Keilor Thunder has shown its incredible depth in the junior ranks by taking out the under-14 section of the Eltham/Dandenong junior basketball tournament.

It was the Thunder’s fourth-tier under-14 team that swooped on the title, playing against associations putting out their first teams.

“Ours is a number four team for the Keilor association and we’re playing against teams from other areas, what they call ones teams,” Thunder coach Jason McIntosh said.

“Basically, it was the best 10 kids in the region for most clubs whereas our players are from 30 to 40.

“To beat those types of teams shows the depth the Keilor association has.

“We’re one of the leading associations in all of Victoria.”

Keilor went through the tournament undefeated.

The Thunder was six-from-six in the group stages then it beat Ringwood in a hard-fought semi-final and South Australian team Norwood in the grand final.

“It was good for the guys to play against the interstate team as well,” McIntosh said. “Teams don’t travel from interstate unless they’re keen and play the game strongly.

“It’s a big investment for them financially and with time as well, so they’re committed teams that come across and play, and Norwood is very strong in the SA region.”

Denten Lou was the grand final MVP for Keilor, having pulled the strings for the Thunder as the point guard before providing the offensive touch late in the game. “He’s a very strong, consistent player and he’s one of the leaders of the team,” McIntosh said.

“He drives the rest of the boys.

“There was a period there where it was tight and he was one of the players who broke the game apart.”

McIntosh, along with assistant Shadi Elawamry, had the pleasure of coaching the title-winning team.

“The delight of coaching these guys is they’re determined, they have a never-lose attitude,” McIntosh added. “They want to strive and win for each other.”

 

Lance Jenkinson