Star-studded line-up targets state champs
WEST Moreton Anglican College 1st V girls' basketball team enters the annual Champion Basketball Schools Competition tomorrow with high hopes of progressing to the finals.
The talent-rich West Moreton squad spearheaded by Queensland representative and Australian honorary star Catherine MacGregor swept all comers throughout a stellar undefeated TAS season and is primed to test itself against the state's best school teams.
In its maiden year in the competition, the Karrabin college finished runner up in division two and earned a promotion to the top tier.
West Moreton Anglican College head of sport Matt Ellis said this exceptional age group had long been a strength, with the girls rising to claim the TAS premiership every season during high school.
He said teachers had watched in awe as they marched through unchallenged year-after-year and all involved were optimistic of what could be achieved in the Championship Division over the next few days.
"We're looking to be as competitive as we possibly can," Ellis said.
"This has been four or five years in the making.
"It's our big chance to stamp our foot on the competition and leave an impression.
"We're very lucky to have a girls' cohort as strong as this.
"It is a special group."
Having disposed of several rivals already this year, including John Paul College, Canterbury College and All Hallows, West Moreton is extremely confident.
The school's great hope is due to meet last year's champion St Margaret Mary's College in the opening round.
Ellis said this contest would provide an early indication of how the side was travelling and reveal more about its Championship credentials.
He said though they had bested some of their opponents previously, tournament basketball was a different style to the regular season and no one would be easy beats.
"Tournament basketball is a more defensive style of play," he said.
"Often, they are close matches and it is the team with the best defence which progresses."
On-court leader MacGregor is an Ipswich Force State League representative.
The outstanding young player was also an influential member of the Queensland Schoolgirls' team, earning MVP at the National carnival after scoring the most points of any competitor.
A natural role model, she is also the college's sports captain and Ellis is looking for her to deliver a typically committed performance and show her teammates the way.
West Moreton's 1st V boys' line-up is also preparing to compete in the prestigious CBSQ tournament.
This team is coached by MacGregor's brother, Lachlan, a former student and member of the firsts, who has been instrumental in the college becoming involved in the CBSQ.
Ellis said the squad finished in the top four of the TAS competition and was hopeful of performing strongly in what was expected to be a very evenly matched division.
"Anything is possible with the boys, they just have to switch on," he said.
Ellis said taking part in the statewide competition offered pupils who were not playing the game outside of school an insight into the wider basketball community and allowed aspiring high achievers to gauge their development against elite oppositions.
He said students had taken charge of organising additional training sessions in the lead-up to the event and were determined to succeed.
"They are very driven," he said.
"They want to do well."
Champion Basketball Schools Queensland competition Championship Division pool A game one: West Moreton Anglican College girls v St Margaret Mary's College at Cornubia Park from 8am tomorrow.