THEY'RE STARS ON THE RISE: Monk and Exner go from strength to strength

DUBBO girls Tori Monk and Emily Exner are making the city proud as they continue to excel in junior basketball.

Tori, 13, has been selected in an New South Wales Country Under-14 All-Star team to play in Auckland, New Zealand, over Easter. 

Chosen out of 60 girls from NSW, South Australia and Tasmania, Tori has made her team and coach proud to be selected in  what could be the toughest competition in her sporting career.

Emily has recently been in Port Macquarie playing for Country in the 2013 Pacific Coast Slam. Her team won gold in the under-15s and she played “big minutes” to secure her team’s victory, according to coach Claire Hargreaves.

Dubbo’s Aiden Trait was also at the Port Macquarie competition.

Hargreaves said it was a tough tournament in Port Macquarie for the girls and they trained for two days prior to the six days of competition.

In Albury for the Australian Junior Country Basketball Cup, NSW Country was up against teams from Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand and another NSW team. The competition had about 720 kids spread out among 72 teams.

Hargreaves said she coached Tori in under-14 basketball and Emily in the under-14 Waratahs, and was excited the girls were doing so well.

“Tori is very excited to be going to New Zealand, it’s good to see local girls do well,” she said.

“She’ll be going over the Easter weekend and will be playing from April 6 to 8 and will return on the ninth. Auckland is such a big deal for Tori and it’s even more exciting because it’s the first time the team has made it to New Zealand.”

Tori said she was very surprised and didn’t know quite what to say when she was told she would be one of the All-Stars competing in Auckland.

“I couldn’t believe it. I was so happy that they picked me to be one of 14 girls to go away to New Zealand in a few months,” she said.

“I’ll be playing with girls from Gosford and Maitland for five days in Auckland. I hope I’m going to do well and really try my best. I’ll do what I need to do.”

She said she would be with her team for the first day in Auckland, and would play against New Zealand and an American team in the All-Star competition.

Tori said she will be concentrating on shooting and fitness between now and April, so she is on her best game in New Zealand.

Emily said she was overwhelmed when her team won its division and she was awarded a gold medal.

“On that particular day in the final, I found it a lot harder and challenging for me,” she said.

Emily said she would keep going with basketball and would continue to try harder in order to go  further in the game.

Adi Tratt was another Dubbo girl who played well in Port Macquarie (along with Emily) but her team didn’t make the finals.

Majayda Darcy was also a representative during the school holidays playing in Tori Monk’s team and also had a good tournament.

Dubbo players Demi Wilson and Ashleigh Taylor were also on the road and played at Albury for NSW Country in the under-16s.

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