Launceston Tornadoes coach Derrick Washington believes Ellie Collins should be Australian youth player of the year after she amassed 27 points and 12 rebounds in the defeat of Diamond Valley.
But Collins was far from alone as the colourful coach heaped praise on several members of his squad after the 83-72 win at Elphin Sports Centre.
“Lauren Nicholson is a feisty player, she gets right in there,” Washington said.
“Ally Wilson, this is her first 20-point game at home I believe and she can shoot the ball from the outside, hit the threes, find players and she played with a lot of poise today. I’m very proud of how she led the team to victory.
“Jess Johnston was great defensively. She’s one of our young development players but she’s coming on strong and working hard in practice every week and stepped up in her first SEABL game.”
Nicholson also recorded a double double – adding 15 rebounds to her 17 points – while Wilson hit 25 points including a nerve-settling three-pointer late in the contest when the visitors had edged to within eight points.
“It was a hard-fought game,” Washington added.
“They matched us first quarter but we were able to bounce back in the second and that carried over to the third which has been our Achilles heel. But we were able to lock in on defence and hold them off in the fourth.
“This will move us up to fifth and next up is Hobart. They beat us earlier in the year and we’re ready for that game.
“I’m happy with how the team is shaping up. We didn’t have our captain, Lauren Mansfield, but the beauty of our team is we’ve got people who will step up.”
Four of Diamond Valley’s starting five reached double figures, with captain Abigail Wehrung top scoring on 21 points.
The beauty of our team is we’ve got people who will step upDerrick Washington
The Tornadoes will head to Hobart next week for the last game of the regular season.