PHOTOS Basketball side shows brutal edge
BASKETBALL: Gladstone's under-18 boys' team have made the perfect start in the first round of the Central Queensland Junior Basketball Carnival.
The Power's youth team raised the bar in games one and two with 113-55 and 101-70 wins against Emerald and Bundaberg.
Yesterday morning's game against Rockhampton was the toughest but Gladstone kept their composure against a fast-finishing Rocky outfit to win 96-93.
The century mark was again achieved in the final game as Gladstone cruised to a 106-75 win against a much-improved Emerald.
Gladstone number four Marley Evans said the side were all on the same page.
"We worked well together and we all know that we have special abilities," he said.
Evans has improved and he's more aggressive, especially driving to the basket.
"I wasn't up to standard last season and was told to be more aggressive," he said.
Coach Hayden Castell said the strength of the side was their ability to stamp their authority when challenged as Bundy and Rocky did early in these games.
"Our two best scorers Joe (McEldowney) and Ben (Knight) were out of the game against Rocky late and we stayed composed and got the job done," Castell said.
Rocky were 20 points down just before half time but, on the back of Riley Wessling with seven triples, got back to within a basket in the final quarter.
"It wasn't our best game but good sides find a way to win," Castell said.
The coach was impressed with representative first-timers Jann Kreis and Riley Dredge.
"They were very good in their first look at it and Jack Small was very switchable in that he can defend a player from number one to number five," Castell said.
"Marley (Evans) was another who was an anchor in defence and he not just blocked shots but made the players alter their shots."
Castell also noted the growing confidence of point guard Seth Collins (24 points against Rockhampton).
"He made some tough shots and has come along offensively," he said.
GAME ONE: Gladstone 113 (B Knight 37, J McEldowney 24, M Evans, O Gardiner, S Collins 11 each) d Emerald 55 (T Chauraya 25, K Bock 8)
GAME TWO: Gladstone 101 (S Collins; J McEldowney 22 each, B Knight 20, J Small 11, M Evans 10) d Bundaberg 70 (D Cameron 11, D George, J Pearson 10 each)
GAME THREE: Gladstone 96 (S Collins 24, J McEldowney 22, B Knight 20) d Rockhampton 93 (R Wessling, N Savage 26 each; N Schneider 16, J Eather 12)
GAME FOUR: Gladstone 106 (O Gardiner 22, A Maunga 17, J Small 16, J McEldowney 15, L Evans 10) d Emerald 75 (T Chauraya 22, L Magsino 13, B Shields, K Prewett 9 each)