Deni Junior Giants travelled to Shepparton at the weekend to participate in their last tournament for 2017.
It was the Under 18 boys who dominated the tournament for the Giants’ squad, finishing runners-up to Rochester Tigers.
The Giants started slowly in their first game, but a late burst and some great shooting by Ryan MacDonald saw them win over Griffith Demons 39-34.
The second game would see them come up against arch rivals Rochester Tigers, however the taller Tigers were able to come away with a 36-28 win.
The Giants were committed to continue their success at Shepparton and finished the day with a strong 11 point win over the Echuca Pirates.
The boys came up against the Wangaratta Warriors on Sunday, but playing their best game so far this season saw them take out a convincing win 46-29 with Luke White and Dylan Mills being solid contributors.
This win saw the Deni boys in the grand final taking on Rochester. Unfortunately the Giants had given it their all in the previous game and Rochester were able to continue their winning ways with a victory.
The weekend saw all the boys play some fantastic basketball and reinforce what they are capable of heading into 2018.
The Under 12 boys team was also outstanding, winning four of their five games and just coming short of their first grand final appearance by finishing third on the ladder.
This was a wonderful achievement for the U12 team with nine out of the 10 players participating in their first representative season.
Coach Ross Foran said it was a great tournament and that the players have shown huge improvement.
The Under 14 Boys A Team also had their most successful tournament for 2017 in a competitive Division Two pool.
They took on Rochester Tigers in their first game and in a nail-biter where the teams went goal for goal the Giants were able to hold on to a one point win, slowing the play down in the dying seconds.
The boys were ecstatic with their win however tough defensive player Cam Wills was injured in the game and looked unlikely to return leaving the Giants short for the remaining games.
The boys went into their second game hoping to continue their winning ways. They had a solid start, however a five minute second half slump allowed Swan Hill to get out to a 15 point lead.
To the boys’ credit they didn’t give up and brought the margin back to an eight point loss.
On Sunday the boys played a low scoring game against Shepparton but came away with another win 23-15 in a great display of team work and defensive pressure.
The last game saw them come up against a well drilled Yarrawonga-Mulwala team who couldn’t put a foot wrong.
The Giants stayed with them for the first 15 minutes but just could not maintain their staying power with Yarra-Mul running away 50-18 winners.
The U16 Boys A team showed glimpses of quality basketball in both defence and offence however their slow starts keep letting their opposition get the upper hand.
They did however manage to get their way back into the games only to fall a couple of points short.
The U16 Boys A team came away with one win for the tournament over Swan Hill Flyers with their other three games all narrow loses.
The U16 girls team finished much like the boys team with only one win for the tournament over Wodonga and three narrow loses.
The girls are moving the ball down the court much better and playing hard in defence; they will continue offensive training and be ready for the 2018 tournaments.
Again the Giants U14 girls’ overzealous defence and team foul count sent their opposition to the line too many times.
They managed one win for the tournament after coming off two highly successful tournaments.
Stella White and Jarrah Fitzpatrick played their best tournament games for the Giants and will be ready for a big 2018.
The Under 16 and U14 Boys B Team were unfortunate not to have a win.
The U16 Boys had their closest loss yet — only two points in a low scoring game against Mildura Heat.
Coach Leanne Landy said her side gave a solid 40 minutes.
“Our defence is getting better and better and our offence is starting to come together as a team,” she said.
The boys will continue working hard over the tournament break and be ready for a win early in 2018.
The Deni Junior Giants now have a break in the tournament season with their next games schedules for Wodonga on February 9 and 10.