got them a spot into the grand final against Port Macquarie next morning, where they continued with their strong defensive play and up-tempo offence against a much taller opposition.

By the third quarter, the height and size of Port was too much and they pulled away.

But a valiant fourth quarter from the Beez saw them fight back but it was Port's match.

The under-18 boys went into the grand final weekend fourth on the NJL ladder with the hope of knocking off Bellinger Valley Braves and that's how it played out in the first quarter.

By the third quarter, Bello's offence was too much and after a few key turnoversthe Beez found themselves down 21 points.

In the fourth, Byron launched a 13-point comeback run, whittling the Bello lead down to seven but Bello's pace and some missed shots shut the gate on a fairytale comeback.

The Beez under-18 girls had a challenging weekend in Tamworth, with only six players available.

"Despite playing hard throughout all three games, the girls weren't able to pick up a win but they have made large strides of improvement since the last round," coach Simon Goodwin said.

NJL Round 3 U16 Grade 1

TRAVELLING to Tamworth without their coach for round 3, the Beez played three games in a chilly stadium and returned home with twp wins.

Their first game against Taree was a close contest with both teams scoring at will.

Taree were leading at every break and going into the final minutes, however, the Beez were able to snatch the win in the final seconds, 65-62.

The second game against a strong and determined Quirindi was another close game, with the Beez on the losing end for the first time this season, 59-51.

The final game against Coffs Harbour went in the Beez's favour, winning by 12 points and remaining on top of the 2018 NJL U16GD1 ladder with a record of nine wins and one loss.

The girls did exceptionally well without their coach, Matt Ogle, and their captain, Laila Campbell, who will both return for the next round in Coffs Harbour.

Beez player Isis Crawford leads the league in scoring, averaging 37 per game.

Big thanks to Patsy Bennett, Kerrie Hart and Tas for helping the girls through this weekend.


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