Australian U19 Gems squad selected for FIBA Oceania U19 Championships | Roster + Preview
The Jayco Australian U19 Women's squad has been named in preparation for the 2014 FIBA Oceania Pacific Youth Championships, tipping off on the 1st of December in Fiji. A successful showing would see the 'Gems' qualify for the 2015 FIBA Under 19 World Championship for Women in Chekhov, Russia next July.
Australian junior stars Kristy Wallace (left) and Lauren Scherf (right) - Courtesy Basketball Australia
Jayco Australian U19 Women's squad
Rachel ANTONIADOU - VICC
Montana FARRAH-SEATON - NSWC
Ella HELLESSEY - VICC
Chantel HORVAT - VICC
Anneli MALEY - VICM
Lauren SCHERF - VICM
Demi SKINNER - SAC
Alanna SMITH - VICM
Tahlia TUPAEA - NSWM
Kristy WALLACE - QLDS
Chloe BIBBY - VICC
Mikayla PIRINI - WAM
Head Coach – Paul Goriss
Assistant Coaches – Jonathan Goodman and Larissa Anderson
Manager – Michele Menso
Doctor – Dr Maja Markovic
Physiotherapist – Jessica Thornton (2014)
Schedule vs American Samoa Monday, December 1 1:00pm Vodafone Arena Court 1 vs PNG Tuesday, December 2 2:00pm Vodafone Arena Court 2 vs New Caledonia Tuesday, December 3 10:00am Vodafone Arena Court 2 BYE vs Guam Thursday, December 4 1:00pm Vodafone Arena Court 1
All times are local (GMT+13)
The Finals games will be played on the 5th & 6th of December.
All games are expected to be live-streamed. We'll provide links to live-streams and live-stats as we receive them.
Kristy Wallace will likely be the main contributor at the point guard spot for this U19 squad. The recent Baylor University signee averaged 18.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 5.2 apg & 3.2 spg for Queensland at the U20's Australian Junior Championships early this year and was subsequently invited to attend an Opals training camp. Wallace is a terrific passer with an extremely high IQ. A dynamic offensive talent, Wallace will lead the backcourt throughout this entire U19's campaign.
Although she's just 17, Tahlia Tupaea was a member of the bronze medal-winning U19 squad back in 2013. She has the unique ability to dominate a game on both ends of the floor, using her unmatched strength get the upper-hand on her matchup. She has the ability to play both guard positions so look for her to switch regularly and, if need be, even slide down to the 3-spot at times.
Tahlia Tupaea | Courtesy FIBA via Basketball Australia
Filling the mould of a typical Victorian guard is Rachel Antoniadou - she has a small frame but has the ability to race up and down the floor efficiently. She'll use her quickness to get into the paint and has the offensive awareness to make good decisions on the break. She'll be an extremely important part of the squad whether she starts next to Wallace or comes off the bench to back up the point guard spot.
Rounding out the guards is NSW's Montana Farrah-Seaton. Farrah-Seaton has great size as a guard and has the versatility to slide down to the small forward position (something that will likely come in handy due to Alex Sharp's (shoulder injury) omission from the squad). Farrah-Seaton has been very impressive during SEABL action, her athleticism proving to be one of her main strengths.
Anneli Maley was Australia's most impressive performer at the FIBA U17 World Championship for women, drawing rave reviews from coaches and scouts alike. Her game has grown immensely during her time at the Basketball Australia National CoE and is one of the country's best junior talents. Her mobility and athleticism gives her the ability to play the small forward position but she's also had a lot of success as a power forward or centre.
Anneli Maley | Courtesy Kangaroo Photos/Basketball Australia
A dark horse addition to the squad is Chantel Horvat. Horvat is an extremely versatile player - her unique combination of size, skill and quickness will be a valuable asset moving forward in this U19's campaign. She had a very impressive U18 Australian Junior Championship as a member of the silver medal winning Victoria country squad, averaging 11.3 ppg & 5.7 rpg. The only question is whether she can compete physically as one of the youngest members on the squad.
Demi Skinner brings this squad a consistent perimeter shooting threat. With a wealth of talent already on the squad, Skinner provides an impressive perimeter game that perfectly compliments the offensive presence in the paint that this squad will possess.
Lauren Scherf, along with Kristy Wallace, should prove to be the marquee name throughout the U19's campaign. Scherf has dominated every level of basketball up to this point, posting an extremely impressive 20 ppg, 11.3 rpg, 3.5 bpg on 51.6% FG at this year's U20's Australian Junior Championship. Scherf has a great touch around the rim and is unstoppable once she gets the ball in the paint. She's become one of the most dominant junior front-court players in recent memory and that should translate when she wears the green and gold.
Lauren Scherf | Courtesy Kangaroo Photos/Basketball Australia
The addition of Alanna Smith is one that should pay off for Paul Goriss and his coaching staff. Smith provides great energy as a big and will hustle for every rebound in sight. She has great hands around the rim and can finish in a multitude of ways inside the paint.
Ella Hellessey's omission from this year's U17 squad was a surprise to most - the squad was lacking quality bigs and Hellessey was coming off of an outstanding U18 Australian Junior Championships, averaging 16.6 ppg & 11 rpg for the silver-medal winning Victoria Country squad. She's a great finisher in the paint and can has developed a consistent midrange game. Hellessey has a great nose for the ball and could prove to be a valuable spark for this Gems squad.
These selections are only for the upcoming FIBA Oceania Pacific Youth Championships, with another trial to be held ahead of the World Championship for Women early next year. Notable absences from the squad include Alliyah Fareo (LSU), Keely Froling (SMU) and Alicia Froling (SMU), all of whom were unable to attend training camp due to college commitments.
The Jayco Australian U19 Women's squad will be in Fiji from the 1st to the 6th of December.