ONWARDS and upwards… the best are shifting gears and making their moves towards the finals.
AUSTRALIAN UNDER-14 CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS – DAY 3 REVIEW
Probably the best match of the day belonged on Court 1 as Bulleen Boomers put away the tall timbers of Gold Coast Waves in a 66-61 epic. You could barely squeeze a piece of paper between the sides all afternoon as neither Wave nor Boomer could gain ascendency. Level pegging the whole way down the stretch; it was a must-watch match that lived up to its show-court status.
Ally Marshall thrived early in the big occasion alongside Sarah Calvisi and Ella Mcintyre. But the Waves kept crashing against the Bulleen bow, leaving the side with little option but to brace themselves and counterattack at the opportune moments. They would emerge slowly but surely as Tess Heal put on a show of her own through the middle stages. In the end back-to-back field goals from Mcintyre put Gold Coast on notice before the free throw shooting of Emily Maltezos sealed the deal. They backed up to take out Pool AA with a 62-32 win over Canberra Capitals as Marshall (16 points) and Tess Heal (15 points) surged. The Boomers will face the winner of Manly-Warringah and Sturt to decide their opponent for the quarter final.
Showcasing their might on home-court, Dandenong boys laid down two impressive triumphs – taking apart Brisbane Capitals by 58 and North Adelaide by 30 – to make a powerful statement heading into the second day of pool AA. Dandenong coach Nick Mihai threw the ball around and varied the roster and every man that stepped on court delivered. In a magic day where everything clicked, it started in the afternoon as Jerome Pierre (35 points) had a field day against the best of the Capitals’ brigade in a 100-42 point win. With Beau Tranter (18 points), Austin Rapp (12 points), Nyareth Mayoum (11 points) and Dennis Ameti (10 points) all racking up the stats as well. It only got better as North Adelaide was crushed 71-41 as Pierre (31 points) continued his utter domination of the offensive key alongside Tranter (13 points) and Arian Berisha (10 points). The result catapults the Rangers into tomorrow night’s quarter final, either against Eltham or Norwood.
Dandenong girls have taken out Pool CC, with the first of the intrastate pool games pitting the Rangers against Eltham. But first the Rangers had to knock over South West Metro Pirates in a 60-27 triumph, led by Myah Healey (12 points), Abbey-Lee Wood (11 points) and Holly Athanasopoulos (eight points). It set the stage for the Dandenong-Eltham clash… with Eltham jumping out of the blocks before Dandenong chased them down. Such would be the theme of the encounter until the Rangers put some space on the Wildcats in the third term – led by Dallas Loughridge (17 points), Athanasopoulos (seven points), and Wood (nine points). Eltham hung in there though as Dyani Ananiev (nine points) and Amy Temos (eight points) kept the margin manageable. But in the end Dandenong had the tricks up their sleeve to take out Pool CC and advance to face the winner of Diamond Valley and Cairns. Eltham will need to knock over South West Metro Pirates tomorrow morning to earn a chance to face Nunawading.
Taking the air out of Norwood’s tyres, Eltham boys emphatically staked its claim for top of Pool BB with an 81-23 lashing. Our beloved mullet men shone from all standards as Harrison Stones (18 points), Anton Stratov (16 points), Henry Way (14 points) and Kristian Ferronato (11 points) led the decimation. The result is simple for Eltham boys tomorrow morning – a win puts them atop of Pool BB to face either North Adelaide or Brisbane… otherwise they will face Dandenong in a monumental quarter-final clash in the first of the big All-Victorian finals.
Nunawading girls secured top billing in Pool CC with wins over Diamond Valley and Cairns. The Eagles v.s Spectres clash was yet another match that defined the day as both sides. Back and forth the pendulum swang as the Eagles built a seven-point lead through the second term on the back of an even-shooting performance across the roster. Aseka Ratnayake (nine points), Eleanor Bollands (seven points), Bonnie Mccall (seven points)… the Diamond Valley list goes on across the board. But the Eagles had no way to curtail the run-on efforts of Madison Sinclair (24 points). The Spectres’ centre was extraordinary in league with Neave Hancock-Wolfe (seven points) and Yasmin Spargo (seven points) to give Nunawading the massive triumph… at least in a tournament-context… 51-40.
The Spectres sealed the deal with another hard fought clash – this time a 43-32 win over Cairns as Yasmin Spargo (15 points) and Sinclair (12 points) hit the scoreboard hardest. They will host Eltham or South West Metro Pirates in the quarter final. Diamond Valley has to knock over Cairns in order to square off against Dandenong in the quarter final.
Bulleen boys secured top spot in Pool DD with wins over Cairns Marlins and Sturt Sabres on Wednesday. Both emphatic, both stylish, both more than enough to help the Boomers weave its way through to the quarter finals. Marcel Haj (16 points), Daniel Poelsma (14 points) led the charge against Cairns in a 59-39 triumph. It only got better from there in the evening as the margin ballooned to 81-44 as Haj (20 points) was joined in double-digits by Jose Fakalata (10 points), Jake Enaty (10 points) and Darius Winata (10 points). It sets the stage for Bulleen’s quarter final against either Sydney Comets or Mackay Meteors in an astronomical showdown from 4.30pm
The Magic continued unabated through Pool CC with victories over Sydney Comets and Mackay Meteors. The heavy hitters went up to smash the Comets off course as Denzel Timmons (28 points), Jordan Lin (11 points) and Ned Caldwell (11 points) came up trumps in the 72-45 morning triumph. After the break not much changed either with Hawthorn shredding up Mackay 82-35. Guy Chalfon (24 points) had the ball on a string alongside Timmons (17 points) and Samuel Barendregt (10 points). Hawthorn will face either Cairns or Sturt in tomorrow’s quarter final.
Ballarat’s fortunes turned around in the girls competition with an emphatic 70-31 win over Maitland in Pool GG. In a superb roster wide performance, Jada Skennerton (18 points), Bella Clark (14 points), Milly Sharp (10 points) and Laura O’Connor (10 points) led the scoring. They have a chance to take out the pool tomorrow morning when they face Southern Tasmania from 10.30am.
The up-and-down merry-go-round continued for the Geelong Supercats as it started its Pool FF Boys day with an 80-40 thrashing of Southern Tasmania. It was a match dictated by the Supercats’ stars as Xavier Muhor (15 points), Harry Den Dryver (14 points) and Billy Dawson (12 points) rose to the top. But their second clash against Perry Lakes Hawks failed to match up, as Geelong fell 50-63 as Muhor (12 points), Harry Moran (nine points) and Jet Kneebone (nine points) kept the scoreboard ticking.