FRIENDS AND FOES: Former Lismore Storm players Teagan McWhirter and Katie Bugden came up against each other at the Australian University Games.
FRIENDS AND FOES: Former Lismore Storm players Teagan McWhirter and Katie Bugden came up against each other at the Australian University Games. Contributed

Teagan bags gold at Games

HOME-GROWN basketball player Teagan McWhirter won a gold medal after her Griffith University team won the Australian University Games on the Gold Coast.

McWhirter's team, affectionately know as the Green Dogs, earned the right to take part in these games after winning the Northern University Games in Rockhampton in June, which saw New South Wales and Queensland universities playing against each other.

McWhirter's team did not rate its chances of winning the gold at the national competition, as limited training was pushed aside to study for end of semester exams that started straight after the Games.

The first day saw the Green Dogs start their campaign in the round games against the little know Curtin University, and they bounced them out 72-24 before wins against South Australia and Queensland University of Technology.

They came up against Swinburne University in the quarter-finals which also starred another local and state player and long-time friend Katie Bugden.

This game started off with strong defence from both teams and at times both Bugden and McWhirter were matched up against each other and neither gave an inch, with McWhirter's short range jumpers helping Griffith pull away after the main break, as the team started to gel and tip the game in its favour for a 48-35 win.

With the gold medal game now a big possibility, Griffith had the task of taking on the big-hitting Monash University with its three tall players in the semi-final.

McWhirter's team was reduced to seven players when one of her teammates received a bad cut above her eye in the second quarter and had to sit out the remaining game.

Griffith now had to overcome Newcastle in the gold medal match.

Newcastle hit consecutive three pointers to give it a slender lead before a timely time out by Griffith's coach helped reset the team's game plan and in the championship quarter the Green Dogs applied pressure defence and forced turnovers from Newcastle, allowed Griffith to pull away and grab the gold medal with a 65-51 win at the final whistle.



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