BATHURST Goldminers’ under 18s and 16s led the way during the opening round of the Western Junior League opening round over the weekend.
Overall the Goldminers enjoyed an excellent start to their respective campaigns, winning 18 of their 26 matches across all age groups.
And it was the two oldest age groups, just like last season, showing how it’s done.
The under 18s Bathurst boys and girls teams went undefeated through their rounds at West Wyalong and Leeton respectively – the closest margin across any of their matches being 29 points.
Bathurst 16s boys also didn’t taste defeat during their games at Griffith while a loss to Cootamundra was all that separated the 16s girls from an undefeated round of their own.
Of the two youngest age groups it was the 12s girls who stood tall with their 3-1 record.
A 43-35 defeat to the Dubbo Rams prevented them from sweeping their matches but they’ve got off to an ideal start, sitting a close second on the ladder.
The under 14s boys won two matches and the 14s girls picked up a win. The under 12s boys came up short in their games but showed plenty of promise.
Goldminers coaching co-ordinator Grant Cole referred to the under 12s girls as the “surprise packet” of the Bathurst contingent.
“They really played well. They lost to Dubbo in one game but played great basketball,” he said.
“Our under 12s boys all the kids are new to the game, bar one, so they were sluggish to start with but picked up a bit as the weekend in on.
“It’s only round one and there’s still a lot to learn so I think they’ll improve in leaps and bounds.
“Everyone had an awesome weekend and they all loved it.”
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While some of the Goldminers teams have the opportunity to train together between WJL rounds others won’t have the same chance.
Cole hopes over the coming years of the Goldminers program that more teams can enjoy match and practice time between rounds.
“Our 18s and 16s all play in local, domestic senior competitions but the 12s and 14s don’t play together. Within the next 12 months we’d like to see that happen, so they can get to know each other better,” he said.
“We’d like to take the rep program a bit further in the next year. We want to build Bathurst basketball back up to what it used to be years ago.
“If that means we have to go down to metro associations to get practice games then so be it. I’ve already spoken to a few people in those areas who would love to have our Bathurst kids going down there for the weekend.”
Bathurst and Orange will play host to the next round of the Western Junior League over March 16 and 17.