Stormers defy odds to win grand final

LISMORE Storm Under-16 girls basketball team put in a massive comeback to win the Northern Junior League Division 2 grand final at Tamworth last weekend.

The girls played good, strong basketball throughout their major semi-final against Coffs Harbour Suns 2 on Saturday, only to lose by three points.

The loss meant they had to beat Grafton in the preliminary final to secure a spot in the grand final on Sunday.

Grafton kept the scores even until half-time, when the Lismore girls stepped up a notch to win 63-49.

Having not beaten Coffs all year, Lismore went into the grand final as underdogs.

After being level 31-all at half-time, Coffs Harbour went on a shooting spree in the third quarter, out-scoring Lismore by 15 points, and the game looked all but over for Lismore.

But the girls came out firing in the fourth quarter for a 23-point turnaround and won the game 79-71.

Courtney Hammond was named most valuable player for the match.

Lismore Storm Under-12 girls also travelled to Tamworth for the Northern Junior League play-offs.

They played three games - against Coffs Harbour, Coffs Harbour 3 and Gunnedah.

The girls lost to Coffs Harbour by 12 points - 48-36 - but bounced back in a big way to defeat Gunnedah 69-28 in a memorable win.

With nothing to lose in the final game against the Coffs 3 team, Lismore came out all cannons blazing.

The girls rattled them, and hussling hard in defence were Caitlin Hammond and Caralie Wilson; also outstanding were little pocket rockets Chloe Jeffery and Jessica Anderson.

At one stage the girls led by 12 points with valuable contributions from the bench from Zoe Whelan-Young, Hannah Ford and Jade Day.

Coffs 3 stepped up their game, erasing the deficit and taking the lead and in the end the difference was the accuracy of the Coffs shooting, both from the field and the free throw line, and they took the final 53-39.

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