AusChamps – Semi-Final Review

THREE Victorian teams will battle it out for gold following the Australian Under-16 Junior Championships semi-finals yesterday.

Both grand finals will be live-streamed through Basketball Australia, with information available via their website.

VICTORIA METROPOLITAN MEN

They came, they tried, we endured.

It was a scintillating semi-final as SA Metro threw everything they had at the Victoria Metropolitan Men, but in the end our charges emerged triumphant in a 74-60 epic.

Taking it to our boys through three stanzas, SA Metro bombarded our defence and rallied through their starters.

jerome pierre

Jerome Pierre. PICTURE: BASKETBALL VICTORIA

But we had the time and the depth to wait. The shared efforts across the 10 men continues to impress as there’s always another high-calibre option waiting for his turn. Whether it was Tristan Devers (11 points, four rebounds) – savouring his minutes and nailing his customary three-ball – or David Amum (nine points) toiling under the ring and boxing out strongly.

It is an unrelenting spirit and one that is particularly difficult to contain as SA Metro found out.

They kept us under lock and key for as long as they could, but our resolve started to overpower them heading into the fourth.

Kristian Ferronato (15 points, eight rebounds), AJ Magbegor (11 points, six rebounds) and Jerome Pierre (nine points, nine rebounds) took the game by the scruff of the neck and dragged the victory over to our side.

Beau Tranter’s (eight points) two treys gave us the breathing room necessary before David Amum brought the house down with a three of his own, setting the gap at 69-53 with 90 seconds remaining.

From there we kept our cool and punched our ticket into the Grand Final – with the Victoria Metropolitan Men set to face Victoria Country from 7pm in our second all-Victorian under-16 men’s national final.

The Men’s Grand Final will be livestreamed at the following link: http://bit.ly/2LRqenN 

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Nyadiew Puoch. PICTURE: BASKETBALL VICTORIA

VICTORIA METROPOLITAN WOMEN

Taking a 70-59 win over NSW Metro, Vic Metro is set to return to the grand final arena following a clinical semi-final triumph.

Vic Metro found the space to succeed – whether it was Tess Heal wheeling and winding her way through traffic, Nyadiew Puoch nailing her long-range shots or slashing her way through the NSW Metro defences or a litany of other scoring options across the roster.

A 25-10 opening term showcased our intent and willingness to get the job done and it would carry through the entirety of the clash.

NSW Metro held on though – refusing to back down and pushed Vic Metro all the way to the finish, turning an 18-point margin at its worst into a nine-point game late in the clash.

But Vic Metro went back to its old ways and iced the game in style – as Nyadiew Puoch (21 points, six rebounds)  and Tess Heal (17 points, six rebounds) took the game under their wing and emerged with the victory. It was an even work-rate across the board though. Contributions came in from everywhere as the 10 women stood as one. Amy O’Hara (five points, 10 rebounds) and Eleanor Bollands (seven points, seven rebounds) dragged in anything remotely near them to keep the play alive. Abbey-Lee Wood (eight points) and Sophie Burrows (eight points) hit crucial shots as well to keep momentum going… and you could list the entire squad in the same manner.

With intensity and willingness to fight for each other on their side, it was an emphatic finals clash that Vic Metro savoured.

Looking towards their fourth AusChamps title in a row, Vic Metro will face SA Metro from 5pm in the gold medal match.

The Women’s Grand Final will be livestreamed at the following link: http://bit.ly/2LRqenN 

Jack Hrehoresen. PICTURE: BASKETBALL VICTORIA

VICTORIA COUNTRY MEN

David vs Goliath.

They were huge, but so was our resolve. ACT towered over our Victoria Country Men, so we had to be craftier and quicker instead.

Satisfying wins don’t come much sweeter than a game plan well executed and this was certainly one that worked in a 69-60 win over ACT.

The boys had to battle early as the ACT imposed themselves on the game.

We had to match up to these giants anyway we could… so we found a horse.

Jack Hrehoresen (14 points, 10 rebounds, six steals) was superb. In his best showing of the tournament – an impressive feat considering how well he’s gone so far – Hrehoresen alongside Jamie Bottrell (11 points, five rebounds) bodied up against the opposition. His energy and work-rate kept the tempo going as Vic Country weathered the worst of the ACT onslaught. When they forced him from the key, his mid-range and three-ball came in to play. When ACT started ramping up their own paint presence, he was standing shoulder to shoulder with their best.

It was like that throughout the roster as the occasion didn’t overwhelm, but instead it inspired. Alex Molan (nine points, six rebounds) made the most of his time on court as he and Macey Eaton (11 points) pushed the tempo and sped up and down the stadium to tire out the opposition.

In the end Vic Country had too many answers to the best questions thrown out there by the ACT as the side crept away to claim the nine-point victory and book a spot in tonight’s grand final.

The win has Vic Country Men battling Vic Metro Men from 7pm for the gold, the second time in as many years it has been a Vic Metro v Vic Country finale.

The Men’s Grand Final will be livestreamed at the following link: http://bit.ly/2LRqenN 

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Georgia Koopmans. PICTURE: BASKETBALL VICTORIA

VICTORIA COUNTRY WOMEN

It was a gallant effort from our Victoria Country Women, but in the end SA Metro had the rub of the green in a 62-66 defeat.

In a game of millimetres, the result didn’t want to go our way. Shots didn’t fall for Vic Country while SA Metro had the Midas touch, banking in threes like it was child’s play.

Georgia Koopmans (14 points, 10 rebounds) put in a body of work across the afternoon – toiling up and down the court and finishing well inside and outside the paint.

Myah Healey (12 points, seven rebounds) continued to toil under the ring for the Vic Country Women as our star centre held her ground against a bevy of SA Metro opponents. Bella Breen (12 points) was also hitting the three-ball sweetly in one of her best outings of the tournament.

The Vic Country Women head to the bronze medal match from 1pm this afternoon, facing off against NSW Metro.

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