Posted on 2 April 2023

The 2023 Spalding Waratah North Eastern Junior League for U12 and U14 girls and boys was played over the weekend in Woolgoolga, Coffs Harbour and Newcastle and the Taree Tornadoes returned excellent results winning 12 of their 14 games across the four divisions.

The Taree Tornadoes U12 girls played round 2 in Newcastle and maintained the good form displayed in the first round to record three wins from as many games getting past Coffs Harbour 44 to 32, Port Macquarie 35 to 23 and Central Coast Rebels 36 to 27. Godfrey sisters, Lara and Stella, kept the scoreboard ticking over in all three contests and received good support from their team mates to climb to the top of the competition ladder.

The U12 boys played their round 2 games in Woolgoolga and came home undefeated with wins against Bellingen 61-19, Coffs Harbour 79-34, Yamba 62-52 and Inverell 63-33. Jax Gillard was the top performer across all four games with Jude Barton and Khylan Beale also making valuable contributions and this team is sure to be in the frame for a finals series berth later in the year.

The Tornadoes U14 girls also played well but after a first round where they were undefeated found the going tougher in Woolgoolga for round 2. The team finished the weekend in style to defeat Lismore 50 to 39 but they failed to record the wins in their first two games going down by a narrow margin after a hard fought contest against  Port Macquarie 43-41. Coffs Harbour were also the better team on the day to defeat the Tornadoes 57 to 47. Ava Gillard was the major points contributor across the weekend games with Chloe Adams and Colbie McCabe also playing well.

The U14 boys maintained their excellent early season form from round 1 throughout the second round in Coffs Harbour. They started with a big win over Port Macquarie before running into stiffer opposition in the form of the teams from Inverell, Kempsey and Lismore which Taree managed to get past 75-54, 68-42 and 64-56 respectively.  This team sits on top of the ladder and although early days looks to be the team to beat in the run up to the finals series later in the year. Percy Buchanan, Bradley Higgins and Leo Beckton always return good performance but really is the strength of the entire playing roster which sees this team undefeated.

Thank you to all players, team staff and parents who represent and support the Taree Tornadoes each time they step onto the court in the 2023 Spalding Waratah North Easter Junior League.

Games couldn’t be played without referees and Taree Basketball was pleased to have Stormi Beale, Lachlan Adams and Claire Fleming representing us over the weekend because their efforts made a big contribution to the smooth running of the weekend events and provide the opportunity for the Taree Tornadoes teams to take their place in the League.