The under 12s Taree Tornadoes girl’s basketball team was awarded the Waratah Junior Northern League division two championship after a 41-22 victory against Coffs Harbour in Tamworth.
After dropping just one match in the initial 14 rounds, the Tornadoes went into the finals series with just six available players, including a recovering Arabella Roohan. The qualifying final proved to be a difficult defensive tussle against a physical Tamworth side with Taree eventually prevailing 24-18. Jannarlia Dumas scored a hard earned 16 points with Ciara Wilkinson (6 points) and Jessica Hogan (2 points) also making valuable contributions in attack.
Tamworth then went on to play Coffs Harbour in the preliminary final, with Taree having a well- deserved rest by advancing straight to the grand final. A clearly fatigued Tamworth put in another gallant defensive effort but could not overcome the skilled attack of Coffs Harbour who won 30-21.
The grand final started similarly to the two earlier finals with defence dominating. Jessie Cochrane and Imogen Lawton hustled hard in defence with Taree taking a skinny 17-12 lead in to half time. The game freed up in the third quarter with Jannarlia Dumas (20 points) and Ciara Wilkinson (17 points) surging Taree ahead, before both were fouled out late in the fourth quarter, leaving just four Taree players on the court. A tenacious Imogen Lawton (4 points) helped ensure the Tornadoes held on to a defiant 41-22 victory in those last minutes, and was awarded Most Valuable Player.