NETBALL: The Cathedral College Open A team has finished third out of 20 teams at the Vicki Wilson Cup.
The girls suffered an agonising one-point loss in their semi-final against Helensvale State High but bounced back to score a convincing 36-24 win over John Paul College to shore up third place.
TCC was the only team outside the south-east corner to finish in the top eight at the Cup, which is recognised as the premier netball competition for high schools across Queensland.
Coach Renee Williams could not speak highly enough of the performance.
"There were so many highlights over the weekend. I'm just really proud of the whole team and how they rose to such a massive occasion,” she said.
"They were very disappointed about the semi-final defeat and rightfully so, but they pulled themselves together and fired up because they still had a job to do.
"They really wanted that podium finish.”
Williams paid the champion team one of the biggest compliments possible, rating its 44-22 quarter-final win over Somerset College as one of the best games she had ever seen played by a TCC team.
"It was a collective effort; there was not one player not doing their job.
"A feature of the game was the weaving through the mid-court by Tori Rouse, Zeckeisha Oakley and Jane Childes, and our shooters were 100% accurate.
"I had people coming up to me saying what a pleasure it was to watch that game - and it really was.”
Williams praised Liezel Viljoen for her relentless efforts in defence, which really came to the fore in the win over John Paul College.
The girls topped their pool after four wins on the opening, defeating Cairns State High 47-9, All Hallows 30-28, Fairholme College 26-22 and St Margaret's College 36-13.
Williams said goal shooter Brielle Kennedy, who played through the carnival with a suspected broken finger suffered in the first game, epitomised the courage and commitment of the side.
"The girls came up against some quite physical sides but they didn't let that deter them.
"I saw every one of them knocked to the ground and they got back up and played on and I think that's a real testament to their character.
"It was that determination and not giving up in the fight that was so impressive.”
No better was that illustrated than in the semi-final.
TCC was down by seven goals but clawed its way back to lead by one only to be run down in the dying minute of the game.
Williams said the third-placed finish was a good way to send out the senior quartet of captain Lily Bartlem, Ellie Nasser, Tori Rouse and Jane Childes in their last outing for TCC.
Fellow Year 12 player Laynii Hetherington, who had also been an integral part of the team's ongoing success but was sidelined with injury, was there to support her teammates.
"There were lots of tears at the end of the last game but they were mostly tears of joy,” Williams said.
"They know that the team is in good hands with the young talent coming through and they want them to do well next year.”