on target at basketball titles
Air Forces mens and womens basketball teams proved
too strong for their New Zealand counterparts when RAAF Base Wagga
hosted the ADF combined national basketball titles.
Held over six days, the standard of play was high and the competition
fierce as the New Zealand Air Force duelled with the RAAF and the
states battled for interservice basketball supremacy.
The Air Force womens team took on their Kiwi rivals in the
first final for the week. Leading Aircraftwoman Bree Griffiths
sharp shooting helped the Aussies to easily overcome the visitors,
winning by 20 points, 44-24.
The Air Force mens team recorded a similar result despite
trailing their NZ opponents by one-point at quarter time.
Signs of pressure started to appear in the second quarter, however,
with the New Zealanders shooting accuracy wavering.
While the quarter time scores remained within six points up until
the start of the fourth, the combination of focus, tight defence
and consistent shooting enabled the Aussies to pull away to win
by 15 points, 72-57.
In the competition between states, the Northern Territory took on
a combined pool team of players from other states in the final.
Although the poolies had been tipped as favourites,
the Territory was simply a cut above the competition and finished
strongly to win 86-50.
NSW took on the reigning champions Queensland in a thrilling mens
state final. While NSW led at each quarter, Queensland refused to
go down quietly and fought hard throughout the game.
Time out was called with just 1.33min on the clock and nine points
the difference. The pressure remained on NSW to retain its lead,
which it did and went on to take the game 67-58.
ADF basketball patron Maritime Commander Rear Admiral Raydon Gates
presented the awards that evening. This years Most Valuable
Players were Leading Aircraftman Dean Hill and Lieutenant Wendy
Keogh, with highest scorers awards going to Captain Jayne
Tauschke and Leading Aircraftman Hill.
The Frenchie McDougall Memorial Award, given to the person who demonstrated
the same energy, indomitable spirit, sense of fair play and enjoyment
of life that Major Gregory John Frenchie McDougall displayed both
on and off the court, was presented to Corporal Gill Rutledge.
Corporal Janeter Turnbull, Aircraftwoman Heather Edward, Leading
Aircraftman Dean Hill, Aircraftman Ben Hutchinson and Flight Lieutenant
Mick Mastus were all selected in ADF representative teams to contest
the 2003 Arafura Games.