Australian U20′s Nationals Day 2 Recap – Victoria continues to roll, Dufelmeier Jr has breakout game

Day 2 of U20’s Nationals has been just as eventful as Day 1. Some of the individual performances that took place today were awe-inspiring, but it’s the extraordinary team effort from NSW and VIC – both the men’s and women’s squads – that continues to be the story of this tournament.

Credit Basketball Australia

Men’s Basketball

Tad Dufelmeier Jr shows glimpses of brilliance

It went down to the wire but ACT managed to pull away from WA in the final minutes for a 95-92 victory, with Dufelmeier playing all 40 minutes. After a stellar showing at the FIBA Oceania Pacific Championships in December last year, Dufelmeier was bound to dominate this tournament. After a sub-par opening game, he broke out in Day 2’s action with 36 points and 6 rebounds. It was Dufelmeier’s efficiency that was most impressive: 12/16 from the free throw line and just 1 turnover to post an efficiency rating of 31. Look for him to impress in tomorrow’s game against SA.

VIC men with another blowout win

There are just too many weapons on this VIC team. This time it was their bench that stepped up and helped them pull away with the massive 106-61 victory over New Zealand. Victoria’s bench, led by Jock Landale, had 48 points in the win. It’s this kind of team effort – as well as assisting on 25 of their 42 field goals – that make’s this Victoria squad to win it all.

McVeigh comes up big again for Queensland

McVeigh had another dominant performance, this time against a surprisingly underperforming Tasmania squad. He put up 34 points (11/17 FG, 9/11 FT) and 7 rebounds as QLD got the 105-78 victory over Tasmania. McVeigh was once again extremely efficient as he dominated the paint; he’s now averaging 30.5 ppg and 7 rpg for the tournament.

NSW is starting to click

NSW have come away with another impressive victory, this time overcoming the brilliance of Sam McDaniel (28 pts, 11 rbs) to defeat SA 90-72. The team has thrived around their core: Xavier Cooks' offensive versatility, Fabijan Krslovic’s size and experience, and Kai Healy’s surprising efficiency on the offensive end (80% FG through 2 games). If they continue to click the way they have been the past 2 games, the sky’s the limit for this squad. One thing that must be mentioned – however – is that a lot of their baskets come off of isolation plays. They’ll need to move the ball with more fluidity if they’re to go all the way in this tournament. Assisting on just 35% of their field goals isn’t enough for a team of this quality.

Women’s Basketball

Alliyah Fareo has anchored this NSW team to a dominant start

Australian U19 Representative Alliyah Fareo is playing extremely efficiently at the moment – 15.5 ppg, 9 rpg, 74% FG – and it’s rubbing off on her teammates. NSW has opened up the tournament with two blowout wins, they’re size seems to be too much for their opposition to handle. It’ll be interesting to see what would happen if they faced an equally big VIC side; but for now they seem to be rolling, and face an undefeated QLD side tomorrow.

Alicia Froling with another brilliant performance

It seems as though Alicia Froling has taken it upon herself to lead this Queensland team. She’s averaging 27.5 ppg& 9.5 rpg over her first two games to lead QLD to a 2-0 start. Her performance on Monday was even more impressive because 8 of her 9 field goals were in the paint. She’s playing extremely well in the absence of her sister, Keely; Let’s hope that she can keep it up against a very strong NSW side on Tuesday.

Victoria’s core will help them go all the way

This year’s Victoria women’s squad is as good as advertised. Their core group – Aussie reps Lauren Scherf, Kasey Burton and Rachel Antoniadou – has led them to two blowout wins and they don’t look like they’ll be slowing down anytime soon. Scherf provides a presence in the paint, averaging 4 blocks per game over the first two games of the tournament, while Burton and Antoniadou both come off the bench and provide a great spark for this VIC side. They’ll face WA on Tuesday.

We’ve seen some extremely efficient play from both VIC teams and both NSW teams. It’s most definitely not out of the realm of possibility that we’ll have a VIC v NSW final in both the men and women’s divisions. It is, however, far to early to say at this point. As we delve further into the tournament and toward the final’s rounds, we’ll see what each team is truly made of.

Day 3’s games:

Men’s: 9:30am – NZ vs TAS 11am – VIC vs QLD 3pm – ACT vs SA 7pm – NSW vs WA

Women’s: 1:30pm – ACT vs TAS 3pm – QLD vs NSW 5pm – WA vs VIC 7pm – SA vs NZ