2015 U16’s Nationals – Tournament Recap

Queensland has swept the U16's Australian Junior Championships, with Queensland North winning the gold medal in the Men's Championship, whilst Queensland South took home the Women's title.

We recap the event - with our all-tournament picks, MVP's, as well as our final thoughts on the respective championship games.

Photo credit: Basketball Australia/Kangaroo Photos

Men's Basketball

The Men's championship game was a fitting end to this year's Australian Junior Championships, with Queensland North defeating VIC Metro in an exciting affair that went down to the wire.

Queensland North | Photo credit: Basketball Australia/Kangaroo Photos

Sam Froling showed to be one of the premier young big-men in the country, posting 17 points and 15 rebounds, while Kody Stattman had his best showing of the tournament with 24 points - including six 3-pointers.

As expected, Queensland North opened the game by feeding the ball down low to Sam Froling - who had been dominant from the low-block all week. Froling had some impressive finishes around the rim, whilst also showing his ability to pass out of the post - with his guards hitting their open shots from the perimeter.

VIC Metro didn't have the height to compete with Queensland North, so they relied on their shooting from the perimeter to stay in the game, with Sean Macdonald showing a smooth stroke throughout the first period.

Sean Macdonald | Photo credit: Basketball Australia/Kangaroo Photos

With VIC Metro unable to handle the size and length of Queensland North's bigs in the post, they opted to double-team, leading to a number of tough looks and turnovers. The double teams, however, would leave Queensland's shooters wide open, with Stattman, in particular, showing off his impressive range.

Queensland North would enter the final period with a 59-50 lead, as they looked like they were going to run away with the game.

The fourth quarter was when Tyler Robertson - who had been extremely consistent throughout the tournament - started to impose himself on the low block. VIC Metro picked up their defensive intensity, which led to more fluidity on the offensive end.

Aiden Krause | Photo credit: Basketball Australia/Kangaroo Photos

With 1:24 left in the game, Robertson grabbed an offensive rebound and converted the put-back - plus the foul. He would miss the free-throw but that bucket gave VIC Metro their first lead - 70-69 - since midway through the first quarter.

After some scrappy play from both squads, Stattman scored in the lane, Queensland North leading 71-70 with 27 second to play.

VIC Metro would struggle to get good looks to even the game, while Queensland North knocked down their free throws to seal the win - and the championship.

Watch a full replay of the game below. The boxscore can be found here.

All Tournament Team

Jackson Hately (SAM) - 20.9, 6.3 rpg - In an SA Metro squad that wasn't as deep as some of the other teams in the tournament, Jackson Hately managed to step up his game to help his team compete. Leading the tournament in scoring, Hately exhibited his impressive scoring versatility, despite showing to be inefficient at times.

Tyler Robertson (VICM) - 13.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg - In a VIC Metro squad that saw a number of players step up at different moments over the week, Robertson was their most consistent force. The forward out of Dandenong plays the game with a lot of heart, hustling for every rebound and loose ball. Angus Bradtke was the enforcer inside the paint, while Keli Leaupepe brought energy off the bench, but it was Robertson who was the glue that held this year's VIC Metro team together - helping them to a second place finish.

Callum Dalton (QLDS) - 20.3 ppg, 12 rpg - Callum Dalton showed himself to arguably be the most talented player in this age group, putting up impressive numbers across the board during this tournament. His ability to affect the game on both ends of the floor, along with his efficiency, make him all but a lock for the Australian U17 squad later this year.

Sam Froling (QLDN) - 17.2 ppg, 11.3 rpg - Froling entered the tournament as one of the players to watch, having already performed well at this event last year. Sporting a growth spurt - putting him at around 6'8 - Froling asserted himself, leading Queensland North all the way to the championship. With his great improvement, as well as his team's success, Sam Froling was our pick for tournament MVP.

Lachlan Dent (NSWC) - 18.6 ppg, 2.9 apg - Dent entered the tournament as one of the elite guards for his age in the country. He played with a lot of intensity, getting his teammates involved whilst also doing an impressive job getting to the free throw line. He would finish the tournament as one of the leading scorers, helping his NSW Country squad to an admirable fourth place finish.

On the outside looking in: Tre Armstrong, Keli Leaupepe, Angus Bradtke.

Tournament MVP: Sam Froling

Sam Froling | Photo credit: Basketball Australia/Kangaroo Photos

Sam Froling | Photo credit: Basketball Australia/Kangaroo Photos

Women's Basketball

The Women's championship game saw SA Metro, the defending champions, take on a deep and talented Queensland South squad. It was a back-and-forth affair, but ultimately it was the Queenslanders who walked away with the title - winning 59-58 in a thriller.

Queensland South | Photo credit: Basketball Australia/Kangaroo Photos

Miela Goodchild finished with a game-high 18 points, along with 7 rebounds. Ula Motuga chipped in with a double-double (10 points and 10 rebounds), while Shyla Heal, despite shooting 0-for-9, finished with 4 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists, along with the game-winning free-throws.

SA Metro came out as the aggressors to start the first quarter, looking to feed the ball down low to Darcy Rees whenever possible. Queensland South initially struggled to score the ball inside the paint, Rees' length proving too difficult to score over, but, luckily for the Queenslanders, they began to hit their shots from the perimeter.

Miela Goodchild, who focused on scoring in the paint throughout the early stages of the tournament, hit two in a row from beyond the arc, breaking Queensland South's scoring drought.

Queensland South | Photo credit: Basketball Australia/Kangaroo Photos

Queensland South would go on a run to end the second quarter - led by Goodchild and Ula Motuga - heading into the main break with a 33-27 lead.

With the usually consistent Samantha Simons struggling from the field, Darcy Rees stepped up and controlled the tempo, doing an extremely impressive job creating out of the high post. SA Metro would go on a run of their own, with the score tied at 41-41 heading into the fourth quarter.

The teams went back and forth throughout the fourth quarter, with SA Metro's Elissa Brett hitting a layup with 22 seconds to go, giving them a 58-57 lead.

Elissa Brett - SA Metro | Photo credit: Basketball Australia/Kangaroo Photos

The ensuing play saw Shyla Heal - who had done a great job controlling the pace of the game in the dying minutes - draw a foul with 12 seconds left in the game - calmly slotting both free throws.

Elissa Brett would miss a long three-pointer at the buzzer, with Queensland South dethroning the defending champions.

Watch a full replay of the game below. The boxscore can be found here.

All Tournament Team

Samantha Simons (SAM) - 14.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg - Samantha Simons was a key player for SA Metro during last year's amazing championship run, and she was just seconds away from winning her second in a row. Despite falling short in the championship game, Simons had a brilliant tournament, showing off her versatility and leadership for her silver-medal winning squad.

Cassidy Gould (VICM) - 10 ppg, 5.8 rpg - Gould was VIC Metro's key player throughout the entire tournament, leading the way on both ends of the floor. Her ability to score around the rim has improved immensely, and her ability to defend multiple positions proved to be big as VIC Metro earned a respectable third place.

Rosemary Schweizer (ACT) - 15.2 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 2.9 apg - Although ACT had their struggles throughout the week, Rosemary Schweizer was a bright spot for them. The 5'8 guard was extremely efficient, whilst also being a consistent threat on the offensive end over the entire tournament.

Chelsea D'Angelo (VICC) - 14.4 ppg, 7.9 rpg - Chelsea D'Angelo helped her VIC Country squad to an admirable 4th place finish, posting impressive numbers in every game this week. D'Angelo, along with Jazmin Shelley, proved to be one of the most dynamic backcourt duos in the tournament - the two guards exhibiting some great chemistry.

Miela Goodchild (QLDS) - 13.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg - Goodchild was Queensland South's rock throughout the tournament, ultimately helping to lead them to the championship. She thrived off her slashing ability to score the majority of her points throughout the week, before getting into rhythm from downtown in the gold medal game. Goodchild's consistent effort for the championship winning squad makes her our selection for tournament MVP.

On the outside looking in: Charlisse Leger-Walker, Emma Clarke, Jazmin Shelley.

Tournament MVP: Miela Goodchild

Miela Goodchild | Photo credit: Basketball Australia/Kangaroo Photos

Miela Goodchild | Photo credit: Basketball Australia/Kangaroo Photos

Credit to the staff at the event for putting together another great Australian Junior Championship, and a big thanks to Basketball Australia and Kangaroo Photos for generously allowing us to use their photos from the tournament. Don’t forget to check out all of the photos from the tournament at the Kangaroo Photos website.

Lastly, a big thank you to everyone who has followed along with our coverage of the tournament!