After finishing the 2017/18 West Regional Development League undefeated and in 1st place, the Lady Rocks took to Inverness Royal Academy on Sunday 18th March to compete for the U14 National Challenge trophy!
To start the day the girls would take on Falkirk Fury and Highland Bears in two qualification
matches to determine would who be drawn into the Gold, Silver and Bronze playoff groups.
The first two matches were closely contested with the Cumbernauld based side splitting their matches, defeating Falkirk Fury just before losing out to a strong Highland Bears side!
Lady Rocks 30-10 Falkirk Fury
Lady Rocks 14-28 Highland Bears
From the results, the girls qualified to the Silver playoff round where they would take on Perth Phoenix and St Mirren.
The first game of the Silver round vs Perth Phoenix proved to be one for the ages with both sides showing why they deserved to be match winners! The Lady Rocks set out with a point to prove to themselves and the Perthshire side after Phoenix knocked the Rocks out of the Scottish Cup in the semi final round only 2 months earlier.
The match was fast paced and through great defensive sets from both the Rocks and Perth, the match would be decided in the final seconds! A great post entry pass from Emma Kerr to Elizabeth Brown created the opportunity for Lucy Rafferty to make a strong cut to the basket, receiving the ball from Elizabeth and finishing at the basket for 2 points. Perth would call a timeout with 16 seconds remaining to advance the ball into the front court, however whatever plans the Perthshire side had hoped would come to fruition were halted as the Lady Rocks forced Phoenix into a 'jump-ball' situation, in favour of Rocks!
Coach Anderson would call a timeout to advance the ball into the front court with 5 seconds remaining, and with the Rocks getting the ball in safely from the sideline the Rocks tried to extend their lead but to no avail. Nonetheless the Lady Rocks won the match by 2!
Lady Rocks 22-20 Perth Phoenix
Following on from this outstanding win, the Lady Rocks would then take on local West rivals, St Mirren, for who would secure 4th place in the National Challenge standings!
After a slow start from the Lady Rocks the team started to pull together, putting together a great run of defensive stops leading to baskets on the offensive end! The Lady Rocks would come away as eventual winners!
"We're absolutely delighted with the effort and performances from our girls! For a relatively young and inexperienced team to win the West Regional Development League undefeated, reach the Semi-Final of the Scottish Cup and to finish 4th at the National Challenge having won 3 out of 4 matches, is pretty remarkable!
This was a massive weekend for the girls despite the results. Our team spent the weekend away from home, as a team, travelling to various places [dinner, hotel, event] in the team bus, staying overnight and eating as a team before taking part in an all-day event with some of the best teams across Scotland. To have done all of this, and to defeat the team who knocked us out in the Semi-Final of the Scottish Cup, all within one weekend is tremendous if you ask me!
Moving forward we will now look at beginning preparations for next season and building on the great foundations put in place this year." - U14 Head Coach, Josh Anderson