Matthew Lally
Matthew Lally

Relentless action on the basketball court


BASKETBALL: The Cooloola Comets representative basketball team looked to impress at the Hervey Bay tournament this weekend.

Due to the cancellation of the 2015 Regional Basketball League, Bundaberg and Hervey Bay jointly organised the round-robin tournament to maintain a regional presence for higher level competition, played at the Hervey Bay Sports Complex.

All teams were keen to show their wares in the absence of the annual tournament which generally spans over several months through the year.


The five teams were the Hervey Bay Hurricanes, OzSquad from Bundaberg, Park Beach Crossfit from Sunshine Coast/Coffs Harbour, Kingawoomba from Toowoomba and Kingaroy areas, and Gympie's own Cooloola Comets, made up solely from players the Gympie Men's competition.

Coach Justin Brown had a team of nine set to make the journey, only to learn that three of his big men were unable to play - Matt Smith, Joshua Bond and Paul Holmberg.

Making the trip to Hervey Bay were Leeroy Todd, Matthew Lally, Michael Steinhardt, Aravinth Nallathamby, Curtis Day, Miguel Galy and last-minute addition Josh Bray.

Opening match of the round robin competition pitted friendly rivals, the Hurricanes against the Comets.

Hervey Bay has had the Comet's number in the past, and this match did not prove any different. The Hurricanes finished with a 16-point victory over Comets, 60-44.

The second game on Saturday against OzSquad, a normally dominant A-grade team, was expected to be quite the challenge for the Comets, as a meeting two years ago ended in a shellacking of more than 60 points.

Cooloola led for three quarters, playing with intensity and consistent shooting from Leeroy Todd and great back court leadership from the duo of Michael Steinhardt and Matthew Lally.

In probably the best well rounded game from the Comets in recent years; they fell short in the end of the defensive battle, only losing by 54-42.

The following day the Comets took on the mixed bag of players from Kingaroy and Toowoomba. Unfortunately the game stayed in the hands of Kingawoomba right until the bitter end, with the Comets losing 73-28.

With only an hour to rest and refocus, the Comets then faced the eventual champions, Park Beach Crossfit. The Comets kept their heads up and gave it their all but fell 64-32.

In the quarter final, the Comets were against second-placed Bundaberg, a team Gympie had been most competitive against earlier in the competition. The Comets played their hearts out with some sparks of great plays, shots and defence, but in the end OzSquad's great conditioning and well-balanced attack lead to another victory for them.

However, the Cooloola Comets had one of their best outings in many years, with some great basketball played.