2016 U20 Australian Junior Championships: Grand final wrap
The 2016 Under-20 and Ivor Burge Championships are in the book, with a familiar team holding up the trophies at the conclusion of the tournament.
The first Australian Junior Championships of 2016 concluded on Saturday Night in Ipswich, as a tremendous week of basketball was capped by an outstanding performance from a team that is making a habit of dominating this tournament.
Here is a recap from all the matches played on grand final day.
All credit for the images used in this article goes to Basketball Australia and Kangaroo Photos.
U20 Champ Men
Victoria Navy, 91 def. Victoria White, 61
Vic Navy has been the benchmark of this competition for almost a decade and nothing changed in Ipswich, as they disregarded their Victorian counterparts to take home yet another gold medal.
In what was actually a slow start from the Navy team, as their offence was stagnant thanks to some extra intensity and activity from White on the defensive end, the champions only led by six points at half time. White looked like they could pull off the upset if they continued to confuse Navy on defence and move the ball on offence, creating good looks.
Unfortunately for White, none of this occurred, as Navy came out of the break and flexed their muscle.
Jack White was a man among boys in the grand final, as he out-muscled everyone on his way to 19 points and 11 rebounds. It is an exciting time for White, as he is visiting Duke University next week. Tom Wilson, who took home tournament MVP honours, tallied 17 points and five rebounds in the win, while teammates Dejan Vasiljevic (11 points) and Matthew Owies (10 points) also had solid outings.
For the White team, Tristan Lloyd had a strong first half with 11 points but it would stay that way for the rest of the game, finishing with that same total. Hugh Baxter managed to put in 16 points and four rebounds, while Gabe Hadley, the White’s best player of the tourney, poured in 13 points in the grand final.
The White team failed to keep Navy off the boards all night long, as the strength and power of the champions allowed them to win the rebounding battle 41-27. Vic Navy also had 15 offensive rebounds and against a side with this much offensive firepower, it is deflating when the defence forces the miss but can’t secure the rebound, as Navy always seems to punish opponents on the second chance and Saturday Night was no different.
While Navy had a fairly slow start getting into their offensive flow at the beginning of the game, they would end up finishing with 19 assists. Not a great number by any means but White could only manage nine assists, so that puts is perspective how White simply couldn’t continue their strong play on both sides on the ball in the second half, after they forced Navy into a lot of isolation basketball and moved the ball well themselves in the first half.
One final area where Navy held a notable advantage over the White’s was three-point shooting. Navy nailed almost half of their long distance attempts, draining 14-of-31 triples. White on the other hand could only connect on 8-of-24 long distance attempts. Navy is an offensive powerhouse and when they are firing on all cylinders like they were on Saturday Night, good luck stopping them.
Scores from the other games played on Saturday
Australian Capital Territory, 62 def. Queensland, 55
ACT: Bul Kuol: 30 points, seven rebounds James Toohey: 12 points, seven rebounds
QLD: Verle Williams Jr: 13 points, six rebounds Denzel Kennedy: 13 points
South Australia, 84 def. New South Wales, 71
SA: Jacob Rigoni: 35 points, 12 rebounds Isaac White: 20 points
NSW: Matthew Kenyon: 24 points, 15 rebounds Sean Cranney: 12 points
U20 Champ Women
Victoria Navy, 88 def. South Australia, 66
Vic Navy proved their excellence not only in the men’s tournament but the women’s as well, taking care of South Australia in the final by 22 points.
Chloe Bibby, who was tremendous all week, led the Navy team to the title with 19 points and seven rebounds. An unlikely hero emerged for the Victorians, with Shannon Dufficy tallying a double-double with 12 points and 17 rebounds to provide her team with a huge boost in the decisive game. Another name that impressed for the Navy unit was Chantel Horvat, who recorded 17 points and six rebounds. Alexandra Sharp secured the MVP award for the women's tournament.
For a South Australian team who were hoping for a better showing in the title game, Anne Hatchard led the way with 22 points and nine rebounds. Chelsea Brook and Sarah Elsworthy were both able to record 12 points in the silver medal finish.
This one was decided on the glass, as Vic Navy outrebounded the South Australians 56-35. The Vics were constantly outworking and outhustling SA down low, as Victoria’s length and strength was too much to handle for South Australia.
Another aspect of the game that separated Victoria from South Australia was ball movement, as Navy recorded 23 dimes compared to SA’s 12. Victoria was constantly swinging the ball from side to side, which turned good shots into great shots. Conversely, South Australia was stagnant on offence throughout the entire night, struggling to get into an offensive rhythm on that end of the floor.
Scores from other games played on Saturday
Queensland, 78 def. Victoria White, 73
QLD: Kelsey Mcdermott: 22 points, 12 rebounds Zitina Aokuso- 14 points, 15 rebounds
Vic White: Ally Bates: 15 points Olivia West: 13 points, six assists
New South Wales, 87 def. Western Australia, 59
NSW: Madeleine O’Hehir: 24 points Madeleine Morris: 15 points
WA: Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard: 21 points Raya Thompson: 10 points
Ivor Burge Men
Victoria Metro, 67 def. South Australia, 53
Another piece of silverware will be added to the trophy case back at Basketball Victoria, with the Vic Metro team winning the Ivor Burge Men’s championship over South Australia by 14 points.
Jake De La Motte- who averaged an incredible 31.7 points per game across the week- led the Vics with 27 points, hitting 11-of-19 from the field. Luke Nicholls stuffed the stat sheet with 12 points, six assists and five rebounds, while Frazer Dawber doubled-up with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Cameron Slacik was an unstoppable force on the boards, grabbing 22 rebounds in the victory.
For the South Australians, Wayne Kinross and Keenan Georg-Dent ended their terrific weeks with another strong performance in the grand final. Kinross headed the scoring for SA with 26 and Georg-Dent recorded a double-double with 14 points and 19 rebounds.
The name of the game is getting the ball in the basket and ultimately, that was the deciding factor in this one. Both teams had a similar amount of field goal attempts (Metro, 66 and SA, 69) but Victoria was able to execute better throughout the contest, hitting 27 of their shots, compared to just 17 for South Australia. SA also chucked up 17 three-pointers on the game but could only connect on two of them.
Another area of dominance from Vic Metro on the game was rebounding, where they won the battle on the glass 57-49. South Australia simply had no answer to Slacik on the boards but to be fair, no one could figure out how to keep the 23-year old in check all week, as he averaged 14.1 rebounds per game in the championships.
Scores from other games played on Saturday
Victoria Country, 69 def. New South Wales, 66
Vic Country: Phillip Mahoney: 23 points Matthew Tuddenham: 10 points, 26 rebounds
NSW: Dean Pallier: 15 points, 11 rebounds Thomas Preston: 11 points, 11 rebounds
Tasmania, 94 def. Western Australia, 61
TAS: Dylan Pace: 43 points, 11 rebounds Joshua Clearly: 25 points, 21 rebounds
WA: David Rulyancich: 16 points, 18 rebounds Kenneth Opoku: 15 points, 17 rebounds
Ivor Burge Women
New South Wales, 58 def. Victoria Metro, 44
The only trophy that won’t be headed to Victoria will be the Ivor Burge Women’s, as New South Wales got it’s hands on it with a comfortable win over the Vic Metro side.
In what was a total team effort from NSW, three players stood out among the rest. Lisa Mackie led the way with 28 points and eight rebounds, while her teammate Brittany Anderson was able to secure a double-double in the victory with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Nicole Harris came four points shy of doubling-up, as she also amassed 10 rebounds but could only manage just six points.
For Vic Metro, Molly Urquhart-Moran, who has had a strong tournament after a slow start, was the top performer with 16 points and three rebounds. Kate Leckenby contributed 11 points and four assists, while Danielle Phillips, who’s had a strong showing this week, grabbed 11 rebounds.
In a game where neither team shot the ball particularly well, one of the deciding factors was New South Wales’ ability to hit the three-ball.
NSW went 6-of-17 from three-point land on the game, which isn’t an excellent percentage but it certainty isn’t horrible. It is definitely a lot better than Vic Metro, who went 0-of-1 from beyond the arc. Those extra 18 points helped New South Wales get over the line in a game in which they ultimately won by 14, so the impact their long-distance shooting had is pretty evident.
Anderson hit three triples, the most of any player on the court.
Scores from other games played on Saturday
Victoria Country, 66 def. South Australia, 20
Vic Country: Monica Ward: 13 points, 13 rebounds Chloe Turner: eight points, 21 rebounds
SA: Amy Howard: 12 points, eight rebounds Roslyn Thomas: 27 rebounds