2015 Australian U20’s Nationals Day 3 Recap – WA men back on track, VICs continue to roll

This U20's Australian Junior Championships is proving to be one of the most unpredictable of recent years. Both the NSW men's squad and the Queensland women's entered Day 3 at 2-0 and full of confidence. They'll both enter Day 4 with 2-2 records after being swept in their respective double-headers. Here's how Day 3's action panned out.

Photo credit: Basketball Australia/Kangaroo Photos


Queensland 70, South Australia 85

Benjamin Rennie | Photo credit: Basketball Australia/Kangaroo Photos

Benjamin Rennie | Photo credit: Basketball Australia/Kangaroo Photos

Queensland has continued to fall short in this tournament, this time suffering a 4th quarter collapse against South Australia. The game was close throughout, with Queensland heading into the 4th quarter with a 62-59 lead, but it was South Australia's bench that propelled them with an amazing stretch in the final period. Bradley Ficken, Nicholas Fassos and Monyjath Makoi took over the game in the 4th quarter, leading South Australia to their first win of the tournament. Jack McVeigh had another tough shooting game as Queensland now sits at 0-4 in the tournament.

Key Performers:

QLD: Matieng-Iakah Leahy (13 pts, 4 rbs)

SA: Monyjath Makoi (17 pts, 6 rbs), Nicholas Fassos (17 pts, 4 rbs)

NSW 54, Western Australia 70

Rhys Vague put on a brilliant performance, posting 37 points and 9 rebounds as he led Western Australia to their first win of the tournament. NSW entered the game as favourites and came out firing, leading WA 31-25 heading into the half. But it was WA that came out of the gates strong after the break, with Vague scoring 24 of his 37 points in the 2nd half alone. WA did a great job containing the NSW big-men, forcing them to the perimeter and making things difficult inside. This was a much needed win for WA after struggling to open the tournament.

Key Performers:

NSW: Jayden Hodgson (11 pts, 5/7 FG, 2 asts), Nicolas Pozoglou (10 pts, 4 rbs)

WA: Rhys Vague (37 pts, 9 rbs), Luke Roberts (4 pts, 8 asts)

Tasmania 50, Victoria 71

Tom Wilson | Photo credit: Basketball Australia/Kangaroo Photos

Tom Wilson | Photo credit: Basketball Australia/Kangaroo Photos

Tasmania and Victoria were the 2 hottest teams heading into this game so it was always going to be a great fixture. The other storyline heading into this game was the abundance of Australian representatives, as well as a total of 6 CoE scholarship holders scattered across both teams. Victoria's perimeter shooting, led by Dejan Vasiljevic who rediscovered his stroke from the outside, was key as they used a big 2nd half run to seal the win. Victoria was also propelled by another solid performance from Victoria's 3-man front-court rotation with Jock Perry, Abi Akintola and Matt McCarthy - all of whom were extremely active on both ends of the floor.

Key Perfomers:

TAS: Tanner Krebs (21 pts, 4 rbs), Kyle Clark (9 pts, 7 rbs)

VIC: Dejan Vasiljevic (19 pts, 5/8 3pt), Jack White (11 pts, 7 rbs)

Western Australia 66, ACT 59

Mitchell Hampson | Photo credit: Basketball Australia/Kangaroo Photos

Mitchell Hampson | Photo credit: Basketball Australia/Kangaroo Photos

Western Australia entered this game on a high after defeating a strong NSW squad. Rhys Vague was again instrumental in the win for WA, doing most of his work inside the paint despite his insistence to float out on to the perimeter. ACT simply didn't have the size to compete with WA, especially with Bul Kuol struggling with foul-trouble. Entering the day at 0-2, WA is now at a respectable 2-2 which puts them at 2nd place in the tournament.

Key Perfomers:

WA: Rhys Vague (22 pts, 9 rbs), Ruot Pal (10 pts, 2 rbs, 2 asts)

ACT: Evan Fowler (18 pts, 7 rbs, 4 stls), Bul Kuol (12 pts, 7 rbs)

Victoria 93, NSW 77

Both squads entered this game having already played once so, although this was somewhat of a marquee matchup, it was expected that they'd both show a little bit of rust. Victoria used a barrage of 3-pointers in the 2nd quarter to run away with this one, with Dejan Vasiljevic carrying the scoring load once again. NSW did a great job controlling the pace of the game, not letting Victoria run as much as they'd like to - but it was Victoria who was able to control the glass, keeping their undefeated streak alive.

Key Perfomers:

VIC: Dejan Vasiljevic (27 pts, 10/20 FG, 7 rbs), Tom Wilson (15 pts, 5/7 FG, 8 rbs)

NSW: Jayden Hodgson (20 pts, 5 rbs), Nicolas Pozoglou (20 pts, 6 rbs)


Queensland 64, Western Australia 79

Madeleine Dennis | Photo credit: Basketball Australia/Kangaroo Photos

Madeleine Dennis | Photo credit: Basketball Australia/Kangaroo Photos

Queensland showed in the first 2 days of tournament action that they may have a chance to compete with Victoria, the tournament favourites. Day 3 proved to be a different story, with Queensland losing both of their games - the first loss to a resilient Western Australia squad. Madeleine Dennis has slowly played her way into form, and she was extremely effective scoring the ball from an array of spots in this fixture. Ashlee Sidebottom proved to be an energiser off the bench as WA dominated the 2nd half to run away with this one.

Key Performers:

QLD: Courtney Woods (13 pts, 5 rbs)

WA: Madeleine Dennis (20 pts, 10 rbs), Ashlee Sidebottom (12 pts, 4 rbs, 3 asts, 3 stls)

Tasmania 57, South Australia 76

In what was an extremely fast-paced affair, South Australia managed to edge Tasmania - thanks to an impressive performance from Demi Skinner. Skinner posted 27 points and 17 rebounds, doing the majority of scoring inside the 3-point line. Both teams were happy to settle for a lot of quick shots but it was South Australia's determination to attack the paint as opposed to settling for perimieter jump-shots that put them over the edge.

Key Perfomers:

TAS: Samantha Phillips (15 pts, 7 rbs), Moriah Payne (10 pts, 5 rbs, 4 stls)

SA: Demi Skinner (27 pts, 17 rbs, 3 stls), Portia Joyce-Tubb (16 pts, 14 rbs)

Victoria 118, ACT 36

Victoria has moved to 4-0 in the tournament after a blowout win over ACT. In what was never expected to be a competitive matchup, Victoria dominated from the opening tip - getting what they wanted inside the paint whilst not allowing any easy scores for ACT. Georgia Pineau had a game-high 21 points in a shared scoring load for Victoria. Victoria never took their foot off the pedal, attacking in semi-transition the entire game - ultimately ending up with the 118-36 victory.

Key Performers:

VIC: Georgia Pineau (21 pts, 9 rbs), Alanna Smith (19 pts, 10 rbs)

ACT: Molly McPhee (12 pts, 5 rbs), Emma Bourne (8 pts, 4 rbs)

NSW 61, Queensland 49

Sara Anastasieska had her 2nd straight impressive performance, posting 27 points and 8 rebounds in NSW's big win over Queensland. Day 3 has been a tough day for Queensland, losing both of their games to move to 2-2 on the tournament. Anastasieska did a great job attacking strong at the rim, as well as finishing with great touch in the paint. The game was close throughout and we were in store for an exciting 4th quarter, but NSW put on a masterful defensive effort and ran away with it in the final minutes of the game.

Key Performers:

NSW: Sara Anastasieska (27 pts, 8 rbs, 3 stls), Riley Evans (9 pts, 4 rbs)

QLD: Tylah King (11 pts, 2 rbs), Meg Essex (7 pts, 16 rbs)