LOFTY AMBITIONS: Nathan May, 15, Merrick Small, 17 and Benicio Hortle, 17, will be integral to the St Edmund’s College 1st V’s dual-title aspirations this abbreviated AIC Basketball season.

Picture: Cordell Richardson
LOFTY AMBITIONS: Nathan May, 15, Merrick Small, 17 and Benicio Hortle, 17, will be integral to the St Edmund’s College 1st V’s dual-title aspirations this abbreviated AIC Basketball season. Picture: Cordell Richardson

Wolf pack hunts rare double crown

AN air of expectation surrounds the St Edmund's College 1st V as players set their sights on an elusive championship double this coronavirus-affected season.

The Wolf Pack excelled last year, finishing second in AIC and fourth at the state's premier youth tournament Molten Champion Basketball Schools Queensland.

Having retained vital experience in the 15-strong squad, including towering 6 foot 10 Queensland Schoolboys representative Merrick Small, hopes for what the latest batch can achieve are palpable.

"We're looking to not only win AIC but also to go on and win the Molten CBSQ tournament," Small said.

"Hopefully, we can reach that number one and go to nationals.

"We'll be training as hard as we possibly can."

With the outstanding performances of the Logan Atkins-led 2019 edition firmly etched into their minds, this group exudes a confidence and an unspoken resolve.

That belief owes largely to the imposing presence and sublime skills of ironically named big man Small but he is not the only team member with maroon aspirations.

Small forward Nathan May and electric guard Benicio Hortle are two more fine young Eddies men tipped to have what it takes to reach such heights should results fall their way.

"These two definitely have the talent (to represent Queensland)," Small said.

"It's just a matter of whether they are going to trial or not but they both have a chance"

Typically played as a round robin, the AIC Basketball competition will instead feature two pools of four when it gets underway next term, with sides to contest crossover finals according to ranking.

While COVID-19 has hampered preparations, the firsts were able to begin training outdoors two weeks ago with limited numbers.

With the situation the same for every line-up, there is no thought of excuses and the blue and white are backing their ability.

"It's a little step back but I feel like we can still come through train hard and bounce back and go on and win the championship," he said.

Confined to their homes during the pandemic shutdown, the boys have dearly missed sport and are bursting at the seams to get back out on court.

Small said sport was not only an indispensable part of the college co-curricular program and his school life, but had also helped shape his character and values.

"I feel that without sport I wouldn't be who I am today because sport has obviously helped me make a lot of friends and helped me just to develop as a person," he said.

"I'm very keen to get back out there."

The Molten CBSQ tournament is currently scheduled for September 17 at Logan in South Brisbane.