U18’s Australian Junior Championships Day 2 Recap
|Olgun Uluc||Apr 12, 2014|
Day 2 of this year’s tournament has been just as exciting as Day 1. There’s been an added scrappiness to today’s action, the extra competitiveness adding to the entertainment of the day. We can also get a clear idea of who the favorite are in the tournament. Both Victoria squads are looking strong in the men’s division after starting the tournament undefeated, NSW Country also haven’t dropped a game. The women’s division is also a battle between the Victoria and NSW squads – all 4 teams looking extremely refined in the front end of the tournament.
Both Victoria teams remain undefeated
Victoria Country and Victoria Metro look like the 2 clear frontrunners in this tournament. Although SA Metro and NSW Country also have undefeated records heading into Day 3, the two Victoria teams look to have an extra bounce in their step. VIC Country picked up two solid win – one against a big NSW Metro squad and the other was a blowout against a struggling ACT side. VIC Metro have continued their amazing run led by an extremely efficient Tom Wilson – who’s shooting 68% from the field over his first 2 games. Don’t be surprised if we end up seeing an all Victoria men’s final.
NSW Country is a joy to watch
This year’s NSW Country team has carried over a few members of last year’s U16 Junior Champions – and they’re looking like they may be champions once again. They play a no-nonsense brand of basketball that’s extremely fun to watch. Jayden Hodgson went down with what looks to be an ankle injury in today’s game against Queensland North, but the squad still managed to get the 109-65 win with Harry Froling in foul trouble for most of the game. Kouat Noi is playing inspired basketball at the moment – averaging 26.3 ppg, 8 rpg on 69% FG – leading them to an impressive 3-0 start.
NSW Metro is still looking for their first win
NSW Metro played some inspired basketball when Isaac Humphries and Deng Gak were on the floor together – they protected the rim extremely well and dominated the paint on the offensive end. NSW Metro, however, prefers to play a small-ball brand of basketball that hasn’t been too effective through their first few games. They face a NZ squad tomorrow that have an impressive frontcourt, so NSW’s big-men will have to be at their best. Humphries has had an extremely impressive tournament thus far – averaging 20.5 ppg, 8 rpg, 4.5 bpg on 67% FG through 2 games. He’ll need to be at his best if NSW Metro wants to pick up their first win.
Both NSW squads are looking good early
There’s no doubt that the state of NSW has some extremely talented women at this tournament. NSW Country is led by the guard duo of Elizabeth Tonks and Jasmine Forcadilla – who are averaging 22 ppg and 34 ppg, respectively. While NSW Metro have an extremely rounded group, led by the inside-out play of Tahlia Tupaea and Dani Milisic. Both teams are playing extremely well and would be two of the only teams who would be able to challenge either Victoria team for this year’s championship.
Connie Poletti has led New Zealand to an unbeaten start
Connie Poletti is putting up some extremely impressive numbers through her first two games of this tournament. She’s averaging 15.5 ppg and 14.5 rpg on an incredible 86% from the field. It’s her efficiency, along with the great all-round play of Kayla Manuirirangi, that have New Zealand at a solid 2-0 start and a genuine threat for the Championship.
Victoria Metro remains undefeated
VIC Metro has done a terrific job controlling the boards – they outrebounded SA Country 57-30 en route to an 86-74 win. Australian representatives Anelli Maley and Alexandra Sharp have done a great job on the glass as VIC Metro is off to a 2-0 start. Although they’ve had a perfect start to the tournament, they’ll be challenged on Day 3. They face an also undefeated New Zealand squad who has been rolling on all cylinders so far. The unexpected surge of this year’s New Zealand squad, along with VIC metro’s dominance thus far, has made this game a must-watch – it tips off at 9am at Belconnen Sports Centre.
Day 3 should prove to be another exciting day of basketball. In the Men’s, it’ll be interesting to see how Queensland North and NSW Metro recover after tough losses. We’ll also see if the Victoria squads, NSW Country and SA Metro can remain undefeated. In the women’s division the game to watch is the first one of the day – VIC Metro vs New Zealand. Make sure to get down to Belconnen Sports Centre or the AIS Training Hall to check out all of the action.