St Dominic’s College has achieved a feat no other school in the state has ever done before by being crowned champions in three Combined Catholic College (CCC) State Basketball Finals all in the one year.
Last month the Kingswood-based high school took out the Junior (Years 7 and 8) and Intermediate (Years 9 and 10) CCC State titles while earlier this year St Dominic’s also won the Opens (Years 11 and 12) competition.
Speaking with the Weekender, Intermediate basketball coach and PDHPE teacher Jeff Kilbourne said it was a remarkable effort by everyone involved.
“I think it’s a combination of dedicated staff and coaches but also a great culture that exists within the student body,” he said.
“The boys have an eagerness to train hard and they come from supportive families – all of this is testament to our success.”
St Dominic’s qualified for the CCC State Finals after winning the Metropolitan Catholic Schools regional competitions earlier this year.
Teams from around NSW converged on Penrith Sports Stadium in Cambridge Park last month where the CCC State Finals took place.
After narrowly winning the semi-final by one point, Kilbourne’s Intermediate side stamped their authority during the final stages of the grand final to win by 15.
“We played McCarthy Catholic College from Tamworth in the final, which was a repeat of the final from two years previous in the junior division,” Kilbourne said.
“Despite the final scoreline, it was a tough game. We were down 10-2 early on but managed to pull through.”
As a reward for their victories this year, next month both the Intermediate and Opens teams will travel to Melbourne to compete against some of the best schools in the country at the Australian Schools Championship.
While St Dominic’s have never won a national title in basketball, this year’s incredible success at State level may prove to be a good omen.
“This is our 13th year at Nationals, it’s a massive step up and a reward from the continued success at State level,” Kilbourne said.
“We have some practice games planned against local representative teams.”
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.