Centralian Advocate - May 8 01
NBL stars inspire ambitious hodge
Alice Springs youngster Kaine Hodge dreams of playing in the National Basketball League – on Saturday night he took a big step towards realizing that dream.

Hodge, 18, almost stole the show as the Alice Springs Titans beat Hodge’s Alice Springs All Stars 107-106 at Traeger Stadium.

After being 15 points down in the third quarter, the All Stars restricted the Titans for scoring for the first four minutes of the last quarter.

Then in a moment of glory he will long remember, Hodge slotted a two pointer to give his All-Stars the lead for the first time.

After the match an elated Hodge said: “My dream is to play in the NBL and this event has strengthened my driving ambition.”

Hodge’s team was a point down with a second to go when his team-mate, fellow Alice Springs basketballer Jonathan Schwalger, took a pot shot under pressure inside the arc and the crowd held its breath.

He missed.

The stars, who represented the Victoria Titans and various NBL clubs, kept the crowd entertained throughout the match, including Daryl ‘D Mac’ MacDonald and Brett Wheeler.

MacDonald delighted the crowd by popping an ‘alley oop’ for Wheeler to slam dunk.

At times MacDonald got too cute with his array of skills allowing the Titans defence to close in on him.

Alice Springs player Jules Braud was unstoppable all night, top scoring with an amazing 44 points.

When on the rare occasion Braud missed, court announcer – Cairns Taipans star ‘Dewey’ Michaels – said: “He is human after all.”

Local girl Lara Coughlin felt comfortable in the spotlight scoring at a crucial time to put the All Stars within four points early in the second half, while Sera Bray (All Stars) and Linda Camilleri (Titans) also had solid games.

Victoria Titans star Chris Anstey, a former Dallas Maverick and Chicago Bull, had not yet recovered from the injury he sustained in the NBL finals and served as an announcer during the breaks.

The under 18 curtain raiser provided a great warm up for the main event with state representatives Josh Bollard and James McLoughlan showcasing their silky skills.

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