Thursday, September 21, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Mackay Meteorettes have unearthed an exciting crop of hoopers that have taken the representative basketball scene by storm.
Outstanding prospects Lily Mapp, Skye Vaughan, Maggie Thorburn and Ally Simpson continue to impress on court with their maturity and range of skills.
The St Patrick’s College quartet were members of the Queensland North representative side that claimed bronze at the recent Basketball Australia Under 16 National Girls Championships in Perth.
Mapp, a crafty centre, along with power forward Vaughan and guard Thorburn are only 14 years of age while dynamic wing Simpson is 15.
All four will spearhead a powerful St Patrick’s junior line up at the Champion Secondary Schools Basketball Carnival on the Gold Coast later this year.
They were joined in the Queensland North representative squad by talented Mackay point guard Cheyenne Bobongie and driver Isabel Smith.
Other Mackay young guns in the State Performance Program include St Patrick’s Year 12 students Charli Bliss (Queensland Under 18s) and Amarco Doyle (Queensland Under 20s); Hannah Jensen and Monique Bobongie (Queensland Under 18s) and top prospect Phoebe Holmes (Queensland Under 20s).
Rising centre Bliss and promising guards Jensen and Holmes developed their craft with impressive performances this season for Jamiey Doevendans’ youthful Meteorettes side in the NBL1 North Womens Conference.
Head Coach Doevendans tips bright futures for them all and looks forward to preparing the St Patrick’s basketball squads for this year’s Champion Secondary Schools State Senior and Junior tournaments.
“They are local products with enormous potential and were identified in our Junior Development system” he revealed.
Despite their teenage exuberance the gifted Mapp, Vaughan, Thorburn and Simpson have shown a maturity in competition that far belies their years.
“Through hard work and improved skills these Mackay juniors have made the most of opportunities and forced their way into State squads,” Doevendans added.
Emerging forward Doyle and 18-year-old guard Max Cain were mainstays in the Mackay Meteors squad that reached the finals of this year’s NBL 1 North Men’s Conference.
By Chris Karas
North Queensland secured bronze against NSW Metro in the U16 Girls competition at the Basketball Australia Nationals in Perth, in a nail-biting finish to win 72-70. The team featured six Mackay players. Photo credit: Basketball Australia