Goulburn Bears Under 12s basketball team returns undefeated

The Goulburn Bears Under 12s team has enjoyed a period of dominance rarely seen over the course of their last two tournaments.

Back (L-R) John Edwards (coach), Bailey Marshall, Joshua Dennis, Ryder Edwards (C), Mac Ferris; Front (L-R) Riley Smith, Aimon Payne, Jett Edwards, Tai O'Brien. Photo: Michaela Smith

Back (L-R) John Edwards (coach), Bailey Marshall, Joshua Dennis, Ryder Edwards (C), Mac Ferris; Front (L-R) Riley Smith, Aimon Payne, Jett Edwards, Tai O'Brien. Photo: Michaela Smith

Upon their return early this week from the NSW Country Basketball Championships, the players were thrilled with their result of six wins and no losses. 

When combined with their 12  wins and no losses from the Southern Junior League championships a couple of weeks prior, it gives the Bears an overall record of 18 and zero, a remarkable feat of consistency. 

The team was coached by John Edwards and his wife Amy, who travelled with the team and assisted with organisation and said the key to the team’s success was that they worked cohesively as a group. 

“They work well together as a team,” Edwards said. “So each player has got their specific role, they don’t deviate a lot.

“In basketball you can get yourself in a bit of foul trouble and you have to try and come up with new plans and things.

“But they were really controlled on the weekend. We had no players fouled out, we had no foul trouble, so each kid got to do their specific role.”

The team carried a lot of confidence from the Southern Junior League victory into their most recent tournament, which helped them in their close games, Edwards said. 

“They all had pretty high expectations for themselves,” she said. 

“The first game of the weekend, they only come away with the one-point win in that game.

“They had a couple of blowouts and a couple of really tough games.” 

One challenge for the kids to overcome was the crowd support, or lack thereof in some cases. 

“We had our finals for Southern Junior League,” Edwards said, “which were a couple of weeks ago in Canberra. The crowds are just off the charts. You can barely hear yourself think. It’s fairly confronting for a lot of young kids, so they all handled the pressure pretty well.”

It is not yet clear what is next for the kids, but Edwards is sure they are eager to return to both the Southern Junior League and Country Championships and defend their titles next year. 

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