Tigers chase banner number nine

PERFECT TIMING: Shoalhaven Tigers guard Kate Denyer will make her long-awaited return to the court this weekend, after recovering from a foot injury she hurt against Wagga Wagga . Photo: ROBERT CRAWFORD

PERFECT TIMING: Shoalhaven Tigers guard Kate Denyer will make her long-awaited return to the court this weekend, after recovering from a foot injury she hurt against Wagga Wagga . Photo: ROBERT CRAWFORD

THE Kennedys Tours Shoalhaven Tigers women’s team will try to add a ninth banner to the Tigers Den at the Waratah League Division One finals in Maitland this weekend.

The Tigers, who haven’t won a championship banner since 2010, are keen to claim a seventh title for the Shoalhaven women’s program.

After finishing the regular season in second place, behind only Bathurst, the Tigers will battle the Coffs Harbour Suns in Saturday’s quarter-final at 1pm.

“We are definitely not going into the game against Coffs with the thought we have already won against them previously,” Tigers stalwart Kate Denyer said.

“We are going to play our game and play to our strengths of a quick game and strong defence, as well as focusing on the one-percenters that win games like boxing out, not letting them get second chance opportunities to score, playing smart and pressuring the ball.”

Another of the Tigers’ strengths is the team’s three guards - Kate Bellamy, Olivia Patterson and the returning from injury Denyer.

“Both Kates and Olivia have definitely led the pack with the hustle and determination,” Tigers forward Carlin Day said. 

“This was shown particularly by Kate [Bellamy] ending as the top scorer of the league and being named in the all-star five.

“No to be outshone, our quiet achiever is Ashleigh Waters who just gets in and gets the job done both offensively and defensively.

“Most importantly, we all have each others back.

“Our season has shown that and it has been reflected in our results.”

If the Tigers win the semi-final, they will play the winner of Bathurst and Maitland in the final at 11.30am on Sunday.

“I think we definitely have the drive to go all the way,” Denyer said, who along with Simone Gibbs are the only current players to have tasted championship success with the Shoalhaven Tigers.

“The balance of our side has been one of trial and error - we aren't the tallest team, so we have had players like Simone step in as a forward, when normally she plays a shooting guard and has done really well with getting the rebounds.

“Chiara Arthur, one of the younger players is playing with real confidence, which is really great to see.”

Denyer and Day, both Shoalhaven juniors, know what it would mean to the team and region to bring another banner back to the Den.

“It would be great for our team as a reward for their efforts in 2017,” Denyer said.

“This also showcases the continued achievements of Shoalhaven Basketball over the years.”

The Tigers’ squad is: Olivia Patterson (captain), Ashleigh Waters, Carlin Day, Chiara Arthur, Hannah Ryan, Jaymee McPherson, Kate Bellamy, Kate Denyer, Mary-Jane Toole, Simone Gibbs, Kerrianne Allan (coach).

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