ADVANCING to the final four, both of our Women’s teams and the Victoria Metropolitan Men triumphed in some incredible quarter-finals.
VICTORIA METROPOLITAN WOMEN
It took overtime to get there as the Vic Metro Women advanced to the semi-final following a thrilling 65-60 triumph over NSW Country.
We had our moments – whether ups or downs as the game zig-zagged in momentum – but in the end it took a few extra minutes to deliver the resounding victory.
Charlise Dunn (13 points, eight rebounds) and Gemma Potter (11 points, seven rebounds) toiled in the paint to keep the scoreboard ticking over, but early on it did not pan out all Metro’s way as the side trailed 9-20 early in the second. But as quickly as they fell behind, there was just as quick as of a turnaround. Metro opened the floodgates to knock down everything in their path. The Metro Women shone in the dying minutes of the second term to turn it around and enter the break at 30-26.
But as soon as we’d pull ahead, NSW Country would find an avenue back. So it would go until the dying seconds as some incredible shooting at the death levelled the ledger and forced us to play out the overtime.
When the game demanded it, we found our spark. Sara Matthews managed to take the lead early for NSW Country with a monster three, but we found our own way to the basket as Erin Riley (nine points) proved dead-eyed from the free-throw line. She nailed four frees on the trot to turn things around. Riley, Potter and Casey Valenti-Paea (10 points, five rebounds, five steals) iced the game in the dying seconds to help advance the Metro Women into the semi-final against NSW Metro on Townsville Court 1.
VICTORIA METROPOLITAN MEN
They brought their best, but unfortunately for the NSW Country Men… we brought our’s too.
Battling it out in close combat in a thrilling quarter final, our Vic Metro Men had to dig deep to see off a gallant NSW Country contingent in an 81-60 victory.
Throughout the clash the tempo switched on and off as neither side truly seized momentum with both hands… at least not until the final term.
Continuing his stellar form this Champs, Josh Giddey (21 points, five rebounds) was superb from across the arc as he proves a hard prospect to guard at the top of the key or penetrating and kicking it out at lightning pace.
With a slender lead heading into the fourth, Vic Metro found another gear and showcased the strength and speed needed to take the pay day.
Marcus Windhager (eight points), Mason Perry (12 points)and Paul Tsapatolis (10 points, 17 rebounds) started to make those incremental gains form into something more concrete as they laid the foundation for our success in the last 10 minutes of the clash.
Tsapatolis proved way too much of a problem for NSW Country to solve. Consistently finding a second and third hanging off him, it still wasn’t enough to stop Tsapatolis taking control under the basket.
All told it set the stage for a convincing win and puts Vic Metro on a path against NSW Metro in the semi-final from 3pm on Townsville Court 1.
VICTORIA COUNTRY WOMEN
Taking a convincing 69-51 victory over WA Metro, Vic Country booked its place in the semi-final as Jade Melbourne (17 points, six rebounds), Piper Dunlop (11 points, 14 rebounds), Carly Remmos (nine points, three rebounds) and Paige Price (five points, six assists) stole the show. The Vic Country Women will take on Queensland South at 5pm on Townsville Court 1.
VICTORIA COUNTRY MEN
Victoria Country Men will battle in the Classification side of the bracket after losing to Tasmania 65-75. Despite being a man down and battling all week, the Victoria Country Men toiled to keep things even throughout the clash as Patrick Ryan (13 points, seven rebounds) Dyson Daniels (12 points, 11 rebounds) and Charlie Molan (12 points) put in the hard yards.
They’ll square off against Queensland South in the Classification 5-8 clash at 5pm.
KEVIN COOMBS CUP
Stitching together their second win on the trot, our Kevin Coombs Cup side flourished against NSW KCC to take a 55-41 win before knocking over the QLD/SA Composite side to march towards a 3-1 record heading into day three.
Jaylen Brown (20 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists) flirted with a triple double as he and Teisha Shadwell (14 points, 11 rebounds) dug in against the best of the NSW defence. Their efforts shone through alongside Campbell Fraser (12 points, five assists) as the new-look Kevin Coombs Cup team has found plenty of avenues to the basket in 2019.
They backed up their efforts in the evening with a 72-11 victory over the QLD/SA Composite team with Mitch Bond (24 points, 11 steals, 10 rebounds), Bailey Jankovic (16 points) and Chithic Machar (15 points, seven rebounds, six steals) leading the way.
Victoria is set to face Queensland South from 9am.