The Launceston Tornadoes are looking to the future as they wrap up a disappointing maiden NBL1 season.
Having lost the starting five that powered the club to last year's SEABL grand final in pre-season, the club also parted ways with popular head coach Derrick Washington late last week with Michael Johnstone announced as the interim replacement.
As a result, all eyes will be on the club's up-and-coming local talent when the second-bottom Torns play their season finale against Waverley Falcons at home on Saturday night.
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Much has been made of the form of 19-year-old Bec Abel (10.1, 2.4 rebounds per game) and 17-year-old Sarah O'Neill (14.7 points, 5.4 rebounds per game), while 16-year-old pair Aishah Anis and Makala Bingley have enjoyed court time in a career-high 11 games this season.
"We have all enjoyed playing together this season," Anis said.
"It's great to actually be on the court together in a game because we do spend a lot of time training together.
"We have all had the experience to travel interstate this season with the team and play against good teams on their home court. That is a great experience."
Both Anis and Bingley represented Tasmania at under-18 level this year and are opponents in Launceston Basketball Association's first division.
"We have grown up playing under-age together with Basketball Tasmania teams, and also against each other in local competitions," Bingley said.
"So it's been fun to play in the NBL1 together and we are excited about playing together in front of our home crowd this Saturday."
Led by stars Carley Ernst (17.4 points, 7.5 rebounds per game) and Tegan Cunningham (14.8 points, 7.2 rebounds per game), the Falcons have won their past six games to sit on the cusp of finals at 9-9.
Fresh from his first win at Diamond Valley last weekend, Johnstone is excited for his young side to face a fired-up Falcons outfit and, like Oscar Wilde, knows the importance of beating Ernst.
"The Waverley Falcons are a new-look team to the one we defeated back in round four," Johnstone said.
"They ... currently sit in eighth place on the NBL1 ladder and will be striving for a victory to secure a finals berth.
"We will be without Tall Fern Stella Beck for our final game, however we hope that Brittany Hodges will recover in time to play in our final home game of the season."
Saturday's game starts at 6.30pm at Elphin Sports Centre.
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