The Cockburn Cougars have capped off a tremendously successful 2023 with both the boys and girls under-15 teams, and the girls under-20s team winning their State Titles Grand Finals on Sunday at Bendat Basketball Centre.
It was an exciting way for the Cougars to finish the 2023 basketball year that included the women’s NBL1 West team making history by winning a first ever championship, and now it’s been capped off with more success at the BWA State Titles across this weekend.
In the end, Cockburn had eight out of 10 teams reach the semi finals, five out of 10 end up playing in grand finals, and three of the 10 winning championships.
With the triumphs for the under-15 boys and girls teams, and the under-20 girls team, the Cougars won the three championship to only be behind the Willetton Tigers with four.
It makes it a third consecutive year where Cougars teams have ensured Cockburn has been a top two club at the State Titles, following finishing top of the standings in 2021 and 2022.
Since 2021, the Cockburn Cougars State Title teams have made 21/30 semi finals, 15/30 grand finals, and taken out 10 Titles, more than any other club.
Cougars Chief Executive Officer Tyrone Thwaites couldn’t have been prouder of the way Cockburn Basketball has continued to grow throughout 2023, and now to finish off on such a positive note.
“The entire state championships process over five weekends has been record breaking for Cockburn basketball,” Thwaites said.
“We had 40 teams and more than 550 trialists, our most on record, which is significant for a mid-sized club.
“To finish State Titles weekend with the performance we saw across our 10 teams is a credit to the work of our development team, coaches and staff.”
While the Cougars aren’t the size of some of the bigger clubs, Thwaites takes great pride in how competitive they continue to be to fight out of their weight division, and for the whole association from the ground up to continue to grow and flourish.
“To sit amongst the big clubs for three years running, some double our size, doesn’t happen by accident, and is part of our commitment to process and culture driving the exciting results we’ve seen this weekend (and the four weeks prior),” Thwaites said.
“Results remain a by-product of everything else we do, and we are firmly committed to continuous improvement through our WABL program in 2024. It’s an outstanding way to wrap up the year, and we are so proud we get to share that with our community.”
The first 2023 grand final for the Cougars to be part of was the under-11 boys decider and while William Dimmock was named Grand Final MVP, it was Willetton who won a thriller 33-31.
Dimmock was amazing with 19 points for Cockburn with Maximus Leman also scoring four points.
The next grand final was the under-15 boys and that was championship time for the Cougars with the 53-36 win against the East Perth Eagles with Faitala Patu named Grand Final MVP.
Patu delivered 17 points in the win with Conor Bradley scoring 11, Lucas Dravitzki seven, Chris Eddy six and Murray Yarran five.
The under-15 girls won a championship too beating Willetton 25-23 with Hannah Summers rewarded with the Grand Final MVP award.
Summers ended up scoring 10 points with Ayla Pizzuto next best with eight.
The under-19 Cougars boys put in a fighting effort in their grand final but ultimately it was the Perry Lakes Hawks who prevailed 41-29.
Jonah Palelei scored eight points for the Cougars, Charlie Dimmock six and Brayden Atwell five.
The third championship to go the way of Cockburn was the under-20 girls with the 39-25 victory against the Joondalup Wolves with NBL1 West champion Amelia Corasaniti completing her remarkable year with the Grand Final MVP trophy.
She scored eight points in a terrific all-round performance while Jaya Scafidi top-scored with 14.