AUSChamps – Semi-Final Review

FOUR Victorian sides booked their spots in gold medal matches following an exceptional day across the board for Victoria.

Sam Taulapiu

Sam Taulapiu take to the air against Tasmania. Picture: BASKETBALL VICTORIA

UNDER-20 MEN

Tasmania gave it’s all. But that wasn’t enough against Victoria with the might and power of our line-up exploding towards an 84-58 semi-final triumph.

The southern neighbours flew out of the blocks, taking a small lead and forcing a few adjustments from the Victorian bench. But that would be the highlight of the night for the Tasmanians as the Victorian line-up began to take control. Rotating the workload, bottom-agers Kobe Williamson (18 points) and Josh Bannan (16 points, 13 rebounds) stuffed the scoresheet and put the match right out of question for the gutsy Tasmanian side.

It all boils down to one last clash as Victoria faces Western Australia in the gold medal game. For a few of our bottom-agers, this is a rematch with a fair bit in it. The Western Australian Under-18s won the national title last year and knocked Vic Metro out in the semi-final stage. It is a must-watch clash and will be live-streamed for free via Basketball Australia’s website.

Harry Love

Harry Love battles it out for Victoria A. Picture: BASKETBALL VICTORIA

Victoria A went toe-to-toe with South Australia in the classification clash, but in the end could not stop the onslaught as it was handed a 66-77 defeat. Despite masterfully stealing it from everywhere – racking up 20 steals for the game – it wasn’t enough to overcome South Australia’s perimeter game. Lachlan Viney (nine points, nine rebounds, six steals) and Athiaan Manyiel (eight points, 11 rebounds) both neared double-doubles in the loss. Victoria A will now face the NBA Global Academy from 10am in a seventh place classification match.

Cameron Slacik

Cameron Slacik had a field day against Tasmania in the Ivor Burge semi-final. Picture: BASKETBALL VICTORIA

IVOR BURGE MEN

Carrying on their impressive form across the week, Victoria brushed aside Tasmania 132-68 to book its place in a third successive gold medal clash.

Racking up another monster tally, the Victorians shared the workload emphatically – dishing off 33 assists in the semi-final triumph. Jake De La Motte (32 points) continued his impressive work at these championships in league with a plethora of Victorians including Cameron Slacik (20 points, 13 rebounds) and Frazer Dawber (15 pints, 10 rebounds). It was a team-wide performance though as seven players notched double-digit tallies while everyone got on the scoreboard. It all boils down to one last clash as the side looks to take its third consecutive Ivor Burge Championship. Going for a three-peat in the division – following exceptional tournament victories in Bendigo 2017 and Gosford 2018 – the Victoria Ivor Burge Men will face South Australia from 10am.

Despite being battered and bruised throughout a tough week here in Canberra, Victoria A Ivor Burge Men have found their feet at the right time, advancing to the bronze medal clash with a 74-39 win over NSW Men.

Out-rebounding and out-assisting the opposition, the six-man Victoria A roster was too strong in the end for NSW following an extraordinary performance by Jordan Castel (13 points, 11 assists, 30 rebounds) – who was a dominating presence at both ends of the court. His work-rate under the basket opened the door for Victoria A, with Adam Horne (29 points, 11 rebounds) equally as impressive at either coalface. Jack Lew-Kee (nine points, 11 rebounds) and Jake Booth (seven points, 10 rebounds) also toiled defensively for Victoria A and made the most of their chances in transition.

They’ll face ACT from 8am on Sunday.

Izzy Anstey

Izzy Anstey was impressive in the paint against South Australia. Picture: BASKETBALL VICTORIA

UNDER-20 WOMEN

Gritting its teeth and working through the best the South Australians had to offer, Victoria put itself through to the gold medal clash after a 63-46 triumph. With the South Australians needing a win to make it into the gold game themselves, Victoria had its work cut out… but would not going to budge. Bit by bit the Victorians pulled away as South Australia couldn’t keep pace with the power-packed onslaught from our Under-20s.

In a shared workload, Agnes Emma-Nnopu (11 points) and Chelsea D’Angelo (10 points, seven rebounds, five assists) lead the stats for Victoria. One last match stands between the Victorians and a three-peat in the division, as our Under-20 Women will face NSW from 12pm.

Laura Taylor

Laura Taylor squaring off against the ACT. Picture: BASKETBALL VICTORIA

Knocking over ACT in the final pool game 97-86, Victoria A shone as Ivana Vasiljevic (26 points), LT Poa (23 points) and Eliana Bravington (19 points, 11 rebounds) dominated the floor against the Territorians. In a superb case of déjà vu, Victoria A will face ACT in a fifth place classification match today from 2pm.

Montana Haag-Witherden impressed in Victoria’s win over NSW Metro. Picture: BASKETBALL VICTORIA

IVOR BURGE WOMEN

Sweeping a perfect pool, the Ivor Burge Women were far too strong for NSW Metro to handle en route to an 85-18 victory.

Sharing the workload, Katie Zonneveld (26 points, 11 rebounds), Kaitlyn Papworth and Montana Haag-Witherden (10 points,  nine rebounds) flourished against the northern opposition as Victoria pushed itself one last time in the pool stage. It leaves Victoria with a staggering 322% as it takes on one last challenger this morning – NSW Country. Victoria has already knocked them over once this week but nothing is easy when there’s gold on the line. Tip off for the Ivor Burge Women’s grand final is 8am.

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