Friday, November 10, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

St Pat’s Hoopers Slam Dunk Best Ever Performance

By Chris Karas

Mackay Meteorettes coach Jamiey Douvendans has a sharp eye for basketball talent.

The respected hoops mentor has just returned from the Champion Basketball School of Queensland Junior Secondary tournament on the Gold Coast where he marvelled at the skills sets on show.

In his role as Coaching Co-ordinator of the St Patrick’s College Mackay basketball program, the experienced Douvendans guided the school to a Boys Division Three Grand Final appearance and a top five finish in the Girls Division One championship.

These meritorious achievements come hot on the heels of St Patrick’s gold-medal winning performances at the Champion Basketball School of Queensland Opens event at Coomera Indoor Sports Centre during September.

A chuffed Douvendans described the Mackay college’s efforts at the State’s premier basketball schools tournaments as “truly remarkable” and believes the nucleus of both squads are on the Meteors and Meteorettes radar.    

“I’ve been coaching St Patrick’s basketball teams for the past decade and this year’s campaign has proved to be our most successful to date,” reflected Jamiey.

“We came away with two gold medals plus a silver and achieved our highest-ever ranking in Division One with our Junior Girls claiming fifth spot,” he quipped.

“Overall at both tournaments we won 25 of our 28 games and were unlucky not to secure a third gold medal after the Junior Boys were beaten in the Grand Final by Ryan Catholic College” the Meteorettes boss added.

St Patrick’s held their own in the tough Division One Junior Girls category with encouraging Pool A victories over Southport State High (70-50), Hillcrest Christian College and Mountain Creek State High (63-53) before blitzing Varsity College (72-27) and rolling Kings Christian College (59-48) in the finals to clinch a top five ranking for the first time.

The Mackay girls were outclassed by powerful Brisbane State High (64-37) and John Paul College (56-41) - their only losses at the tournament.

Douvendans praised the efforts of outstanding combination guard Maggie Thorburn, centre Lily Mapp and promising guards Eden Catip and Skye Vaughan – who are all aged 14 – along with rising 15 year old wing Ally Simpson.

St Patrick’s dominated the Division 3 Junior Boys division – only to stumble at the final hurdle with a heart-breaking 37-29 Grand Final loss to Townsville’s Ryan Catholic College.

The Mackay young guns demonstrated their on-court skills with emphatic victories over Mueller College (77-18), Chisholm Christian College (56-28), St Mary’s College Toowoomba (58-27), Coolum State High (56-24) and Grace Lutheran College Rothwell (61-27) before toppling All Saints Anglican School (35-22) in a semi-final.

Leading the way were talented centre Archie Howell and power forward Isaac Carter,15, along with 14-year-old North Queensland State representative point guard Cooper Curry and combination guard Usai Bickey.

“The boys were disappointed after turning in a below par performance in the final which was their only loss at the championships,” said Douvendans.

“After superb displays leading into the Grand Final they took their eye off the ball in the gold medal clash and strayed away from the game plan,” he surmised.

“But they can all be proud of their efforts in collecting a silver medal which is a tremendous feat in itself” the master coach concluded.

Douvendans was ably supported by a St Patrick’s College basketball panel that featured Jo Ciantar, Rachel McKenzie, Lauren Jones, Scott McSherry and Patrick Hoare.

St Patrick’s College finished runners up in this year’s Division 3 Junior Secondary Boys category at the Champion Basketball School of Queensland tournament on the Gold Coast

St Patrick’s College Junior Secondary Girls team achieved a top five Division One ranking for the first time at this year’s Champion Basketball School of Queensland tournament at Coomera Indoor Sports Centre

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