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Basketball: the highly anticipated Knox round

Basketball Fundraising Top

From the Co-Captains of Basketball, Angus Mattick & Matteo De Vecchi

It was the last game for the outgoing Year 12s against Knox and for their Waverley careers. The 1sts and 2nds had a combined 16 players from Year 12, and all were looking to contribute to a win against our rivals.

Firstly, the 2nds were up. They had a record of 3-1-4 going into the final game of the season and were looking to get a win to break the record set in the previous year for the most successful 2nds team. The game started off slowly for Waverley, as everything they shot seemed to bounce and wobble around the rim as if someone was pushing the ball out. Waverley was down by 12 points early in the game. In true 2nds fashion, the team fought and clawed back into the game, reducing the deficit to 6 points by the half. Jake Thomas and Josh Weinstein were standouts.

In the second half, both teams came out firing and not letting up an inch on either end of the floor. Waverley gained the lead for the first time during the game with a James Matis layup. This boosted the crowd and also the team who were starting to get into a groove with their ball movement and shooting. Knox never gave up though. They were right on Waverley’s toes for the rest of the game and managed to regain the lead and push it out to 4 points with 30 seconds left. Unfortunately, Waverley was not able to overcome the deficit and lost their final game of the season 49-45.

For the 1sts, it was a highly anticipated game. In the previous game against Knox, Waverley lost by 4 points in a thriller and was eager to get back at Knox. The 1sts were also welcoming Co-captain of Basketball Matteo De Vecchi into the team for his first game. The game started off frantically with both teams running the floor and not being able to capitalise their opportunities until a few fast break layups by Matthew Miller set the tone for the Waverley team. Strong play was also on display by Dean Stojanovksi and Alex Higgins-Titsha.

In the second quarter, the tough game continued with both teams struggling to contain each other and running out on the break. Waverley’s tough pressure led by Matthew Miller on defensive transition, where he got many crucial 2-on-1 defensive stops set the tone for the rest of the team. The ever-good play of Dean Stojanovksi was on display again, as he was getting to the rim and finishing with ease. Waverley went into the half with a 44-40 lead against a top CAS team.

The second half started off in Knox’s favour. They came out of the break with fire in their bellies, determined not to give up a big lead to the surging Waverley team. They did just that as they gained the lead 5 minutes into the quarter. Their hard running and offensive rebounding put Waverley on the back foot, trying to claw back into the game. Alex Higgins-Titsha led the team in the third quarter and carried the rebounding and scoring load almost single handedly.

The fourth quarter was intense. Not because of the closeness of the game, but because of the realisation by the Year 12s that this was their last ever in a Waverley uniform and they wanted to leave everything out on the floor. A good start to the quarter, led by Luca Zanarini, whose mid-range jumpers and layups put scoreboard pressure back onto the Knox team. Knox then started to run away with the game in the final 5 minutes and lead by 12 with 2:30 left in the game and 9 with 1:30 left in the game. A tough defensive possession by Alex Higgins-Titsha led to a steal from him and a breakaway. That was his first of the season! This dunk gave life back to the Waverley team and bench as were only down by 7. Waverley chipped away, but couldn’t get the lead below 3 points as Knox were very good at knocking down their free throws. Unfortunately, the 1sts lost by 3 points with the score 76-73 to Knox.

Later that night we had the 2016/17-basketball presentation night. This was a brilliant night with a big turnout. All award winners were deserving and we hope that next season the enthusiasm can be as high as it has been this year. I would like to thank the Supporter Group for all their work setting up that night and also throughout the season on the barbeque and making everything run smoothly. I would also like to thank all players and coaches and the outgoing Year 12 players with whom I have played with my whole Waverley life.

Thank you for the season and Go the Waves!!


From the Convenor of Basketball, Andy Gibbs

The last round of the season saw Waverley’s 1st V and 2nd V take on Knox away at Wahroonga. Both teams played extremely well in two very close and exciting games in what was an emotional farewell to our departing Year 12 players. The 2nd V went into the game confident and motivated after a great performance against an undefeated Barker a week earlier. The 2nd V lost two players going into the Knox game with Matteo de Vecchi promoted to the 1st V and Hayden Walton unavailable. Knox started the game well getting through Waverley’s defensive press with ease and dominating against our full court man defence. The 2nd V modified their game played halfway through the first half and went into the break 8 points adrift. In the second half, Waverley made a late comeback to trail Knox by 2 points with a minute remaining, however some missed opportunities and a great defensive effort from Knox saw them win the game 49-45.

The last time the 1st V met Knox; the game was decided in the dying seconds by a mere 4 points. In that game, Waverley had played extremely well and could have won the game if had it not been for some great play by Knox to overcome an 11-point deficit in the third quarter. The 1st V started well as the players executed great offence and defence in the first half. Waverley’s press caused Knox to turn the ball over, which we were able to capitalise on and the team’s composure throughout the first half, so them play a good brand of basketball. However, in the third quarter, the 1st V lost their way, as key players began to get into foul trouble and Knox took ascendency and built a double-digit lead. Ultimately, despite the 1st V’s last quarter revival to pull within striking distance of Knox, they were unable to snatch victory in the closing seconds and went down 76-73.

Waverley Basketball farewells and thanks our departing Year 12 players, especially those in the 1st V and 2nd V, who have given many years of dedication and service to the program through 6:30am starts for training, numerous holiday development camps, assisting with scoring duties and facilities setup on weekends and supporting each other on game days. 1sts and 2nds Basketball has been fortunate to possess a large group of committed senior players, whose experience over the past two seasons has been invaluable. They are a fine group of young men, who will be sorely missed. We say thanks and goodbye to Nicholas Blakey, James Campbell, Matteo de Vecchi (Co-captain of Basketball), George Hatziandreou, Miguel Joson, Ryan Lewis, James Markham (Co-captain of 2nd V), James Matis, Angus Mattick (Co-captain of Basketball), Matthew Miller, Brendan Morrissey (Co-captain of 2nd V), Johnny Pawle, Dean Stojanovski (Captain of 1st V), Jake Thomas, Joshua Weinstein and Finn Wright. A special mention must also go to Year 12 student Daniel Szabo, who filmed many of the 1st V and 2nd V games in his own time. Waverley Basketball wishes all these Year 12 boys the best of luck for their upcoming HSC examinations.

Congratulations to Trinity Grammar for winning the Rev Fr A V Smith Basketball Shield in the 1sts and congratulations to 1st V players Dean Stojanovski and Alexander Higgins-Titsha, who both were selected to represent the College in the CAS 2nd V against teams from the GPS, ISA and AICES over the next two weeks.

In other games, Waverley enjoyed limited success against Knox. The following teams won their games: 4th V (32-25), 10A (54-48), 10B (31-24), 10E (45-28), 10G (24-16), 9B (45-10), 8G (30-27), 7A (32-15) and 7B (40-13). The 1st V finished fourth for the season with a record of 3-0-5, the 2nd V finished fourth (3-1-5), the 10A’s second (6-0-3), the 9A’s fifth (1-0-8), the 8A’s fifth (2-1-6) and the 7A’s second (3-0-1). The best performing Waverley teams were the 10A’s, 8C’s (6-0-2), 8E’s (6-1-1), 7A’s and 7B’s (3-1).

The 2016/2017 season has been the most successful in my time as Convenor. Across all age groups, there has been a significant improvement in results. Our win/loss percentage for all teams combined is the highest it has been this season than for any other season for the past six years. The combined efforts of our top-level teams (1sts, 2nds, 10A’s, 9A’s, 8A’s and 7A’s), placed Waverley fourth overall in the CAS, our highest position in six seasons. The 1st V also had their best season in six seasons, with their games being decided by an average margin of 6 points, while for the 2nd V the average margin was just 3 points. These are all considerable achievements given where basketball at Waverley has come from in those six seasons.

Obviously having fantastic facilities this season has helped, however without a committed coaching and support staff, it would be difficult to achieve such a substantial improvement. Thank you to all our coaching staff, especially 1st V coach Mr Johnny Jovine and 2nd V coach Mr Tom Chamberlain for all the extra work they have done for the program throughout the season. Thank you to Mr James Spargo, who has done a great job managing our team of student scorers each week as well as being the Age Group Coordinator for Year 9. Thank you also to our other age group coordinators Mr Adam Wallington (Year 10) and Mr Lachlan Hillman and Mr Glen Mosna (Opens). Thank you to Director of Co-curriculum Mr Stephen O’Donnell and Head of Sport Mr Greg Elliott for their ongoing support of basketball.

Thank you to the parents of the 1st V and 2nd V players, who for every home game hosted the post-game luncheons, which are still the best in the CAS. Thank you to all those students who assisted with scoring duties each weekend, especially Year 12 student Daniel Harasta, who has been extremely reliable and has done a fantastic job over several years. I must not forget the fine work of our gym managers, Mr Edward Hartson and Mr Jamie Mattick, who have ensured that our home games on Saturday’s run smoothly. Finally, thank you to the College’s Maintenance staff and Mr John Kara for a lot of behind the scenes work with logistics and Head of TAS, Mr Garth Aird for allowing Basketball to take advantage of our excellent TAS facilities.

Basketball Presentation Evening

The Basketball Presentation Evening was also hosted on Saturday at the College and was an enjoyable event for all. The afternoon weather was perfect as players and their families enjoyed hot dogs, roast chicken, a selection of salads, fruit platters and a variety of delicious desserts outdoors in Braidwood.

The awards ceremony was also a fun event and was hosted by our two captains of basketball, Angus Mattick and Matteo de Vecchi, who did a fine job controlling proceedings. Congratulations to all award winners. A full list of winners is produced below.

A huge thank you to Supporter Group president Mrs Sharon Frazer and the numerous parents who helped out with the organisation of the night.

One last thank you is in order for outgoing president of the Supporter Group, Mrs Louise Mattick, who has been instrumental in lifting the profile of the club over the past few seasons. Her work has contributed enormously to the success of basketball at the College.


USA Basketball Development Tour

In December 2017, 34 Waverley students and six staff members will be participating in the USA Basketball Development Tour to the USA and Canada. Long sleeve ‘Waverley Basketball’ shirts are being sold to help raise money for the Tour. Proceeds from the sale of these shirts will go towards purchasing tour gear and uniforms for the players. The shirts are made from 50% cotton and 50% polyester and are smart, comfortable and perfect for wearing to basketball training, games or casually. The cost of the shirts is $50 each with some of the proceeds from the sale of the shirts going towards the Social Justice component of the Tour. Many families have already purchased the shirts and you will have no doubt seen them being worn. Show your support for the players on tour by purchasing a shirt before they are all sold out! You can purchase shirts at the Saturday Basketball BBQ or at school on the ground floor of the TAS Building on Wednesday’s at Lunchtime.


Signing off for another season,