Tournament Week- Netball
The South Island Secondary Schools (SISS) Netball Tournament is always a highlight of the season and Nelson 2016 was no exception. Being competitive at this tournament has been at the back of our Garin player‟s minds throughout the season as they trained tirelessly to improve their skills at team practices. Commitment to fitness trainings before school also prepared them well and allowed them to enter the campaign fit, determined and injury free. Players who displayed dedication to training, a desire to improve and positive attitudes were selected to represent Garin at this year's winter tournament. Playing combinations that had been established during the season and some new combinations flourished as our young team challenged themselves against some of the 80 teams from throughout the South Island at this thrilling showcase of netball. Captained by Kate Hand (Yr 13) who was the only player with previous experience at this tournament, the team included: Courtney Butchart (Yr 13) Georgia Clarkson, (Yr 12), Samantha Ashley, Maddie Inglis, Emma Lackner, Kate McCashin, Hannah Stevenson (Yr 11), Tele Likiliki, Eva McCauley, Caitlin Roberts (Yr 10), Caleb Binns (umpire) Justine Butler (manager) and Janelle Macgregor (coach). The team got on top of their first quarter jitters to register a convincing win over John Paul II to get their campaign under-way. They finished third in their pool at the end of first round play which included a draw against Motueka High School and a two point loss to Mackenzie College. This meant they narrowly missed out on the being in the top 16 of the grade which is something all teams aim for. However, all players receiving opportunities to contribute, performing well and giving their best efforts meant morale remained high. With a quick goal reevaluation they had 17th place and the tournament Plate in their sights. Mackenzie were respectful opponents and the two teams were seen sharing an after-match photo together. The best games were still to come and Garin recorded a 27-18 win over a strong and feisty Papanui High School and a 41 - 32 win against Roxburgh A rea School who were tall and accurate in their shooting. In this game our defence combinations of Emma, Georgia, Maddie and Tele ensured we won ample possession through intercepts and rebounds which Kate Hand, Sam and Eva were able to convert with exceptional shooting statistics throughout each quarter. They worked consistently and with focus to reach the Plate playoff against Nayland College. This was a nail biter, but Garin remained calm and in control with the mid-court combinations of Caitlin, Hannah and Kate McCashin creating turnovers, driving hard through the middle and feeding the circle accurately to secure a 31 - 28 win! Kate Hand‟s efforts were also recognised through her selection in the tournament talented players squad. Thanks go to all the families, Garin staff and students who sent messages of support and came to watch the games and thanks to Caleb who attended as our team umpire. A huge amount of work goes into preparing for SISS tournament so a big thanks to manager Justine for all of her efforts. Finally, thank you to the team. It was a pleasure to be part of a team of such hard-working, fun and positive young woman. I‟m proud of you all and look forward to seeing strive for your netball goals next season.