Carnival test for Gladstone Power basketball teams
BASKETBALL: The first of the Central District Carnivals tip off in Rockhampton this weekend which will showcase under-16 and U14 boy's and girl's talent.
Gladstone Power are represented with five teams - an U14 boy's A-team and B-team, an U14 girl's team and U16 boy's and girl's teams.
The U16 girl's team have suffered a double blow with the absence of Kaitlyn Stratford (year off) and Suskia Paitai (injury), but assistant coach Kiah Guinea is optamistic ahead of the team's first game against Rockhampton from 10am tomorrow.
"We've had a few hiccups and just have to change a few things up,” Guinea said.
"Players like Jess Wilmot and our bench players have to step up.”
Gladstone will look to prolific point-scorer Alliah Bernabei to lead the way.
"We need to shut down their key players and in saying that we have to score as well obviously,” Guinea said.
The U16 Power boys also face Rocky at 10am tomorrow and coach Ray Cooper said training has been intense with help from the 'outside'.
"We've had three really good sessions and had some of the bottom-age U18 boys helping us out,” Cooper said.
He also suggested Bundaberg is the team to beat.
"Bundy are the pace-setters and have been together since U12s,” Cooper said.
Gladstone's prime moves will be the mercurial Thasindu Chandrasekara, Marley Evans and point guard Ben Harvey.
U14 boy's coach Duane Barrenger believes his side is poised to win three or the clean-sweep of four games.
The team has played together for two years and welcomes back a gun.
"Haizyn Mellars is back and our starting five could change,” Barrenger said.
"I'd like to at least beat Rocky and winning three or four games is achievable.
"But our finishing needs to get better and there's no problem in getting players in scoring positions.”
Gladstone Power boast an impressive front court of of Alvin Kahondo, Albert Maunga and Seth Collins.
Add in centre Ben Knight and Haizyn, this team is a big chance for an undefeated campaign.
Kadee Barrenger and Erin Harvey are crucial to the Gladstone Power U14 girls' cause.
Coach Ella Barrenger is looking for further improvement from the team's previous CDC.
"We're just looking to be more competitive and play more as a team,” she said.
Barrenger said there are two others to keep an eye out for.
"Arwen Field has improved and Jordan Porter as well,” Barrenger said.
"We didn't have Jordan in the last carnival and she's just a solid player in defence and offence.”
Gladstone's U14 B-team's first match is against Rockhampton 2 at 11.30am tomorrow and Lincoln Bray, Josh Morfey and Cooper Rhodes are lynch-pins in the team.
U16 Boys: Tomorrow - v Rocky 10am; v Hervey Bay 3.40pm. Sunday - v Bundy 8am; v Hervey Bay 12.30pm
U16 Girls: Tomorrow - v Rocky 10am; v Bundy 12.50pm. Sunday - v Bundy 11am; v Rocky 2pm
U14 Boys A-team: Tomorrow - v Rocky 10am; v Emerald 2.20pm. Sunday - v Emerald 11am; v Bundy 2pm
U14 Boys B-team: Tomorrow - v Rocky 2 11.30am; v Hervey Bay 2.20pm. Sunday - v Hervey Bay 12.30pm; v Rocky 2
U14 Girls: Tomorrow - v Hervey Bay 12.50pm; v Bundy 3.40pm. Sunday - v Hervey Bay 9.30am; v Rocky 3.30pm