AusChamps – Day 3 Review

Our sides dug deep and thrived under plenty of pressure yesterday. Nothing was too hard, out of grasp or impossible to achieve for our four sides that delivered a quartet

Our sides dug deep and thrived under plenty of pressure yesterday. Nothing was too hard, out of grasp or impossible to achieve for our four sides that delivered a quartet of strong Victorian basketball and the four wins that effort duly deserves.

VICTORIA METRO GIRLS

Charlise Dunn

It was a Dunn deal for Vic Metro with Charlise Dunn taking control. Picture: BASKETBALL VICTORIA

Vic Metro v NSW Metro. Always a ‘must-win’ match for our sides heading into an AJC and last night definitely lived up to that hype. Usually it’s only the theme parks in Queensland with a rollercoaster this suspenseful; up and down, back-and-forth… flipping about at the drop of a hat. This was a match neither side could control as the moment it starting turning one way, the opposition roared back to life. In the end it was Vic Metro that surged at the right moment to take out the 57-49 victory and maintain its unbeaten run through the pool stage.

The pendulum swung back and forth as NSW Metro took control of the clash through the dying stages of the first term. Level pegging at 10-10 soon turned into a Vic Metro nightmare as our northern rivals piled on 12 unanswered points, capped off with a long-range bomb off A Goodchild.

Charlise Dunn (27 points, seven rebounds, four steals) took centre stage next as she cut up the NSW defence from all points. Cutting and driving or staying outside and draining threes, it was an absolute masterclass through Dunn as she rattled off 15 points to turn the 10-point gap into a six-point lead at the major break. From 40-29 up, the next comeback revved into high gear as NSW Metro found new ground. They would go on 12-point run to take the most slender of leads heading into the last term and leaving Vic Metro to craft one last revival to bring home victory.

They forced the errors, seized upon every half-opportunity to steal and ramped up the tempo. Eleanor Bollands brought the heat with a massive block before Luisa Fakalata (17 points) drained an all-important trey to regain the lead. Dunn and Georgia Booth relished the dying seconds as both made monster steals to keep possession and run out 57-49 victors. It might not have been a textbook win, but a testing victory under trying circumstances is always appreciated no matter the environment.

The Metro girls sit atop Pool A and face Northern Territory this evening from 7.30pm at Caloundra Indoor Stadium.

VICTORIA COUNTRY BOYS

The tale of David vs. Goliath rings true today for the Victoria Country boys after they slayed the giant NSW Metro side 77-72. Once again, this was a comeback instilled by our desire and passion. The early going – after Tonga Matapule Otutaha’s match-opening three – did not pan out well for the Country boys. Making the most of the size mismatches, NSW found the gaps needed to take a 11-20 lead at the first break. But one mediocre term was enough for Joel Anderson and his charges as they started dragging themselves back into the contest.

Dyson Daniels

Dyson Daniels and the Vic Country boys team continue to impress heading towards the finals. Picture: BASKETBALL VICTORIA

Charlie Molan (12 points, nine rebounds, seven assists) and Christian D’Angelo (15 points, seven rebounds) began turning the screws on the NSW Metro defence across the floor as they knocked in threes and put up the jumpers in close. Their efforts began to pay off as the gap stood at four going into the locker-room at half-time.

Hamish Carey (21 points, seven rebounds) found his range next, showcasing the spread a big man needs to have at this tournament as he attacked the ring, stood back for his jump shot and generally terrorised the NSW Metro defence. In league with Dyson Daniels (10 points, seven rebounds) and Molan, the Country connection started lighting up as it set the stage for a final term barrage.

Whichever team wanted it more would take this one out. In the trenches, where the hard slog lives, Country stood tall. Feeding on the pressure instead of folding because of it, Carey, Daniels, D’Angelo and Molan all had a piece of the action, including a sublime match-deciding trey from D’Angelo to seal the deal and take the five-point triumph. All told it was another strong win from the Vic Country team. Not the Vic Country starting five, not Vic Country’s best three players… the entire team. The longer this tournament goes, the more this tends to matter.

Flying high atop Pool A, the Country boys battle Northern Territory from 3pm at Caloundra Indoor Stadium.

VICTORIA COUNTRY GIRLS

Dallas Loughridge

Dallas Loughridge has taken to the Vic Country colours superbly in her maiden #AusChamps. Picture: BASKETBALL VICTORIA

Bouncing back from Saturday’s loss to Queensland North, the Victoria Country surged past Tasmania to take a 62-32 win. The Tasmanians battled hard through the opening half to keep the Country girls accountable, but in the end there was too much might across the board for our southern neighbours to handle. Piper Dunlop (16 points, 11 rebounds) continued her scintillating form as she and Paige Price (eight points, eight rebounds) made an almighty tandem through the post. Maggie Kratochvil (10 points) also pushed the tempo and went at 100 per cent from the three-point line. The Country girls remain well placed in the pool, sitting second in Pool B behind SA Metro. The Victoria Country girls battle NSW Country at USC Stadium from 1pm.

VICTORIA METRO BOYS

Vic Metro boys were the anomaly of the day as they claimed the early advantage and kept it throughout the clash against ACT. The 87-71 victory was propelled by Harry Johnson (15 points, five rebounds), Jyelin Moli (14 points) and Jeffrey Ofoedu (14 points). The win keeps the Metro boys atop of Pool B with WA Metro the only other undefeated team in their pool. Vic Metro battles NSW Country from 3.30pm at the USC Stadium.

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