U19 duo bounce into action

LAUNCESTON basketball duo Liz Howe and Kai Woodfall were in the thick of the action as Australia's under-19 teams contested the finals of the FIBA Pacific Championship in New Zealand last week.

Howe's team downed New Zealand Maori 74-54, while Woodfall co- captained the men's side to a 71-66 loss.

"It was one of our best games, and we were able to do the job and it is always good to come out on top," said Howe, who applied three defensive rebounds in the decider.

"It was an awesome experience to be away with an Australian team and just learn, so it was a really good experience all round."

The tournament pitted senior teams against Australia's under-19 sides, with Woodfall saying this experience was invaluable.

"We only just went down, but it wasn't our best game," said the 17-year-old who, like Howe, is a former Riverside High student.

"They were in the end too big and too strong. Skill-wise we matched them, but at the end of the day they were a bit too strong for us.

"It was always going to be tough against bigger players, but that's the reason we went, to develop as international players."

Woodfall, who scored four points and had one rebound in the final, said he was happy with the way he played throughout the tournament, saying he felt he "contributed when he had to".

The men's final also featured Hobart pair Callum Barker and Tanner Krebs.

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