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← JPC National Basketball Champions
Number two is the name of success for JPC
With Australian Institute of Sport athletes, rising stars and a past ACT Academy Head Coach among its ranks, it’s no surprise Queensland’s John Paul College is now back-to-back Australian Schools Basketball Champions.
Coached by Peter Foster, and crowned as 2010 and 2011’s Australian Basketball Schools Champion team, John Paul College had all the ingredients to set the tournament alight.
Being played at the Bendigo and Flora Hill stadiums, the championships featured more than 100 schools.
There were eight girls’ teams vying for the national crown, but last week John Paul College sounded a warning to its rivals, with crushing victories in all games leading to the final.
John Paul College over-ran Box Hill Secondary College in the last quarter of the girls’ final to take the win 61-53.
Box Hill took a slender two point lead into the last quarter but could only manage 11 last quarter points as John Paul College piled in 21 points in the fourth to snatch the eight point win.
The winning side was able to get to the foul line, with John Paul College connecting on 20 free- throws from 28 attempts, to just a four-of-six ratio for Box Hill.
With both teams shooting in the low 30s percentage-wise from the field, it was Kalani Purcell top- scoring with 15 points for John Paul College, and Madelyn Willey and Kristy Wallace both chipping in with 13 points each, that made all the difference.
The Queensland school out-hustled its Victorian opponent, creating many turnover opportunities and scoring on fast breaks.
Despite AIS athlete, Mikaela Donnelly, being unavailable while she trains in Canberra, the specialist basketball school still has an embarrassment of riches.
That includes Maddison Allen, the 200cm 17-year-old player, who adds plenty of firepower off the bench.
Maddison was awarded MVP in the grand final of the Queensland Basketball Schools Championships earlier this year, winning the team’s third consecutive Queensland title and tenth title overall for John Paul College.
“At John Paul College, we really strive to be better than our predecessors and the fact that we’re making history, both for our school and Queensland basketball is really important to us,” Maddison said.
But it was the team’s drive for a second consecutive Championship as they defended their National Title that spurred them on in Bendigo.
“It was a narrow win in the final last year, and from that we have learnt not to take anything for granted, but we’re a stronger and more cohesive group than the team we took away last year,” Maddison said.
Coach Foster, previous Head Coach for the Southern Districts Spartan Men in 2005 who won Queensland Australian Basketball League title, has seen plenty of talent in his many years as a Basketball Coach for top teams in the ACT and Queensland.
He currently is Headmaster at John Paul College and is heavily involved in the education and training of the Open Girls’ Basketball Team.
After strong performances at the National Championships, John Paul College looked forward to continuing their winning-streak in Dallas, Texas, playing against some of the best school basketball teams in the world over Christmas 2011.
The John Paul College team won six of their seven games against school and college basketball teams; the best of the best.
John Paul’s only defeat was against their biggest rival, the THESA Riders, who are the United States National Champions for the past five years.
The team is now a prominent figure in the minds of American basketball stakeholders, with four John Paul College players offered basketball scholarships with some of America’s biggest colleges.
Maddison Allen, Ashley Taia, Peri Ewin and Madelyn Willey had scouts from a number of colleges offering scholarships after the girls led the open side to its world number two ranking.
John Paul College is Queensland’s largest independent K – 12 co-educational school with a collective enrolment of approximately 2,200 students. The College campus is located in Daisy Hill, south-east of Brisbane and north of the Gold Coast. The College is a rich Christian ecumenical community with a national and international reputation for offering a leading-edge technology program; and excellent and extensive cultural and sporting programs.