Quarter Finals Day at Under 18 Champs

Day 6 (Tuesday) dawned at the Australian Under 18 State Championships in Canberra – Quarter Finals Day.

The NZ Under 18 Men faced off against the powerful Victoria Metro team and fell behind early in the contest. Harbour’s Jackson Stent contributed 10 points in the first half but the team was down 48-38 at the main interval. Victoria shot the ball at a much better clip than the Kiwis – 53% from the field compared with 38% and 4 from 9 threes compared with 2 from 10.

Nikau McCullough (Waikato) scored the first basket of the third quarter but an 11-0 run from the Vics followed.

59-40 in arrears coach Dave Mackay called a time out and although quick scores followed from Harrison Meads (Taranaki) and Sioeli Vaiangina (Counties) the damage was done. Vic Metro ahead 74-57 at three-quarter time, the Kiwis problems were compounded by missing four consecutive free throws on their last two possessions of the period.

The NZ men made a valiant attempt to salvage the game in the final period and when Richard Rodger (Otago) nailed a three with 2:44 remaining the deficit was just 8 points and Vic Metro required a time out. The Kiwis defence was frantic in the closing minutes but they were unable to get any closer eventually losing 101-89 as they conceded free throws in order to stop the clock.

Once again Matt Freeman led the New Zealand scoring with 25 points (8/22 from the field) ably supported by Rodger (13pts/6 assists), McCullough (13pts), Stent (12pts), and Isaac Davidson (8 rebounds).

The New Zealand Women were drawn against Victoria Country and found themselves trailing 27-20 at quarter time. Victoria started the second quarter with an 8-0 run before Michelle Nicholls (Waitakere) got the NZ scoreboard ticking over again. The Vics maintained a double-digit lead through the quarter ahead 51-40 at half time.

Without the injured Connie Poletti (New Plymouth) the Kiwis were hammered on the boards losing the rebounding count a whopping 52-26. Despite this the NZ Women managed to win the second half 37-34 but were unable to close the arrears to less than 6 points, eventually losing 85-77.

Tiarna Clarke was given the shooting green light by coach Angela Perrott-Hunt, the Harbour point guard putting up 27 shots on her way to amassing 35 points. This haul must be one of the highest recorded by a New Zealand player in age group international basketball. New Plymouth’s Kayla Manuirirangi (12pts) was the only other NZ’er in double figures.

Tagged ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: