The men’s Champ Division at the Helloworld Australian School Championships (ASC’s) are set to be a tight affair once again this year but Hillcrest Christian College from Queensland are one team that can be confident of their chances.
Overall, five teams from Hillcrest will compete at the ASC’s with Under-15 and Under-17 boys and girls joining the Champ Division team while the Under-17 boys are also aiming to defend their title from last year.
“Hillcrest have made a strategic move to make the ASC competition central to its overall program,” said Director of Sports at Hillcrest, Andrew Pauly.
“We have committed to sending our senior and junior representative teams on an annual basis and we have made this decision so that all students in our excellence program will have an opportunity to compete at the highest standard.
“Our team who won the Under-17 Division last year, by and large, have competed as a group for nearly seven years at a representative level.
“This year, four of the team represented Queensland through school sport and were subsequently offered positions on the Australian Schoolboys team. With this experience, these boys have become used to the pressure of big competitions and seem to perform well on a consistent basis.”
Pauly is hoping that success will also transfer over into the Championship Division where Hillcrest will go up against Lake Ginninderra (ACT), Newington College (NSW), Sacred Heart College (SA), Don College (TAS), Marcellin College (VIC), Willetton Senior High (WA) and the wildcard entry, Trinity College (SA).
“Our Champ Division Boys team have been undefeated this year in all games and tournaments and are recognised as the most successful team ever to come through Hillcrest Christian College. Every player competes at a representative level, whether at a Gold Coast, State or National level.”
Included in the team are Jalen Patton-Croker, Campbell Green and Levi Frankland who all were victorious in the Under-17 division last year.
Frankland showcased his three-point shooting and averaged 16 points per game while Patton-Croker went on to win a silver medal with Queensland South earlier this year in the Under-18 Australian Junior Championships.
Hillcrest’s team had the potential to be even stronger were it not for a late call-up by New Zealand who poached brothers Tobias and Flynn for the FIBA Oceania Championships.
With the two tournaments unfortunately running concurrently, the Cameron’s missed the opportunity to compete for Hillcrest but have the opportunity to face the Australian Emus in a gold medal playoff for a spot in the Under-19 World Championships next year.
“Two of our starting five will be absent but despite this, the depth of our squad gives us encouragement for a competitive showing at the ASC.”
While Hillcrest may be one of the favourites to take out the Champ Division, Pauly says the school will take a lot more out of the competition than just wins and losses.
“A win will be a great accolade for their hard work but will only serve as one measure of success. Growth and development in each of our students and an opportunity for them to test their skills are benefits [and] our greatest success is seeing our young people becoming great in every area of their lives.”