Esperance Basketball Association: Close games and surprise wins

Photo: Jesinta Burton.
Photo: Jesinta Burton.

With plenty of close games, surprise wins and players stepping up to the plate, Esperance Basketball Association president Matthew Thornton said the season was going very well.

The season, which began again in October, had seen a number of stand out players including Luke Rickerby from Redbacks, Ryan Neill, Joel MacKenzie, Reece Griffiths from Spartans and Brendon White from Red Cans.

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As well as being a stand out player, Mr Thornton said Luke Rickerby had also improved the most this season and was leading the score.

“The season is going really well,” he said.

“All of the games have been pretty close and some surprise wins from teams that have really come out of nowhere and are winning games.

“A few of the players are really stepping up, too.

“Our women’s competition is also going really well and we’ve had more than a few close games and they’re getting better each week.

“Our junior games are going really well, too, which is a huge positive for us.

“We’re getting a large number of supporters and we encourage people to come down and watch a few games on a Thursday and Friday night.”

On Saturday, November 10, the association held an umpires course which saw a total of 36 participants commit to the training.

“We had around 30 kids rock up for the beginners course and we had six of our top umpires do the level one course,” he said.

“We had a fantastic turnout for that and the kids love umpiring.

“It’s an opportunity for them to pick up a bit of extra cash in time for the Christmas season – it’s great.”

Mr Thornton said the association had already begun preparing for Country Week in March, 2019, with a number of talented players set to be seen by state scouts.

“We held tryouts for the juniors last Wednesday and we had a lot of kids try out,” he said.

“This year, we’re going to be taking an under 14 girls and under 14 boys team away, under 15 boys, under 16 boys, under 16 girls, an 18 boys and an 18 girls team away for the juniors.

“We’ll also take away a women’s side, two men’s teams and a veterans side.

“We do have one player, Julius Rickerby, who is already on the state team.

“He’s had the exposure up there and has had the opportunity to play new competition.

“We have a few other players we believe are quite strong and have a good chance at state selection.

“Saying that, we believe there are a lot of kids down here with a lot of potential.”

Mr Thornton said Esperance’s isolation was an issue for players in the region hoping to take the game further and that the Country Week competition presented an opportunity to showcase the talent the region has to offer.

“Our isolation is a big thing for us so we sent a few names away to Perth so the representatives at Country Week are aware,” he said.

“It is a bit of pressure but we just tell them [players] all to go out there and play the game we know they can.”

For more information, visit Esperance Senior Basketball Association on Facebook via their Page.