MULLET-MANIA, plenty of nailbiters and a heart-breaking last second loss led the highlights on an incredible day two at the Australian Under-14 Club Championships.
AUSTRALIAN UNDER-14 CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS – DAY 2 REVIEW
Dandenong Basketball Stadium went back in time on Tuesday as the business edge mixed marvellously with flowing manes at the back in a traditional Australian mullet… Eltham under-14 boys style.
They said it was because of a bet on account of the AFL Grand Final, but with results like these coming through maybe the Eltham Wildcat boys will keep the follicles… to the assured dismay of their mums though. (Sorry Eltham mums – these mullets are amazing!)
There are few words that can define a flowing mullet that Bradley Moorey possesses or the combination “Dusty/Mullet” looks from many other Wildcat stars on the rest of the roster. Whatever the haircut combination was on court, it worked for Eltham.
The lads surged in their 68-30 first up win against Northern Tasmania. It was one of the Mullet men Kristian Ferronato (12 points) alongside Thomas Neale (11 points) and Riley Lewis (10 points) that started the rampage on Tuesday morning… but it would only get more free-flowing from there.
Not the mullets – but their gameplay.
The well-maned Wildcats continued their terrorising ways with a 100-41 trouncing of Perry Lakes to cap off Tuesday. Six men threw down double-figures in the rampage as Ferronato (17 points), Neale (15 points), Anton Stratov (15 points), Henry Way (13 points), Zahn Agosta (12 points) and our man Moorey (11 points) went ballistic. The Wildcats sit second in Pool F, narrowly trailing the Sydney Comets heading into day three.
While the Eltham girls are smart enough not to go the Billy Ray Cyrus look, they did steal the results page out of the boys’ book with wins over Southern Tigers and Southern Tasmania. The first up triumph 70-19 against Southern Tasmania was a split-effort as Sophie Burrows (20 points), Genevieve Broadbent (11 points), Amy Temos (10 points) and Dyani Ananiev (10 points) shone. That Wildcat spirit broke through against the Southern Tigers 51-31 later in the day as Burrows (nine points) and Temos (four points) carried on where they left off. Soon after Jessica Del Brocco (12 points), Broadbent (11 points) and Zarah Prendergast (10 points) pushed the margin out rapidly at the end of the first. From there it was business as usual as Eltham ran out 20 point winners to also just sit off the pace of the Sydney Comets in Pool B.
Riding the ups and downs of this tournament, Ballarat pulled itself up from a tough 39-58 first-up loss to Manly Warringah with an emphatic 71-45 victory over Forestville later in the day. In one of the most even pools of the competition, the Rush fell to the ladder leading Sea Eagles despite the best efforts of Millie Simpson (12 points), Rosie Todd (six points) and Jada Skennerton (six points). But they put their heads down and went back to work to ensure they would take a win out of their pool stage against the Eagles. Laura O’Connor (12 points), Georgia Cox (11 points) and Simpson (10 points) carried the flag while the even spread went out through Jemma Amoore (nine points), Milly Sharp (nine points) and Bella Clark (six points).
The Dandenong girls rang in their perfect start to #ClubChamps with wins over Darwin Cyclones and Maitland Mustangs. They loaded up early against the Cyclones in the 85-37 triumph, reducing the magnitude of the storm to a mere light breeze up against the likes of Summer Keating (14 points), Jessica-Belle Catheray-Harvey, Myah Healey (10 points) and Taleah Read (10 points). But it only got better from there as the Rangers capped off the pool with a 67-29 victory. Healey (10 points), Dallas Loughridge (10 points) and a host of other Rangers hit the scoreboard to put away the Mustangs and stay unbeaten atop of Pool C.
Knocking in a comfortable 83-45 win over Southern Tasmania, the Hawthorn Magic started their Tuesday on the right note. Even better than a big bowl of cereal and a few bits of toast, the Magic’s starring start came off the superb shooting of Denzel Timmons (18 points), Jordan Lin (15 points) and a trio of 10s from Guy Chalfon, Hayden Loader and Lewis Ermer. It only got better from there as the complete effort was executed roster-wide as Daniel Walsh (eight points) and Samuel Barendregt (six points) carried the torch as well when called upon. It was the defence that stood out the most though as the Magic got up the court and clamped down from the moment the Kangaroos tried to advance. It was a bit closer for the Magic men at 4.30pm with a 59-49 win over Canberra. Locked together for the first half, the big salvo came off Max Lefroy (16 points), who hit four field goals on the trot to push Hawthorn from 29-26 up to 40-30 in the blink of an eye. From there it was a clinical performance as Timmons (15 points) and Lin (11 points) continued to terrorise on the fast break. It leaves the Magic sitting a point clear in Pool C with an unbeaten record.
Facing the tall timber of the sun-ripened Gold Coast Waves, Nunawading had to toil to take the points in a 47-35 triumph. The Spectres were smaller but smarter. They ducked and weaved out of the Waves’ way… and eventually found some clear air to knock in a match-defining lead off Madison Sinclair (10 points), Yasmin Spargo (nine points), Evie Curtis (eight points) and Neave Hancock-Wolfe (eight points).
Geelong was bested in the most agonising of circumstances in its 55-56 loss to Rockingham. The Supercats had the upper hand throughout most of the clash – as Billy Dawson (14 points), Harry Den Dryver (12 points) and Xavier Muhor (10 points) led from the front alongside Harry Moran (six points), Caleb Belcher (four points) and Zac Brunt (four points). The lead was set, the plays were flowing… but all the while the Flames bided their time and waited for the dying seconds to make their move. Jacob Heath nailed the shot off the in-bound to clinch the remarkable come-from-behind victory to give Geelong its first loss of the campaign. But life on court didn’t get better for the Supercats in their second clash of the day, with a 51-63 loss to Norwood giving them plenty of reasons to hit the hay early and forget about Tuesday. Den Dryver (23 points) and Dawson (13 points) led the scoresheet for the Supercats.
Diamond Valley was superb in its epic 38-31 win over second-ranked Canberra Capitals. It was a top of the pool clash that delivered just that; nothing the Eagles could do would shake the Capitals as the lead would balloon, fade and balloon once again to repeat the cycle. Teah Reichert (14 points), Hayley Sparks (seven points) and Eleanor Bollands (five points) put in on the scoreboard, but it was a defensive masterpiece from the Diamond Valley charges to hold off a quick finishing Canberra to maintain top spot in Pool D.
Boomers girls continued their Pool A annihilation with a 59-34 romp over Willetton Tigers. Ally Marshall (19 points), Tessa Heal (13 points) and Ella Mcintyre (12 points) starred in the triumph.
The Boomers boys knocked off Willetton Tigers 54-27 on the Dandenong showcourt with Marcel Haj (17 points) putting on a show of his own alongside Brodie Rowe (eight points) and Johnny Furphy (eight points).
Dandenong boys had an easy triumph over North Bears 81-29, splitting the points between Beau Tranter (19 points), Jerome Pierre (18 points) and 11-apiece from Austin Rapp, Dennis Ameti (11 points) and Ky Taylor (11 points). They maintain an unbeaten start in the #ClubChamps heading into round three tomorrow.
For all the fixtures, results, ladders and stats from #ClubChamps, head across to the tournament website by clicking here.