MAKING THE PLAY: Gladstone U16 star centre Ben Knight is one of the keys to the team's success.
MAKING THE PLAY: Gladstone U16 star centre Ben Knight is one of the keys to the team's success. Nick Kossatch GLA090219CDCU16BOY

No reason why Gladstone U16 team can't do damage

BASKETBALL: Gladstone under-16 coach Ray Cooper said he expects nothing but effort.

The experienced, hard, but fair taskmaster will have his young men fully charged against some of the best division two suburban and regional teams in Queensland in tomorrow's start of the State Championships, or otherwise known as Classics, in Brisbane.

Gladstone finished second in the three-part Central District Carnivals held late last year and early 2019 which meant the team narrowly missed out to compete in division one in Brisbane.

But division two is high level.

"Having a competitive CDC has definitely given the team confidence," Cooper said.

"Knowing that if we are all on the same game-plan, we are pretty hard to beat.

"The team knows that they need to step up and be ready for anything at Classics."

Gladstone will be led by centre Ben Knight, guards Albert Maunga and Seth Collins as well as the much-improved Cooper Rhodes.

"It's great to see those boys lead by example, but will have to continue to do that constantly over the course of the week," Cooper said.

The coach said there is no ceiling or limit what this team can achieve.

"I expect us to stick same style of play aggressive on both offence and defence that we have been successful with during our season," he said.

"With that mentality we should set ourselves up for a successful classics.

"Only worried about the Gladstone team and making sure we are ready for anyone."

Gladstone play Brisbane capital Bronze at 11am tomorrow followed by a 5pm clash against Sunshine Coast Rip Black.

Follow the Basketball Queensland website for results.



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