The Byron Beez girls black team went into the 2019 Waratah Northern Junior League as defending champions after winning back-to-back titles, first in 2017 as the U/14s and last year as U/16s.
With a target on their back and a new look team the Beez did their club proud by playing every game this season as hard as they could and with a good, competitive nature. Improving throughout the season the Beez finished third and qualified for the finals in Port Macquarie.
Up against Tamworth in the elimination final the Beez let their opponents get away to an early 16–2 lead.
Showing true Beez spirit, the girls fought back to level at halftime with strong defence and high-intensity team basketball. The game was close until the final buzzer, and despite a very deep three-pointer by Isy Crawford in the final seconds the Beez went down 65–61.
Next season will see the first-ever Byron Bay U/18 girls’ NJL team.
Another example of the growing popularity of junior basketball was Byron Bay being able to field two teams in the U/16 girls’ NJL.
The Byron Beez girls’ red (younger) team had a great season against some very tough teams.
The Beez’ league-dominant point guard Alfa Hagen had to return to Denmark just prior to the final round and despite holding at least fourth place all season, they slipped at the very end and missed the finals in Port Macquarie.
Isabella Hagen and Christie Howarth continue to lead the team as they begin the regional North Coast Shield competition this summer.