Overtime thrillers for Smithton

Masters. A mix of past and present Smithton Basketball Club players combined at the weekend to compete in the Tasmanian Masters Basketball Tournament in Latrobe.

Current Saints women Alisha Barry, Katrina Furphy and Gemma Korpershoek were joined by Belinda Simpson, Angela Jackson, Tammy Edwards, Jo Morgan-French and sisters Rhonda Odgers and Rebecca Wilson in Division 1.

The reformed Saints played strongly to finish second at the conclusion of round-robin matches, winning the ensuing grand-final playoff by a single point in overtime.

Playing off for the trophy against Latrobe side Lady Dees, a side the Saints had lost to by 16 points the day before, Smithton gained the upper hand late in the game as the match again went into overtime.

However in a cruel twist, the same margin Smithton won by in the previous match was flipped in favour of Latrobe thanks to a successful three-pointer off the backboard with four seconds remaining.

With recent changes scaling the minimum age of the tournament from 35 back to 30, Furphy said locals travelled to compete “purely for fun”.

“It’s an opportunity for us to get together and catch up with friends,” she said.

“Life gets busy, most of us have children and juggle work. For me it’s a break from this and a chance to have fun playing the game I love.”

She described the standard as “quite high” with a host of NWBU players included in teams, and despite the final result not going Smithton’s way, she was already looking forward to entering again next year.

“We weren’t disappointed, [rather] very pleased with how we played,” she said.

“It could have gone either way – we were the unlucky ones. It certainly was a crowd pleaser and very enjoyable to play.”


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