The NSW Metro squad could be described as the North Of The Bridge All-Stars, with all ten members of the team coming from Hornsby, Manly, or Norths. Riley Crawford and Catriona Henderson are the only players in the squad with experience at Under 16 Nationals level. Both were members of the 2016 NSW Metro side which reached the grand final before going down to Victoria Metro in the championship game. Henderson was the team’s second-highest scorer, averaging 10 points per game whilst also collecting 5.8 rebounds per game. Crawford was used more sparingly, but her impact will no doubt lift in her second trip to a national championship.
NSW Country finished in fifth place in the 2016 tournament after defeating Victoria Country on the final day of the tournament, but like the NSW Metro team, will return very few members of that team. Olivia Barber is one who will return, and was the team’s second top scorer behind now Under 18s player Isabel Palmer, averaging 8 points per game in 2016. Barber was also the team’s leading rebounder, averaging 8.1 boards per game. Ella Dent and Ruby MacDonald also return from 2016, and will be looking to step up to become more involved after averaging 2.4 and 3 points per game respectively in last year’s tournament.
NSW Country were the last team in sky blue to bring home the Norma Connolly trophy, securing victory in 1998 on their home patch at Terrigal. Since then, it has been all Victoria Metro. The Melbourne-based side won every title from 2000 to 2013 before SA Metro and Queensland South won in 2014 and 2015 respectively. 2016 saw Victoria Metro return to the winners’ circle and every other team will be looking to knock them off their perch before they break off another winning streak.
2017 NSW Country Under 16 Squad
|MacDonald, Ruby||Western Reds|
2017 NSW Metro Under 16 Squad
|Van Der Maas, Elles||Manly|