Immanuel College: Country competitors shine in basketball and netball

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Immanuel College's commitment to girls' basketball and netball was rewarded last month, with high-performance squads in both sports taking out three state titles in the School Sport SA Knockout State Championships.

And in a testament to the strength of country sport in South Australia, 16 of the girls across the three high performance teams (Open A Basketball, Open A Netball, 10 Academy Netball) hail from Country SA.

In Immanuel Basketball, the Open A Girls coached by Bendigo Spirit head coach and former Adelaide 36ers assistant coach Tracy York, took out back-to-back State Knockout Championships.

Last year they won the silver medal at the National Championships Grand Final and head back to Nationals later this year to hopefully go one better and take out the national title.

Kingston girl Chloe Harding was part of the winning Open A Basketball side and was the youngest member of the team, playing with girls up to four years her senior.

Coach Tracy York said: "Chloe has very good skills and basketball IQ, and will be a valuable team member for years to come."

The team boasts a depth of basketball talent including U17 Australian squad member and Premier League player Gabi Vidmar, and Bella Stratford, who has signed with the Bendigo Spirit in the WNBL for the 2019/20 season.

In Immanuel Netball, the Open A side showed resilience and spirit, coming from behind in three out of four games to win the grand final of the State Knockout Championship 44-40.

''Our full-court defensive pressure wore the opposition down," coach Sarah Vidmar (Angove), who is a Premier League assistant coach and former State and National League player, said.

Immanuel has won five State Knockout Netball titles in the Open A division since 2010, including four titles in the past six campaigns.

Immanuel has more than 230 students in its renowned netball program, which recognises girls play sport for many different reasons.

Professionalism is bumped up in the college's high-performance teams, with specialist coaches at the top of their game supporting girls to be the best they can be.

Immanuel College has a rich history in netball, with many Old Scholars as current or former national-level players.

These include Australian Diamonds and Sydney Swifts player Sarah Klau, Adelaide Thunderbirds players Hannah Petty, Cody Lange and Maisie Nankivell, and Thunderbirds training partners Emily Burgess and Year 12 netball talent Georgie Horjus (Kangaroo Island).

Former Australian players Natalie and Laura von Bertouch and Lauren Nourse sit proudly on Immanuel's Sports Hall of Fame.