Small town competes for the first time

Corryong girl's team steps up big at JCC's this year

For the first time in Junior Country Championship (JCC) history a team from the small country town, Corryong entered a girls’ team in each of the Under 16 / 18 Divisions 3, 4 and 5 held in Bendigo recently. 

Not only did they compete, but the Division 5 girls’ team were tough on court and after some tight pool games made it to the quarter finals. Just missing out in the final, the Corryong team only lost by 3 points, pushing till the very end.

It was an amazing experience for the team who will hopefully come back next year even stronger and encourage more from Corryong to join them. 

Jodie Grzeschka, team manager and mum to one of the athletes explains that in their hometown (of just under 1200 people), the junior basketballers have to play in mixed teams to make up the numbers, which helped to build the girls’ resilience, but the parents really wanted the girls to experience competing against other girls of the same level.

The parent group convinced Rho Fry to coach the girls over the summer so they could compete in several tournaments in Wodonga, Wangaratta and Shepparton (where they won their Grand Final) as preparation for the JCC’s.

The girls learnt to be tough on court together, and with their coach elevating their skills and game play, they came into the JCC weekend strong. Jodie says, “We all loved the tournament, it was so well run, and it had the best atmosphere! We hope more teams for Corryong will enter next year so we can continue the momentum”. 

Rho Fry the Corryong coach was excited to be asked to coach this team of talented athletes and he knew that he could get the best out of them.

Rho has a depth of coaching experience you could only wish for, he has been involved with the Basketball Victoria’s (BV) country coaching pathway and was previously part of a winning Country Cup women’s team.

He has also coached Youth League in Wodonga for their inaugural season into the Big V league.

Rho was so proud of the Corryong girls that they kept working hard throughout the tournament to take on teams in their pool, “Our game against Portland was such a proud moment as a coach, going into OT our team stayed solid and dug deep, and played the game on their terms, it was great!” 

Sarah Szczykulski, Country Competitions Officer, Basketball Victoria was excited to see Corryong take part in this year’s tournament, “It’s great to see small country towns be able to offer their athletes the chance to compete in tournaments to help develop their skills and experience – we hope to see more of these teams enter.” 

The JCC’s are a series of tournaments held throughout the first half of each calendar year – specifically for country associations.

It brings together country talent from around the state to compete and be crowned champions! 

For more news on Basketball in Victoria, visit Basketball VIC.

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