OUR Metro charges have surged throughout the pool stage of the Australian Under-16 Junior Championships so far with our Country teams nipping at their heels.
Both Victoria Metropolitan Under-16 sides remain undefeated through the first three days of competition as the cream has certainly started to rise to the top. Not to be outdone, the Victoria Country Under-16 sides have weathered the storm against some premier opposition and remain well placed in their pool head towards the culmination of the group stage.
VICTORIA METROPOLITAN WOMEN
Eking out a thriller against Western Australia Metro, the Vic Metro Women took out the 63-60 victory to remain unbeaten through three rounds.
It was a hard grind for the Metro Women, with the three-ball not sinking for them and WA Metro applying significant defensive pressure, but in the end the Victorians found their way to the win.
Nyadiew Puoch (12 points), Amy O’Hara (10 points, 10 rebounds) and Ally Marshall (10 points, five rebounds). WA Metro rallied late in the clash as Ruby Vlahov (23 points) started knocking them down from everywhere, but in the end Vic Metro had built a handy lead and took out the match comfortably.
The Vic Metro Women have the double-header today battling NT (11am) and NSW Country (7pm).
VICTORIA COUNTRY WOMEN
Easily accounting for WA Country, the Vic Country Women starred in an 83-34 win. The all-round domination started off with defensive efforts – as Vic Country stripped 23 steals from the opposition. Their efforts were especially rewarded in transition as the ball flung around rapidly and found its way to the expert three-point brigade. Dyani Ananiev (16 points), Dallas Loughridge (13 points, four steals), Georgia Koopmans (11 points, seven rebounds) and Sienna Privitera (10 points) savoured their shooting across the afternoon to add some great momentum to the Vic Country performance.
Moving up to second in Pool B, Victoria Country Women will face off against Tasmania from 3.30pm today.
VICTORIA METROPOLITAN MEN
The double-header didn’t seem to faze Vic Metro as the team starred in victories over Queensland South and ACT Men. Its first up clash against the Queenslanders was one for the ages, coming down to the final shot as Metro took a 78-77 overtime triumph. Neither side could be split after regulation despite the best efforts of Daniel Poelsma (19 points, 10 rebounds), Jarryd Remy (16 points) and Jerome Pierre (nine points, 10 rebounds).
Tristan Devers (12 points, six assists, five steals) and AJ Magbegor (10 points, seven rebounds) proved important in the overtime, making some crucial scores to push Vic Metro ahead before an all-out tug-of-war threatened to spill the game either way. But in the end the cooler heads prevailed and Vic Metro held off the faster finishing Queensland South to remain undefeated through three clashes.
It would be much of the same for the Metro Men in their second clash of the day as the guys knocked over ACT 94-65. Sharing the workload across the 29-point triumph, the likes of AJ Magbegor (16 points, five rebounds), Blake Shankland (13 points) and Jerome Pierre (11 points, six rebounds, four steals) shone.
The Vic Metro Under-16 Men will take on NSW Country from 5.30pm today.
VICTORIA COUNTRY MEN
Proving themselves too powerful for Queensland South, the Victoria Country Men took out a superb 72-61 triumph. The three-fold threat of Macey Eaton (20 points, seven rebounds), Jack Hrehoresen (17 points, nine rebounds) and Jamie Bottrell (12 points, eight rebounds) sealed Queensland South’s fate as they shone around the basket. It was an emphatic team-wide performance though as everyone got on the scoreboard and contributed to the victory.
Their next big challenge awaits them at 1.30pm today as Vic Country battles WA Metro.