Canobolas breaks 30-year semi-final drought

LEADING THE WAY: Matt Gray and his Canobolas side has progressed to the final four of the NSWCHS tournament. Photo: PHIL BLATCH
LEADING THE WAY: Matt Gray and his Canobolas side has progressed to the final four of the NSWCHS tournament. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

For the first time in three decades Canobolas Rural Technology High School will contest the final four of the NSW Combined High Schools series.

It’s the first time since 1987 the school has moved past the final eight, Canobolas finished second that year.

In a fun coincidence the father of the current coach, Carmen Dederer, mentored the side through that campaign, coaching the side to a grand final appearance.

After cruising to the final eight Canobolas, led by NSW under 20s star Matt Gray, claimed two wins from three games in Wednesday’s opening day of the finals.

The side edged past Narrabeen Sports High first-up, winning 62-59, and then took down Rooty Hill as well, producing a stunning performance to win 47-41.

Canobolas finished the first day with a loss to Novocastrian powerhouse Hunter Sports High, going down 65-59 in a thriller, but still won through to the semi-finals.

The Orange school takes on Sydney Boys’ High in Thursday morning’s semi-final.