Schools crowned at the 2016 Champions Cup

BASKETBALL Victoria’s 2016 Champion School of Victoria Tournament has concluded in electrifying style.

BASKETBALL Victoria’s 2016 Champion School of Victoria Tournament has concluded in electrifying style.

Also known as the ‘Champions Cup’, the tournament attracts the best teams representing Victoria’s government, independent and private schools. Schools can enter regardless of affiliation which means the best of the best face off against each other. The spoils are significant, with the victor of the tournament qualifying for the Australian Schools Championships.

This year’s rendition took place at the Nunawading Basketball Stadium on Sunday where hundreds of spectators turned out to watch a day of quality basketball. The tournament, founded over the 30 years ago, has grown exponentially over the past five years. Chris Angus has managed the competition over the past three years and believes the tournament will continue to gain traction.

“Having the entire stadium full was pretty surreal,” Angus said. “The attendance has always been pretty good, but since the finals moved to Nunawading it’s risen again. Tonight was a testament to not only the schools but the growth of the game itself. The atmosphere was electric at times. I had someone attending from the U.S. who said the atmosphere was very similar to a high school game in the states. That’s very impressive, it highlights how far some of these schools have come when it comes to their basketball programs.

“I think the pathways that school basketball provides for athletes is essential for the growth and development of our up-and-coming Australian players,” Angus continued. “Tournaments like the Champions Cup provide an invaluable opportunity for kids to play in front of large crowds and get a taste of the big stage.”

Perhaps the greatest triumph of the Champions Cup is the showcasing of home-grown talent. Several players who have come through the tournament over the years have landed basketball scholarships overseas or furthered their development through our high performance pathways here in Australia.

The Senior Girls and Boys Championships took place in the evening in front of a maximum capacity crowd. The girls final was first, with Rowville Secondary College facing off against Box Hill Senior Secondary College. Rowville got off to flyer, taking an eight-point lead at the first break.

Rowville female driving to basket

Image courtesy of Sport In Focus

Box Hill made a late surge in the second term, bringing the margin back to just four points at the half. Both teams came out of the break looking to stamp their mark on the game and it was Rowville who gained the ascendancy in the third period, outscoring Box Hill 28-13. Box Hill struggled to execute their offensive sets as Rowville locked down on the defensive end of the court. After igniting several fast break opportunities, Rowville proved too strong in the second half, running out eventual winners over Box Hill by 13 points.

On paper, the Senior Boys Championship game always going to be explosive. Defending champions, Marcellin College taking on Box Hill Senior Secondary. Box Hill came out of the blocks quickly and established a comfortable nine point lead at quarter time. Marcellin were often rushed in the first period and took time to find some rhythm. However, Marcellin found their groove and stormed back in the last five minutes of the first half, closing the margin to just four points at the main break.

Box Hill player driving to basket

Image courtesy of Sport In Focus

The momentum continued for Marcellin in the third, outplaying Box Hill and pulling away by four points at the final break. Box Hill struggled to create clean looks in the third period, their opponents displaying exceptional team defence. There was another turn in the game, with Box Hill steeling themselves for one final effort. Marcellin were unable to contain Box Hill’s penetration and were outscored 26 to 14 in the final ten minutes of the game. Box Hill ran out eventual champions by eight points.

Box Hill boys celebratory team photo

Image courtesy of Sport In Focus

 

Final Tournament Results:

 

Senior Girls Championship

Rowville Secondary College 64 def Box Hill Senior Secondary College 51

Senior Boys Championship

Marcellin College 72 def by Box Hill Senior Secondary College 80

Intermediate Boys Championship

BHSSC 1 80 def Maribyrnong 67

Intermediate Girls Championship

BHSSC 55 def Rowville Secondary College 46

Junior Boys Championship

Maribyrnong Jets 64 def by Rowville Secondary College 75

Junior Girls Championship

Rowville Secondary College 45 def by Maribyrnong Jets 48

 

 

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