SPLITTING the results on the final day of pool games, our four teams are now poised for finals tipping off this morning.
It all ramps up from here as the competition starts to whittle down and find the latest champions.
VICTORIA METROPOLITAN WOMEN
6-0. It’s hard to argue with an emphatic performance like that, especially when your final result in the pool was a 66-51 victory over highly fancied Queensland South.
It was a battle of the undefeated sides and a perfect bellwether to see who would lead the way into finals and our Metro Women showcased their skills superbly.
It went back and forth through the early stages of the clash, but Vic Metro caught up and started amassing a comfortable lead with contributions coming across the board.
Tess Heal (15 points, five rebounds, four assists) was truly outstanding. Returning for her second national championship, Heal was the cool head under pressure and piece by piece started chipping away at the QLD South defence. She sliced through the tiniest gaps and made her presence felt… and then some.
Just as damaging with her inside-outside game was Nyadiew Puoch (18 points, seven rebounds, four steals). There was little QLD South could do to hamper her efforts and her influence on the final outcome.
It was a telling victory for the Metro Women, who earned Pool A top seed status heading into the quarter finals. The Vic Metro Women will battle Tasmania from 4pm in the last quarter final of the day.
VICTORIA COUNTRY WOMEN
It took a fair bit to knock over our Country Women, with NSW Metro going into high gear to deliver the 48-58 defeat.
A promising start for the Country Women was forged by Dallas Loughridge (12 points, five rebounds) and Georgia Koopmans (nine points, five rebounds), making early inroads and forcing NSW Metro to ramp up the intensity to keep up.
Foul trouble started to plague our best efforts as a number of players started to tip-toe around sitting permanently. That added with NSW Metro’s charge to the finish put the Country Women aback as the ball just wouldn’t fall our way in the end.
But it’s better to have those days in the pool stage where they can be set aside quickly, with Vic Country now eying off their next challenger.
With the final result in their pool, Vic Country finished third in Pool B and will now square off against Queensland South from 10.30am in what will be an extraordinary quarter final clash.
VICTORIA COUNTRY MEN
What a rollercoaster ride. Victoria Country Men finished up their round robin clashes with a 57-66 defeat at the hands of New South Wales Metro… but there’s plenty to be pleased about even with the loss.
It was a clash of absurd highs and lows, tempo swings and rhythmic variance as Victoria Country Men’s final pool game turned into something to behold. You’d turn away for a split second and the scores would flip drastically as neither side grasped the early opportunity to cement a lead.
NSW Metro had the early going and with size on their side, managed to start using their heft to their advantage. But Vic Country turned it around as Jamie Bottrell (12 points, three rebounds) and Jet Kneebone (nine points, five assists) started slamming through their defences. Putting on a better aerial show than Avalon every March, Kneebone soared across the key and left NSW Metro scrambling to find the ideal defence. Kneebone and Macey Eaton (four points, four rebounds) dished it off ably as well, finding Jack Hrehoresen (eight points, five rebounds) and Bottrell under the ring to keep up the momentum through the first half.
The Vic Country Men had their chances to seize the clash, as the lead started to build in their favour, but NSW Metro went to the well and dug even deeper. A run-away 9-21 term in NSW Metro’s favour paints the picture of the finish though as Vic Country couldn’t quite hold them back at the end.
But that’s life in the pool stage and there are bigger things to worry about than yesterday’s results. This leaves the Vic Country Men third in Pool B, set to face Pool A second seed Queensland South in the quarter finals from 10am.
VICTORIA METROPOLITAN MEN
Running away with an emphatic 92-61 win over SA Metro, Vic Metro Men stamped their authority on the pool and have primed themselves for the finals campaign ahead.
A 10-strong turnout was the most impressive aspect of this triumph as Vic Metro had brilliant input across the board. Daniel Poelsma (15 points, nine rebounds, five assists) flirted with a double-double as his versatility inside the paint or outside in triple territory impressed across the afternoon. David Amum (13 points, eight rebounds) put up his best figures of the tournament as he imposed himself on the game directly under the ring. Jerome Pierre (15 points, 10 rebounds) led from the front as his impact on offence and defence can’t be understated. He’s leading the competition in offensive rebound percentage and total rebounding percentage as he’s grasping anything that falls his way.
It was emphatic across the board as Tristan Devers (14 points) and Beau Tranter (12 points) starting nailing treys as well. With an even performance and well rested players heading into the pointy end of the competition, Vic Metro isn’t stopping with just with top seed in Pool A on its mantle. The Vic Metro Men will face SA Country in the final eight from 2pm.
AUSCHAMPS QUARTER FINAL SCHEDULE
Vic Country Men v Queensland South – 10am
Vic Country Women v Queensland South – 10.30am
Vic Metro Men v SA Country – 2pm
Vic Metro Women v Tasmania – 4pm