Junior basketballers across the region went head-to-head over two massive days of action recently as the South West Slammers held a tournament for aspiring youngsters. Boys and girls Under 16s and 15s teams competed at the two-day South West Carnival from October 22, split about between Manjimup and Bridgetown. The Under 16s event was held in Bridgetown on the Saturday, with Australind coming out on top in the boy’s championships and Bunbury winning in the development category. Bunbury also took out the girl’s championship tournament, with Harvey the victors in development. Manjimup, Bridgetown, Donnybrook and Collie were among the other towns to send teams to compete. October 23 saw the Under 15s get a taste of competitive basketball in Manjimup, with Harvey taking out the boy’s championship. Bridgetown Basketball Association president Craig Goulder said the carnival benefited the teams and associations with preparation for later tournaments. “It’s a good opportunity for each of the associations to raise some funds, raise their profile,” he said. “We consider this a testing of the waters before we head up for the Country Championships up in Perth in February. “It should hopefully be a more fun and less intense tournament that what happens at Country Champs and give them a bit of a taste of competitive basketball.” South West Slammers development officer and former Perth Lynx player Alexandra Ciabattoni said the tournament gave the teams and associations exposure to other divisions and levels of skill, which would benefit their future matches. “There’s hundreds of kids that have come from all over the region and all skill levels too, and they are playing in this type of tournament, that they probably don’t get to do in Perth,” she said. “It also gives them exposure to different levels, because if you’re from a smaller town that doesn’t have as many levels, you might not get the level of basketball that someone in a bigger town in the South West gets.” Ciabattoni said everyone benefited from the tournament, with team coaches and umpires being given the opportunity to learn and improve their skills throughout as well. “They get to come out and do different types of competitions, so across the board, this is good for players, the coaches and the officials as well,” she said. Ciabattoni said she hoped the Southwest Carnival helped to bring people to the other towns in the South West region. Further carnivals across other age groups will also be held across the South West throughout coming weeks.