U18’s Australian Junior Championships Day 4 Recap - NSW Country & VIC Metro men both undefeated ahead of clash
With just 4 spots in each pool going through to the finals rounds, the matches are becoming more and more important. As usual, we’ve seen NSW and Victoria impress with both their Metro and Country teams, in both Men’s and Women’s action. Day 5 will be an extremely important day as teams look to crack the top-4 of their respective pools.
Credit: Kangaroo Photography and Basketball Australia
VIC Country breaks SA Metro’s undefeated streak
VIC Country and SA Metro both entered Sunday undefeated and looking to go an impressive 5-0 to start the tournament. VIC Country came out firing, jumping out to a 14-point lead after the 1st Q – SA Metro weren’t able to bounce back. Jack White continues to be the standout in this tournament – averaging a tournament-best 26 ppg and rebounding at an extremely high rate (12 rpg). SA Metro have another tough matchup tomorrow against NZ while VIC Country will likely remain undefeated through the pool rounds as they face a struggling WA Country squad.
NSW Metro look to make it 4 straight after tomorrow’s doubleheader
After a disappointing start to the tournament, NSW Metro has regained their confidence and is now 2-2. They look to forge a defensive identity led by the interior defense of Isaac Humphries and Deng Gak – who are doing a great job blocking and altering shots. Jay Green is also doing a great job picking up some of the scoring load for NSW Metro in their 2 wins – averaging 16.5 ppg over his last 2 games. They face both Queensland South and ACT tomorrow, both of whom are struggling this tournament – wins in both games would put NSW Metro at 4-2 at the end of the pool rounds.
NSW Country & VIC Metro both undefeated ahead of clash
The biggest game on Day 4 would definitely be the clash between NSW Country and VIC Metro. Both squads have cruised through their first few games – both at 5-0 entering Monday’s matchup. VIC Metro play with an impressive defensive energy that may stifle their opponents, while NSW Country with a grittiness VIC Metro just isn’t used to. The matchup between Australian reps Kouat Noi and Abi Akintola will be interesting to see: Noi has been extremely consistent thus far this tournament, he’ll likely be matched up against Akintola – who would be considered one of the most capable defenders in the country. Make sure to get to Belconnen Court 1 at 5pm to check it out.
Tasmania is finally clicking
Tasmania has looked quite impressive over their last few games, a welcome change considering the way they began the tournament. Kyle Clark is playing at a high level with some consistency, leading them to 2 wins on Day 3. It’s unlikely they’ll make the top 4 of their pool once the preliminary games are over – but it’s a great sign to see them improve as the tournament continues.
Forcadilla continues to lead NSW Country
Jasmine Forcadilla had another impressive game on Sunday – 18 pts and 3 rbs in NSW Country’s win over Tasmania. She continues to lead all women in scoring with 29.7 ppg, while leading her team to a 4-0 start. That 4-game winning streak will be in jeopardy as they face a strong, and big, VIC Country squad. Forcadilla and fellow Australian representative guard Elizabeth Tonks will be key for NSW Country if they want to remain undefeated entering the Final’s games.
Both VIC teams remain undefeated
Victoria is renowned for sending strong teams to the Junior Championships, and this year is no different. With an impressive group of frontcourt players, both VIC Metro and VIC Country are undefeated and looking as strong as ever. VIC Metro is led by their frontcourt duo of Anneli Maley and Alexandra Sharp, while VIC Country have a frontcourt duo of their own – Chloe Bibby and Chantel Horvat the bigs for that squad. It’s likely that both teams will finish the preliminary rounds undefeated and at the top of their respective pools – credit to Basketball Victoria for another successful flow of solid women’s players.
QLD North wins it in the final seconds
Queensland North was down 1 with just 20 seconds to go. Kelsey McDermott had 25 points at the point and wasn’t fazed as she increased her total to 27. She finished the game with 27 pts on 11/18 FG, while also pulling down 8 rbs. A very impressive performance for a QLD North squad that was desperate to pick up their first win of the tournament.
NSW Metro bigs are key to their success; NSWM are now 4-1
NSW Metro improved to 4-1 after a surprising blowout win over New Zealand. New Zealand had been very impressive up to that point but NSW Metro’s bigs were too much. Dani Milisic and Ella Tofaeono have been key players all tournament, using their size and length to finish over smaller defenders. Their frontcourt will be extremely important if they look to defeat an equally big WA Metro squad – led by the 6’3 Megan McKay.
Some teams are vying for a position in the top 4 of their respective pools so Monday’s games will be extremely important. If you only watch one game on Monday, make sure to get to Belconnen Sports Centre at 5pm to check out 2 undefeated men’s teams go at it – NSW Country vs VIC Metro. It should be yet another exciting day of basketball.