Dubbo Rams under-12s coach Phil Morrow and his team: (back) Cayden Esdale, Jarrod Laird, Jarrod White, Kyle Gibson, Nick Marina, (front) Jim Fereria, Blayne Caton, William Howell (c) and Kane McDermott.The Custom Steel Under-12 Dubbo Rams Boys team travelled to Bathurst recently for the NSW Country Championships and with no fear nominated for Division 1, a feat never achieved at this age before.
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The first game was against powerhouse Illawarra, who quickly stamped their authority on the game but to Dubbo’s credit they never gave up, getting closer and closer every quarter before finally losing by 67-23.

Next game Dubbo faced Albury and the Rams were pumped and came out of the gate full of running and Red Frogs leading 14-1 early in the quarter before Albury pulled a few back.

The Rams went shot-for-shot with Albury but Dubbo’s shooting let them down with a couple of players playing with injury, Albury running out victors 48-27.

The Rams met Maitland in the last round match up and were confident of a victory with both teams yet to record a win.

The Rams were awesome from the start to the finish, winning three out of four quarters played.

Teamwork and a step up in defensive attitude was a factor in the Rams securing their first under-12 Division 1 win and a proud coach was seen still smiling much later on.

This left a quarter-final match up against the might of Canberra, and although the scoreboard had Canberra doing it easy the Rams made them work hard for every point and with a better scoring percentage will trouble these teams in future competitions.

Enough can’t be said about the performance of all the boys with Will Howell a standout at both ends of the court.

He led his troops brilliantly dominating the scoring and assists as well as leading the rebounds and blocks.

Kyle Gibson was at his running best, Blaine Caton’s shooting was excellent and Jarrod Laird and Cayden Esdale were tough under the bucket giving away height to most players.

Jimmy Ferrera was consistent at both ends after a clash with a scooter and little Arthur Aussie Marias was always terrorising his opposition with defence.

The Dubbo team came away very happy knowing that they can compete at this level and will be trying to win Western Junior League so that we can get another crack at the big guys.

n Most valuable player points: (v Illawarra) 3 W Howell, 2 K Gibson, 1 J Ferrera; (v Albury) 3 W Howell, 2 K Gibson, 1 B Caton; (v Maitland) 3 W Howell, 2 B Caton, 1 A Marais; (v Canberra) 3 W Howell, 2 K Gibson, 1 C Esdale.

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