ALL summer Maddy Willey had only a court, a basketball and a will to practice her shooting. Just one game into the state basketball league season, those long and lonely hours look to have paid off.
Willey, a Port City player, scored 23 points in a surprise upset against the Mackay Meteorites. “I hit a couple of shots but I had to take a few to get them,” Willey laughed.
What was different to her practice sessions – other than having team mates and an opposition, of course – was the thrill of making a basket.
Willey says she feels a jolt of excitement every time the score board ticks over.
“The atmosphere was amazing,” she said.
“It felt way better than winning last year, when you have a crowd like we do coming to games.
“I have missed it; I did not realise how much until playing.”
Around the guard, Port City Power muscled out Mackay, keeping the premiers to only 62 points, to their 87.
Willey’s sister Kate, who joined the team this year, also played well until in the third quarter she suffered what might be a season ending knee injury.
The Power have already proven how good they are as a team though, helped by the three new faces in the line-up. Imports Tierra Henderson and Samarie Walker also lit up the score sheet for the Power in their debut match.
Port City have a round two bye next week.
The team will play Gold Coast at Kev Broome Stadium on Saturday, May 16. The women play first at 6pm and the men will follow at 8pm.
Port City Power 87 def Mackay Meteorettes 62
Samarie Walker – 32pts, 19 rebounds, Maddy Willey – 23pts, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, Tierra Henderson – 20pts, 3 assists