CLASS OF 2019-20: Albert Maunga, Ben Knight, Jack Small, Jan Kreis, Joseph McEldowney, Lennox Evans, Marley Evans, Owen Gardiner, Seth Collins, Alvin Kahondo, Alwin Anthony-Singaraja, Riley Dredge
CLASS OF 2019-20: Albert Maunga, Ben Knight, Jack Small, Jan Kreis, Joseph McEldowney, Lennox Evans, Marley Evans, Owen Gardiner, Seth Collins, Alvin Kahondo, Alwin Anthony-Singaraja, Riley Dredge

Smoking Joe a tall order for opposition

BASKETBALL: After months of a tough pre-season focusing on fitness and game plans, Gladstone Port City Power under-18 boys are ready for the challenge.

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The first of three Central Queensland Junior Basketball Carnivals, that will help determine where the youth Power team will be seeded for the Queensland State Championship on the Gold Coast in January, is on tomorrow.

But first, Gladstone need to negotiate an enthusiastic Emerald Chargers at 10am followed by Bundaberg Bulls at 1.30pm.

Joe McEldowney is in his second and final season in the under-18 side and said the squad has worked hard under new coach Hayden Castell with previous mentor Ray Cooper as assistant.

"Trainings have been of a high game-like intensity over recent sessions," McEldowney said.

"Chips (Castell) has been reminding us to work hard every session and give 100 per cent effort."

Games against arch-rivals Rockhampton Rockets and the Chargers follow at 9am and 12.30pm respectively on Sunday.

McEldowney, who stands at 196cm and has the ability to take the ball up the floor, post inside the key and shoot from the perimeter, said the team has the right mix.

"I feel our team's strength is our speed as we are focusing our game around speeding up the pace and getting up and down the court quickly," he said.

McEldowney starred in his first season of under-18s and averaged 17 points across 15 games in the 2018-19 season.

"I feel I have steadily developed my game over the past seasons and have seen improvements in my jumpshot and basketball IQ," he said when asked in what facets he has developed in most.

No doubt he is one of the keys and the former rugby league player for Tannum Seagulls said his end goal was a 12-0 record after the completion of the carnivals and a place in division one for the Gold Coast challenge.