LEETON is now home to a team of young champions.
The Leeton Eagles under boys 12s representative team stormed through the recent 2018 Western Junior League competition to win the under 12s championships for the first time in the town association’s history.
Finishing fourth on the ladder after the regular season with an 8-3 record, the fledgling Eagles were forced to tread the sudden death path to the grand final, comfortably defeating Lithgow (57-24) before a much tougher preliminary final win against Gilgandra (52-45) set up a dream grand final against near neighbours Narrandera.
At half-time Narrandera were up by 5 and the third quarter proved to be the game breaker for Leeton with the Eagles going on 13-1 run to establish a seven-point advantage.
The final quarter was again dominated by Leeton as a vocal crowd roared the Eagles to a 45-31 victory. For the Eagles it was Tallis McMillan who was the stand out tipping in 22 points and providing vital assists and steals throughout the decider to be awarded the most valuable player.
Coach Adam O’Callaghan could not hide his excitement.
“I’m just so proud of the boys,” he said. “To be the first Leeton boys team to win a Western Junior League title is amazing. We had a few bumps along the road during the regular season but I could not have asked for more this weekend.”
LEETON was also represented by four other teams on finals weekend in Bathurst. The under 14s girls played some exhilarating basketball on their way to the division two final, defeating Narrandera Blue (40-19) and Orange (30-29) in a thriller to set up a grand final clash with Dubbo.
In a close match, the girls were in it right to the end, but finished runners-up on the day.
The Leeton under 16s girls underlined their significant improvement throughout the season by working their way through the playoffs to reach the division two grand final. They led for most of the way against West Wyalong, but went down 61-49.
It was a tough weekend for Leeton’s other two representatives at the playoffs. The under 14s boys lost a thriller in their division one sudden death playoff with Lithgow 46-50. The under 12s girls also reached the division one playoffs only to lose to Dubbo 23-40. At one stage late in the second term Leeton led by five but were unable to maintain the pressure.
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