Kadee Barrenger and with Gladstone U16 team-mate Erin Harvey. Both had strong CDC campaigns.
Kadee Barrenger and with Gladstone U16 team-mate Erin Harvey. Both had strong CDC campaigns. Jann Houley

GALLERY: Gladstone teams do a clean sweep against Rocky

BASKETBALL: It has been an amazing transformation.

From the timid and hesitant under-16 Gladstone Power boy's group that went 1-3 from the first Central District Carnival in Bundaberg late last year.

And now to the feared, hard-running and relentlessly confident team which went undefeated in carnival two in Rockhampton.

Cooper Rhodes is one of the most-improved players and he spoke with The Observer after game one - a 93-62 rout against the home team.

Gladstone went on to beat Bundaberg twice and Rocky again in the final game.

"We just moved the ball around and I have got great team-mates around me," Cooper said.

"I'm really happy with how I improved."

He posted scores of 24, 27, 11 and 14.

"Coach Ray Cooper said it was great defence, space the ball around and just get after it," he said.

Ray Cooper said the hard training sessions is paying off.

"They where more accountable to doing extra work individually which has helped," he said.

"We have a couple of test where we have a leader board and they're all trying to beat each other on it."

Gladstone's U16 girls also had an outstanding campaign with it's only blemish against Bundaberg in the second game - a 71-67 loss.

Coach Damien Loveland was proud of his team which registered 66-58, 73-49 and 104-47 wins against Bundaberg (game three) Rocky (twice) respectively.

What the coaches said:

Ray Cooper - U16 boy's coach

NK: Well done 4-0 and did you expect it?

RC: We worked pretty hard over the past three weeks. I definitely expected a different team than what we were at the Bundy CDC. Was a great result to go 4 and 0 credit to the boys.

NK: From the 1st CDC to Rocky, been a big transformation, how have you seen it?

RC: They were more accountable to doing extra work individually which has helped. We have a couple of testS where we have a leader board and they're all trying to beat each other on it.

NK: The progression of the players has been clearly evident, what players have improved most?

RC: The whole team has improved due to their competitiveness at training. They're not afraid to get after each other every session, but at the same time, more than willing to help improve each other out. The likes of Cooper, Josh Morfey, Benji Bell, Luke Hampson and Angus Clancy who are all bottom ages have been pushing the top agers which is making a great training environment.

NK: Cooper Rhodes was one of them, he's relishing the number four role?

RC: Coop did a great job. He came on gave us a lot of energy and effort plays. Played with a lot of confidence.

NK: Owen Gardiner is another, not played the game for long and in his first campaign has improved?

RC: Owen has definitely improved and it's a credit to his commitment. He leads by example by doing a lot of training and he's a hard worker.

NK: Seth's job on Ben tweedy went a long way in both wins v Rocky?

RC: Seth matches up very well with Ben and I think Seth likes the challenge. To have Seth play full court defence towards the end of both games is a great asset to have for us. He has the ability to wear players down makes it very hard for any opposing teams to get set up in offences.

NK: Seth and Albert work well together?

RC: They helped each other out enough to get by this weekend, but definitely have room for improvement.

NK: Ben Knight a lot more composed you think?

RC: Ben was great. He looked more mature on the court and really took on board feedback from Bundy CDC and put it into his game. Again it's up to Ben to take on more feedback to help him continue to develop into one of the top players in CDCs.

Damien Loveland - U16 girl's coach

NK: Great result 3-1, how have you seen it?

DL: It was a good weekend for the girls and they showed off their speed and we are a well-rounded team.

NK: What worked and what didn't?

DL: Our speed and physical fitness and we showed in the final game where we put on 100 points against Rocky, that we are a very fit team and showed good mental strength. What didn't? The loss against Bundaberg and we were 18 points down at half time against a fresh Bundaberg team. But we managed to get back into the game in the second half and we could have won it. A couple of our triples attempts didn't drop.

NK: Who have improved from the first CDC in Bundaberg to now?

DL: All the girls have done a great job and we are really spoilt for choice especially with our guards. Jordan Porter, Erin Harvey and Kadee Barrenger have scored well and also the likes of Coco Loveland, Eli Walsh, Tamsyn Bock and Mia Jordan have been able to put points up.

NK: Who were the stand-outs?

DL: If you look at the stats, Kadee was a real threat from range and the weekend showed that we have a number of players who can shoot from range. Our final CDC is in Gladstone on the first weekend of March and we want to see as many supporters as possible. It will secure our team for division one for the Classics April 9-13 in Brisbane. Statistically we would be very unlucky for us not to make division one.


U16 girls

Gladstone 66 (K Barrenger 19, C Loveland 14, I Zerner 10) d Rocky 58 (C Dunn 15, K Frazer 13); Bundaberg 71 (S Cass 33, T Glover 12) d Gladstone 67 (E Harvey 19, C Loveland 11, K Barrenger 10); Gladstone 73 (K Barrenger 15, C Loveland; E Harvey; E Porter 14) d Bundaberg 49 (C Cass 20); Gladstone 104 (E Harvey 33, K Barrenger 23, J Porter 14, E Walsh 13) d Rockhampton 47 (E Dessent 10).

U16 Boys

Gladstone 93 (C Rhodes 24, O Gardiner 20, B Knight 18, A Maunga 15) d Rocky 62 (B Tweedy 21, N Savage 14, S Young 12); Gladstone 71 (B Knight 19, S Collins 18, C Rhodes 11) d Bundaberg 51 (V Railz 15, J Pearson 12); Gladstone 93 (C Rhodes 27, B Knight 22, S Collins 14, J Morfey 11) d Bundaberg 76 (W Maule 17, F Doyle 11, V Railz 10); Gladstone 69 (B Knight; C Rhodes 14, O Gardiner 12, S Collins 11, A Maunga 10) d Rockhampton 63 (B Tweedy 16, N Savage 14, S Young 12).