Eastern women win again

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The Eastern Southland Basketball Association’s women’s team has won its own invitational tournament for the second year running.

The annual men’s and women’s tournament has been hosted by the association for the past 39 years.

Five teams were entered in the women’s event and eight in the men’s.

Senior player Erin Howes said aside from last year, the team generally did not win the tournament.

“Before that, we hadn’t won it for about five years,” Howes said.

The team comprised players who played in the Eastern competition.

“It’s a really good chance for our top players in the region to be able to play together, because we’re always playing against each other.”

The tournament was one of the few remaining events for players at the second-tier level of play.

Guard Neeley Davie had a good tournament.

“Neeley is an excellent three-point shooter so she put up some fairly big baskets at some fairly critical times.

“Sometimes putting up a three-pointer really puts the dagger in.

“Having her out there settled things.”

Young players Ella Harrex (16) and Alex Bennett (17) also played well.

The women’s game was more physical than the under-age level where the two had been playing.

“It’s good to see those girls transition from what was essentially schoolgirls’ basketball into women’s basketball. They scored, they really ran the floor hard, so I was really proud of them.”

The men’s team did not place.