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Byron Shire
September 20, 2021

Byron basketball juniors on historic run to the State finals

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Rocco Cipriano drives through the Orange defence all the way to Terrigal for the state finals Photo contributed
Rocco Cipriano drives through the Orange defence all the way to Terrigal for the state finals Photo contributed

Tim Edwards

The boys’ junior Byron Bay High School basketball team  have followed the girls’ team by making the final eight in the state wide knockout competition.

They qualified with an impressive win against Orange High School at the Cavanabah Sports Centre last week.

Cheered on by a parochial and noisy local crowd the Byron boys came back from a nervous first quarter to defeat Orange 99–76.

The last Byron High team to progress so far in the State Knockout was in the early  1990s (over 30 years ago), and local sports historians are scratching their heads as to whether two teams from Byron High have ever made the illustrious final eight in the same year.

The boys’ and girls’ junior teams will travel to Terrigal on November 2 to challenge the best high schools in New South Wales for the honour of being crowned state champions.

Both teams should give it a shake!

While most aspects of the Byron Bay teams’ play ­impressed, the key to their success was the intelligent way they went about executing their game plan.

The guards dribbled and penetrated, but rather than put up a high-risk shot over a larger player, they pivoted and passed back to an unmarked team-mate who would nail the easy two points from mid-range. Despite an enormous effort from Orange’s Mansell, who played the full 40 minutes and finished the game with  60 points, the teamwork, skill and intelligence of the Byron team prevented the boys from the west from getting back into the contest.

Every one of the boys on the roster contributed and deserves congratulations. Good luck to all teams when they represent Byron Bay at the state finals in a few weeks time.


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