Invitational proves a hit

Basketball in Inverell continues to go from strength to strength following a successful staging of the Thunderbolts Invitational on Saturday.

Inverell's basketballers.

Inverell's basketballers.

State League powerhouse Tamworth came to town for the carnival which featured a round-robin series of matches.

Inverell fielded an A and B side against the Thunderbolts, who also split into two as six matches were contested.

Despite the Tamworth sides coming away with the spoils, the Inverell teams certainly took plenty from the experience.

Inverell Basketball Association president Tane Richards said the Invitational Tournament proved to be a big hit.

"The last three or four years (basketball in Inverell) has been on the rise," Richards said.

"The women's competition in particular and a number of juniors coming through."

Richards said in the lead-up that Inverell's senior men's players would gain great experience from sharing the court with players the calibre of Tamworth's brilliant American import Kyle Gupton.

The dynamic guard blew out the cobwebs in his first hitout since returning Down Under following an impressive debut season in 2016 when he averaged 19.3 points per game for the Thunderbolts.

The success of the tournament was highlighted with this post on the Inverell Basketball Association’s Facebook page.

“Again a huge thanks to the Tamworth Thunderbolts for their continued support of basketball in Inverell with their visit yesterday!! We're very lucky.

“Thanks to Nathan Guan for getting over early to get the big fans switched on and the sprinkler system running!

“Cristy Gardner and Georgia for taking care of the canteen.

“Ben Butcher and Matt Lane for getting "tricked" into jumping on the BBQ for us!!

“Chad for the score sheets.

“Bailey & Josh for reffing AND playing!!

“Players helping on the bench.

“Damien Petrie for travelling to play and helping out with a set of uniforms for us!!!

“The people in the Grandstand!! Great to see the spectators in stands especially considering the warm conditions!

The players for Inverell, thanks men.

“For the guys who travelled from Glen Innes, Stanthorpe and Armidale to have a run. The young guns who came and trained, listened and played well.

“All made for a really good day!”

  • Teams
  • Inverell A: Leroy Villenueva, Bailey Gardner, Nathan Guan, Michael Villella, Jack Latham, Paul Jones, Steve Harris, Damien Petrie, John Mar, Tane Richards.
  • Inverell B: Josh McPhee, Kyle Payne, Kuri Kitawal, Guy Hargreaves, Brent Petrie, Zac Nedianu, Zane Dodd, Mathew Bates.