Written by Celine Shashati
22 February, 2024

The 2024 edition of the Spalding Waratah Under 20’s Tournament came to a riveting close over the weekend at Newcastle Basketball Stadium, after three rounds of intense competition.

In its third year of the tournament, the men’s division saw 13 teams compete for the championship spot, but ultimately it was the Inner West Bulls that defeated the Sutherland Sharks (grand finalists for the second year in a row) 91-82 to claim victory.

The 2024 Spalding Waratah U20’s Tournament saw the women’s division return since the tournament’s inaugural year. The four women’s teams battled at the final round to claim the top seed, but the Inner West Bulls proved triumphant, beating out Wagga Wagga Blaze 72 to 62.

Basketball NSW, Senior Manager for Competitions & Leagues, Chanelle Bailey, expressed her pride with such a thrilling start to the year, with the growing tournament.

“We extend our gratitude to all association delegates for their steadfast support in advancing this distinctive competition, aimed at bridging the gap between Junior and Senior levels,” remarked Bailey.

“These recent weeks of competition have opened new avenues for teams, providing opportunities for players transitioning out of junior competitions, to now compete at a heightened level and fortify the pathway for senior competitions.”

“We are particularly pleased at the addition of the women’s division for the 2024 tournament. Having four women’s teams participate elevates gender diversity, and I eagerly anticipate witnessing this growth continue for 2025.”

BNSW would like to thank the following teams from the men’s division for their participation over the three weekends; Central Coast Waves, Cessnock Cobras, Hawkesbury Jets, Hornsby Ku-Ring-Gai Spiders, Inner West Bulls, Newcastle Falcons, Port Macquarie Dolphins, St George Saints, Sutherland Sharks, Valley Braves, Wagga Wagga Heat, West Sydney Wolves and West Wyalong Wildcats.

Secondly, a big congratulations to the following teams for the women’s division for bringing the heat at the final round of the tournament; Central Coast Waves, Inner West Bulls, Newcastle Falcons and Wagga Wagga Blaze.

Not only does the tournament provide the space for athletes to participate, but also a learning development opportunity for our referees, early in the season. BNSW would like to acknowledge the 27 officials who also took the opportunity to develop their skills over both weekends, and receive feedback, towards being appointed to officiate in the Spalding Waratah Senior League for the 2024 season. 

BNSW extends a big congratulations to the referees selected for the Grand Finals; with Matthew Walker, Broughton Hamilton and Maddie Suprain officiating the men’s division, and Josh Garnon and Issy Naylor officiating the women’s division.

Well done to the referees who participated; Aasish Joshi, Adam Capotosto, Brooklyn Tsykalas, Broughton Hamilton, Caitlyn Bloomfield, Cooper Skelly, Elouise Pelaez, Jack Li, Jack Mortimer, Jason Martinez, Jeremy Karam, Jess Berndt (Lomnicki), Josh Garnon, Kaitlyn Neate, Kaitryel Pelaez, Kale Armstrong, Lachlan Nicholas, Maddie Suprain, Matthew Ganderton, Matthew Slough, Matias Chong, Matt Walker, Michael Beevers, Nick Newman, Ron Josephs, Sam R Jackson and Xavier Cavanagh-Down. 

The tournament was hosted at a range of locations, with Round 1 at Sutherland Basketball Stadium, Round 2 at Shoalhaven Indoor Sports Centre, and Round 3 at Newcastle Basketball Stadium.

The countdown is officially ON for the 2024 Spalding Waratah League, beginning on the 16th of March – check out the draw HERE.

Take a look at some photos of the Tournament on the Basketball NSW Waratah League Facebook Page HERE.

View the final standings and scores for the men’s division HERE, and the women’s division HERE.