AUSTRALIAN UNDER-14 CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS – DAY 1 REVIEW
There’s one way to ignite a campaign and it’s the way Bulleen’s girls and boys have both lit up Dandenong early in the Club Championships.
The Boomers had the tough run first up following Monday’s opening ceremony. Both sides were dialled in early and sent into double-headers to tip off the under-14 championships… but the hard run only seemed to further inspire the blue-and-gold brigade.
Daniel Poelsma (18 points) and Marcel Haj (15 points) started strongly for the Bulleen Boomers’ boys in the 57-41 triumph over Brisbane Capitals. It went off like… a boom… for the Bulleen boys as they charged to a 27-9 lead approaching the half. From there it levelled out by the result remained as Bulleen headed towards the second clash of the day emphatically. And how emphatically did that turn out? How does 90-66 sound? Poelsma (29 points), Haj (27 points) and Jose Fakalata (nine points) had the ball on a string as the tally ticked over quickly.
Slowly but surely, the Bulleen girls brought the boom against Cairns Dolphins in a 56-30 triumph. The first term stood fairly even at 9-8 favouring Bulleen before the floodgates opened. Ella McIntyre (17 points), Kiralee Collings (nine points) and Tess Heal (nine points) showcased the winning skills that earned this side the Medibank National Junior Classic and the up-tempo action didn’t stop there.
The fireworks came from all parts of the Bulleen roster on Monday night against Alice Springs 103-11 to cap off an amazing start to the tournament. The Boomers shared the workload as Ally Marshall (18 points), Maggie Sullivan (14 points), Sarah Calvisi (14 points) and Holly Griffiths (12 points) took the night shift to great effect against Alice Springs.
The two wins give the Bulleen girls an impressive 387.8 percentage heading into the clash against Willeton Tigers from 1.30pm on the main court.
There are three other sides that endured the double-header and emerged with 2-0 records after the first day’s efforts. Dandenong boys, Diamond Valley girls and Nunawading girls also clean-swept their opening outings.
Nunawading girls clamped down on Perry Lakes Hawks 52-29 to solidify their campaign foundation. An 8-0 opening run through the first five minutes of the clash was just the start of worse things to come. Madison Sinclair (10 points), Yasmin Spargo (10 points) and Taitiana Piho (eight points) proved too tricky for the Western Australians to handle. Returning to the court later that day proved just as successful for the Spectres with a 54-34 triumph over Newcastle Hunters continuing the rout. Emily Foy (17 points) gave some headaches for the Nunawading girls to counter, but the likes of Sinclair (14 points), Spargo (11 points) and Neave Hancock-Wolfe (10 points) proved too mighty in the end.
Dandenong was scarcely challenged in the opening two salvos as a 77-53 win over Sturt was backed up by an almighty 104-30 triumph over Alice Springs Suns. Jerome Pierre (36 points) had an absolute field day against Sturt alongside Nyareth Mayom (11 points) while Arian Berisha, Ky Taylor and Austin Rapp had seven apiece to continue the comfortable victory. A good start was capitalised by the Dandenong stars to the tune of 74 points via Pierre (29 points), Berisha (15 points) and Charlie Avery (11 points). It’s the sort of start you’d expect from the Victorian Championship (VC) and Medibank National Junior Classic title holders and with all the weaponry and home-field advantage… who knows how far this Rangers’ brigade can charge into the championships.
Diamond Valley tipped off strongly with a 71-38 victory against Joondalup Wolves. In a particularly even spread, Hayley Sparks (16 points), Eleanor Bollands (11 points) and Teah Reichert (nine points) made the most of their early morning outing. The whole Eagles’ nest soared as one to maintain their high-flying start with a 59-40 win over North West Tasmania on Monday evening. The score-line levelled out towards the end as Diamond Valley took the foot off the throttle, but the work of Aseka Ratnayake (18 points), Allie Newton (seven points) and Bollands (seven points) was more than enough to see off the Devils.
The Dandenong girls made it a clean sweep for the host association as a 49-35 triumph went in the book against Sturt Sabres. Abbey-Lee Wood (14 points), Dallas Loughridge (11 points) and Myah Healey (eight points) started their tournaments on a strong note.
After trailing early against Illawarra, an inspired second term blitz pushed Hawthorn towards a 62-42 triumph. The crowd spelled out – in particularly eye-catching balloons – what would happen as the “MAGIC” did “GO”… and then some.
From deadlocked 16-apiece to 25-16 in the blink of an eye, the Magic’s wizardry was first cast by Guy Chalfon (16 points), Denzel Timmons (15 points), Daniel Walsh (eight points) and Ned Caldwell (six points) It set the stage for a more comfortable second half as the Magic leads Pool C ahead of a gruelling double-header day against Southern Tasmania and Canberra Gunners.
Our country boys’ contingent held on in a thriller against Mackay – with a 55-54 result favouring the Geelong Supercats. It went back and forth all game as the likes of Billy Dawson (24 points), Harry Den Dryver (six points) and Xavier Muhor (five points) took the game by storm. But Mackay didn’t fly across the country to give in without a fight as the visitors forced the clash all the way to the dying breath. A final minutes’ flurry from the Meteors left the Supercats praying for the final whistle as they saw a strong lead whittled down. From 51-44 up to 53-54 down in the blink of an eye, it took the cool, calm work of Dawson to earn the foul and make both his shots to take the points and start the campaign on the high note.
The Eltham Wildcats 50-62 tried their hardest but came up short against Sydney Comets in a 50-62 defeat. Amy Temos (10 points), Dyani Ananiev (10 points), Zarah Prendergast (eight points) and Jessica Del Brocco (eight points) led the charge for Eltham.
Eltham Wildcats boys were the only boys side to drop a game on Monday – downed 48-53 by the Club Championships powerhouse in City of Sydney Comets. Kristian Ferronato (12 points) and Bradley Moorey (eight points) led the Wildcats’ offensive efforts.
Ballarat Rush girls fell 42-54 to South West Metro Pirates as Jada Skennerton (nine points), Millie Simpson (eight points) and Georgia Cox (eight points) led the charge for the country girls.
For all the fixtures, results, ladders and stats from #ClubChamps, head across to the tournament website by clicking here.