After Day 3’s action, we’re beginning to separate the favourites from the rest of the pack as we reach the latter end of the pool games.
The Queensland North Men had a great day of basketball by sweeping their double-header but it’s the NSW Metro squad that’s coming up the ranks as one of the favourites in the tournament.
Queensland South 50, NSW Metro 96
One of the dark horses heading into this tournament was NSW Metro and, if their current play is any indication, they’re a squad that could go all the way. The team is centred around front court duo, Deng Gak and Adam Lulka, both of whom have been extremely efficient throughout the tournament thus far. Day 3 saw them defeat an injury-plagued Queensland South Squad in what was, yet again, another brilliant team effort. Gak was particularly impressive, making a number of highlight plays as the young big-man continues to develop. Queensland South will be without Will Magnay for the rest of the tournament after suffering a knee injury, a huge blow for a squad that look promising heading into the week.
Queensland South: Riley Martin (13 pts, 5 rbs)
NSW Metro: Deng Gak (20 pts, 7 rbs), Jayden Prakash (13 pts, 6/6 FT)
NSW Country 79, SA Metro 63
NSW Country suffered a loss in their opening game of the tournament but have since bounced back, looking stronger than ever in a win against SA Metro. Angus Glover, who had been struggling from the field so far in the tournament, had his breakout game – posting 24 points while shooting 77% from the field. It’s important for Glover to be efficient from the perimeter in order to make the most of Myles Cherry and Makuach Maluach’s ability to dominate inside the paint. SA Metro were looking strong up until this point but, against a quality opponent like NSW Country, their guards weren’t able to make an impact.
NSW Country: Angus Glover (24 pts, 10/13 FG), Myles Cherry (16 pts, 4 rbs)
SA Metro: Jacob Rigoni (18 pts, 8 rbs)
Queensland North 92, VIC Country 55
In what was Queensland North’s second game of the day, they put on an efficient performance to defeat a solid VIC Country squad. Earlier in the day, QLD North’s star guard William McDowell-White had his arm in a sling due to an apparent bone chip in his shoulder – a sight that seemed to indicate that we’d seen the last of him in this tournament. However, it seems as though he’ll be playing through the injury, posting an extremely impressive 25 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists in what was a great defensive effort for QLD North. Harry Froling, who had a triple-double against Northern Territory earlier in the day, finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds in his fourth straight double-double performance of the tournament.
Queensland North: William McDowell-White (25 pts, 6 rbs, 5 asts), Harry Froling (16 pts, 12 rbs)
VIC Country: Samuel Short (12 pts, 7 rbs), Marko Vekic (10 pts, 4 rbs)
Northern Territory 35, Queensland North 121
Northern Territory: Matteo Rowse (17 pts, 4 rbs)
Queensland North: Harry Froling (17 pts, 16 rbs, 10 asts, 5 stls), Ethan Betts (20 pts, 7 rbs)
VIC Country 70, WA Country 56
VIC Country: Samuel Short (18 pts, 7 asts), Thomas Pupavac (15 pts, 3 rbs)
WA Country: Taj Fleming (12 pts, 5 rbs, 4 asts)
VIC Metro 68, WA Metro 58
VIC Metro: Andreas Panayiotou (20 pts, 13 rbs), Patrick Bines (14 pts, 4 rbs)
WA Metro: Corey Shervill (16 pts, 5 rbs), Jhonny Lutula (11 pts, 3 rbs)
ACT 72, SA Country 55
ACT: James Toohey (22 pts, 5 rbs), Alex Ophel (12 pts, 8 rbs, 3 asts)
SA Country: Brad Rathjen (17 pts, 2 asts), Harrison Mills (2 pts, 16 rbs, 3 blks)
Tasmania 91, Northern Territory 63
Tasmania: Kallum Paul (10 pts, 10 rbs), Brady Armstrong (15 pts, 5 asts, 6 stls)
Northern Territory: Matteo Rowse (39 pts, 3 rbs), Joshua Gericke (12 rbs, 4 asts)
Queensland South 69, SA Country 75
This matchup saw two of the stronger teams in the tournament go at each other, with SA Country coming away with the victory behind an impressive second half performance. QLD South’s Zitina Aokuso was, once again, brilliant in this game, dominating the glass on both ends of the floor whilst demonstrating her efficiency on the offensive end. However, it was SA Country’s Sarah Elsworthy and Chelsea Brook who put together a determined second half performance to run away with the game. SA Country remains undefeated in the tournament with an impressive 4-0 record.
Queensland South: Zitina Aokuso (19 pts, 14 rbs), Sophie Johnston (13 pts, 5 asts)
SA Country: Chelsea Brook (16 pts, 9 rbs), Sarah Elsworthy (16 pts, 5 stls)
ACT 31, VIC Metro 123
In our tournament preview, VIC Metro was our pick to win the tournament, and they showed why in a dominant effort against ACT. Najvada George, who is one of the younger players on the squad, put forward an extraordinary effort – including 7-of-9 from behind the arc – as VIC Metro cruised to victory. As is usually the case with the smaller states, ACT was unable to keep up with the depth of their opponent – struggling to get any easy looks over the length and athleticism of the VIC Metro front-court. Still undefeated in the tournament, VIC Metro will face another undefeated team in SA Country during Day 4’s action.
ACT: Annabelle Lindsay (10 pts, 7 rbs)
VIC Metro: Najvada George (27 pts, 7/9 3pt), Monique Andriuolo (23 pts, 7 rbs)
Northern Territory 34, VIC Country 104
Another team that is very quietly dominating the tournament is VIC Country, who defeated Northern Territory to earn their third win in a row. As expected, VIC Country’s size was overwhelming, led by Chloe Bibby whose 11 rebounds all came on the offensive end. Chantel Horvat is stepping up as a leader for this squad, not settling for perimieter jumpers – instead choosing to be aggressive and attack the rim. Horvat is currently second in the tournament in scoring (19 ppg) while Bibby is sitting in the fourth spot (17 ppg). In Day 4’s action, VIC Country will face WA Metro while the Northern Territory will face QLD North – both of whom are looking for their first win of the tournament.
Northern Territory: Abby Cubillo (13 pts, 5 rbs)
VIC Country: Chloe Bibby (15 pts, 11 rbs), Chantel Horvat (19 pts, 3 stls)
Queensland North 59, NSW Country 95
Queensland North: Briana Bailey (14 pts, 3 rbs)
NSW Country: Lara McSpadden (22 pts, 7 rbs), Madison Goddard (17 pts, 7 rbs, 6 asts, 4 stls)
SA Metro 73, WA Metro 64
SA Metro: Morgan Yaeger (18 pts, 5 rbs), Nicola Mathews (16 pts, 3/5 3pt)
WA Metro: Amy Atwell (17 pts, 8 rbs), Ruby Schleicher (6 pts, 6 rbs, 5 asts)
NSW Metro 73, WA Country 63
NSW Metro: Elizajane Loader (16 pts, 6 rbs, 4 asts), Madison Hare (12 pts, 8 rbs)
WA Country: Mackenzie Hoycard (25 pts, 12 rbs), Georgia Denehey (17 pts, 5 rbs)
Tasmania 71, ACT 52
Tasmania: Rebecca Abel (23 pts, 3 rbs, 3 asts), Taylor Mole (7 pts, 16 rbs)
ACT: Annabelle Lindsay (22 pts, 13 rbs)