2015 Australian U18’s Nationals - Quarterfinals Previews
We’re now at the back end of the tournament, with teams demonstrating an increased sense of urgency as the quarterfinals games begin.
As we look at the field remaining, there’s no outright favourite in either the Men’s or Women’s division so we’re in for an exciting end to the tournament.
NSW Country vs WA Metro | 1pm
NSW Country has improved their game each day, playing with a certain toughness that seems to be synonymous with every NSW Country side. They’ll face a WA Metro squad who, although have looked shaky throughout the week, may be able to surprise some teams if Andrew Ferguson manages to make the most of his size on both end of the floor. This game will likely come down to the guard play, with NSW Country’s Angus Glover and Matthew Kenyon – both of whom are a part of the 16-man Australian u19 squad – playing some great basketball over the last few days of action.
NSW Country: Myles Cherry (17.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg), Matthew Kenyon (14.2 ppg, 6 rpg)
WA Metro: Corey Shervill (12.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg), Andrew Ferguson (8.8 ppg, 9 rpg)
Prediction: NSW Country
VIC Metro vs VIC Country | 3pm
We’re used to see this Victorian interstate matchup toward the end of the tournament but, because of VIC Country’s up and down play, these two squads have been matched up against each other early in the finals stages. VIC Metro finished the pool rounds with a 5-0 record and are heading into this game as the favourites. Andreas Panayiotou has done a great job inside the paint while Gabe Hadley, despite shooting poorly this tournament, is still a major threat from the perimeter. Despite having capable three-point shooters, VIC Country has struggled from behind the arc all tournament, something that will need to change if they’re to compete in this game – Samuel Short and Samuel Whelan being key in that regard.
VIC Metro: Gabe Hadley (21.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg), Andreas Panayiotou (19 ppg, 9.3 rpg)
VIC Country: Samuel Short (12.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg), Thomas Pupavac (11.2 ppg, 4 rpg)
Prediction: VIC Metro
NSW Metro vs SA Metro | 5pm
This quarterfinal matchup will be the most intriguing, with no real favourite heading in to the game. SA Metro’s Jacob Rigoni matching up against NSW Metro’s big-man duo of Deng Gak and Adam Lulka will be key, with Gak looking to rebound after a subpar performance in his last game. Both squads have also exhibited impressive bench play throughout the week, with Louis Stenmark and Grant Anticevich providing a consistent boost off the bench for NSW Metro while Isaac White has shot the ball extremely well from the perimeter for SA Metro.
NSW Metro: Deng Gak (12.3 ppg, 8 rpg), Brennan Rymer (14.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg)
SA Metro: Isaac White (19 ppg, 3.8 rpg), Jacob Rigoni (17.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg)
Prediction: NSW Metro
Queensland North vs ACT | 7pm
William McDowell-White is showing no ill-effects from a shoulder injury, posting 36 points and 10 rebounds in QLD North’s win over SA Metro in Day 5’s action. That will be key as QLD North looks to remain dominant heading into the finals games. However, the key heading into this game will be Harry Froling, who will face no real threat from ACT inside the paint. James Toohey has been great for ACT while William Cooper has provided a lot of energy off the bench but QLD North is the overwhelming favourite in this quarterfinal matchup.
QLD North: Harry Froling (19.8 ppg, 14.2 rpg), William McDowell-White (24.5 ppg, 8.8 rpg)
ACT: James Toohey (14 ppg, 5.5 rpg), Jarrod Phillips (10.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg)
Prediction: QLD North
SA Country vs NSW Country | 11am
The first quarterfinal in the Women’s division will see SA Country face NSW Country, SA Country the slight favourite entering the game. Sarah Elsworthy and Chelsea Brook have provided a great inside-out tandem for SA Country, with the duo leading their squad to a 5-1 record at the end of pool play. Abbey George will be extremely important defending the paint, while Lara McSpadden will need to continue her great form for NSW Country to compete.
SA Country: Sarah Elsworthy (13.2 ppg, 3 rpg, 3.8 apg), Chelsea Brook (10.8 ppg, 9.2 rpg)
NSW Country: Lara McSpadden (12.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg), Madison Goddard (12.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg)
Prediction: SA Country
VIC Country vs NSW Metro | 1pm
VIC Country has had an impressive start to this tournament, with a number of standout players leading them to a 5-0 record at the end of pool play. Chantel Horvat has been the key player for VIC Country, capping off a great stretch of basketball with an efficient 34 point, 14 rebound performance in yesterday’s action. With VIC Country boasting Horvat on the wing, they also have the luxury of having the inside presence of Chloe Bibby and Genna Ogier – both of whom have been consistently effective all tournament. NSW Metro will need Bree Delaney to be on her game, with her game being up and down throughout the tournament. Elizajane Loader has had a great start to the tournament so she’ll also be key for NSW Metro as they’ll look to establish there perimeter play early.
VIC Country: Chantel Horvat (17.8 ppg, 8.3 rpg), Chloe Bibby (15.3 ppg, 9.8 rpg)
NSW Metro: Elizajane Loader (13.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg), Bree Delaney (12.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg)
Prediction: VIC Country
SA Metro vs Queensland South | 3pm
Although SA Metro seem like the clear favourite heading into this quarterfinal matchup, QLD South’s size may prove to be a difference maker. Zitina Aokuso has had an extraordinary tournament, dominating the paint on both ends of the floor. With SA Metro lacking a player with that kind of imposing size, it may open up an opportunity for QLD South to steal this one. However, SA Metro’s guard play is arguably the most impressive in the tournament, with both Bianca Thacker and Morgan Yaeger in impressive form throughout the tournament. SA Metro shoots from the perimeter extremely well, a trait that helped last year’s SA Metro squad go far in this tournament.
SA Metro: Bianca Thacker (16.5 ppg, 10 rpg), Morgan Yaeger (14.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg)
QLD South: Zitina Aokuso (15 ppg, 13.6 rpg), Carleigh Patrick (14.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg)
Prediction: SA Metro
VIC Metro vs WA Metro | 5pm
Despite having a 6-0 record in the tournament, we’re still yet to see the best that this VIC Metro squad can offer. Anneli Maley is arguably the most talented player in the tournament and she’s yet to have much asked of her, a scary prospect for an opponent. With Maley and Maddison Rocci leading the way, while receiving an impressive contribution from youngsters, Najvada George and Ezi Magbegor, VIC Metro is expected to cruise through this quarterfinal matchup. Amy Atwell has be consistent for WA Metro, while Mia Satie – despite being a bottom-age player – has also stepped up her game, but VIC Metro’s depth may prove to be too much for them.
VIC Metro: Anneli Maley (10.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg), Najvada George (17 ppg, 4.5 rpg)
WA Metro: Amy Atwell (14.5 ppg, 5 rpg), Mia Satie (8.3 ppg, 8.5 rpg)
Prediction: VIC Metro
Thank you for loving Aussie hoops! From Kein, Damian and #TeamPnR