TITLE TILT: The Bundaberg Bears' Mekkija Redgard (left), Tayla Pearson, Makayla Mortensen, Lucy McCollum, Alyssa Cameron and Eve Scott. Missing are Avril Davies, Holly Owen and Jessica Conjar.
TITLE TILT: The Bundaberg Bears' Mekkija Redgard (left), Tayla Pearson, Makayla Mortensen, Lucy McCollum, Alyssa Cameron and Eve Scott. Missing are Avril Davies, Holly Owen and Jessica Conjar. Shane Jones

BEARS UP FOR IT: Team to compete at state titles

BASKETBALL: These Bundaberg Bears are preparing to do something no other girls team from the Rum City has done for a couple of years.

The Bears will compete in the under-18 Basketball Queensland state titles next week for the first time in at least three years, after not sending a team in recent years in the highest age group for juniors.

The side will compete in division 2 in Pool B on the Gold Coast.

But just getting to the titles has been a victory for the team.

The side has had to deal with injuries that will sideline Central Queensland Basketball League Bears player Mekkija Redgard and two others.

The Bears also have had limited preparation with just two games against Rockhampton in the Central Districts Carnival. Those two sides are the only two in the under-18 girls.

"It's been a five-month journey through different injuries and obstacles they have had to overcome,” Bears coach Darren Mortensen said.

"It's a credit to the girls, they have done well.”

But Mortensen said despite the setbacks the girls have every chance of doing well.

The side has prepared for the state titles with games against Gladstone and the Sunshine Coast and matched their rivals all the way.

"There's a lot of things we've been doing,” Mortensen said. "We're going to have a couple of three-hour sessions in the next week to get the girls basketball fit.

"We've also got a scratch match against the under-16 girls side on Thursday (today).”

The side will meet South West Metro Pirates before playing Logan, Brisbane Capitals Silver, Toowoomba, Northside Wizards 2 and Mackay in their pool.

The Bears will need to win most of their matches to qualify for the finals.

Mortensen said the side needed to play well offensively and be prepared for tests from Toowoomba and Townsville.

"If we can get good performances against those two teams, we could go well,” he said.

"We are quite strong defensively and we've got some great shooters in the team.''

Bears captain Eve Scott said the titles would be a special one for a few girls.

"We've got a good team, we're close,” she said.

"This is our final goodbye for most of us. This will be our last chance to play for Bundaberg before we go to uni.

"(We hope to) have fun, play positively and do it to the best of our ability.”

The team starts its campaign next Wednesday at 9.30am.



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