It was a successful Under-18 Australian Championship week for Victorians, as both Vic Metro teams took home the trophy for the men’s and women’s divisions.
The Vic Metro boys squad finished a perfect 6-0 on the week, which concluded with a 79-51 domination of Queensland South in the grand final on Saturday. The Victorians held a major advantage in both three-point shooting, where they outscored QLD 33-12 from downtown, and on the glass, where they out-rebounded Queensland 53-39.
Sean Macdonald led Vic Metro with 19 points, while Mate Colina (13 points, 13 rebounds) and Patrick Bines (13 points, 11 rebounds) both doubled-up in the win. Nicholas Stoddart top scored for Queensland with 13 points.
The blowout win came as a surprise to many, as the two clubs faced off in a nail-bitter to tip-off the tournament last week. In that affair, Vic Metro defeated Queensland South 65-60, as Metro was able to fend off a furious late rally from QLD.
For the women, it was the same story, as the Victorians defeated Queensland South easily in the final, to collected a 76-59 win. The Victorians actually suffered a defeat in the group stages against the same Queensland unit, which led to many believing the grand final would be a lot more competitive.
That didn’t materialise, as the Victorians used a potent offensive attack and swarming defense to take care of QLD in the final. Four Victorians scored in double figures, led by Ezi Magbegor who put up 21 points, followed by Najvada George (15 points), Monique Conti (12 points) and Lucy Cochrane (10 points).
Additionally, Vic Metro was boisterous on the defensive end, racking up 11 steals on the night and not allowing Queensland to get into an offensive rhythm all game long. Jaydan Fuiava scored a game-high 26 points, but didn’t receive much help as Miela Goodchild was the only other Queenslander to score in double-figures with 15 points.
Players of the week
Kyle Bowen (Western Australia Metro)
The leading scorer throughout the week, Kyle Bowden was as dominant on the glass as he was on the scoreboard. Averaging 17.4 points and 12.4 rebounds per game, while shooting an extremely efficient 62 percent from the field, Bowden established himself as a brute inside the paint.
Bowden’s best game was his first, where he put up 28 points and 18 rebounds against Victoria Country, which kicked off a very impressive week.
Samson Froling (Queensland North)
Coming from a bloodline of successfully basketballers, Samson Froling showed that he might be the best of them all this week in Adelaide. The 7-foot giant put up 14 points and 10.4 rebounds per game in the tourney, which included 3.1 boards on the offensive glass. Froling showed his full repertoire in an April 17 outing against New South Wales Country, where he put up 21 points and 15 rebounds.
An area of concern for Froling is the 4.8 turnovers he averaged per game but with the amount of innate talent he possesses, it is an aspect of his game that he will clean up.
Kody Stattmann (Queensland North)
Kody Stattmann showed his three-point shooting skills at the U18 Championships, as he finished second in the competition in total threes made, despite shooting it at just 31 percent. In his first outing, Stattmann was a brilliant 6-of-8 from beyond the arc, where he finished with 21 points, his first of four 20-point outings of the week.
Stattmann finished the week with per game averages of 16.6 points and six rebounds per game.
Jasmine Simmons (New South Wales Country)
Jasmine Simmons was able to display her all-around game throughout the week, as she finished third in the competition for points per game (17), first in assists per game (5.4), second in rebounds per game (12.8) and fifth in steals (3.1).
Simmons was three assists shy of a triple-double three times this week, showing her capability to impact the game in a variety of different ways.
Samantha Simons (South Australia Metro)
The leagues leading scorer, Samantha Simons finished the week averaging 18.3 points per game, while shooting 40 percent from the field and 32 percent from beyond the three-point arc.
Against the Australian Capital Territory back on April 17, Simons had her best game, scoring 27 points and pulling down nine rebounds.
Monique Conti (Victoria Metro)
One of the better two-way players of the week, Conti was able to make her mark on both ends, as she finished the tournament ranked fourth in scoring (16.1) and first in steals (4.3). Additionally, Conti was also able to contribute on the glass, pulling down 4.3 rebounds per game and setting up her teammates, as she averaged 3.9 assists per game.
Conti scored in double-figures in all but one of her games during the week, as she was one of the most consistent players of the tournament.