The New Zealand Junior Tall Ferns went down 59-53 in their second outing of their tour of China at the hands of the hosts in Foshan on Monday.
The JTF”s trailed 29-17 at half-time but stormed back in the third period to reduce the arrears to just six points. The final quarter was tied but the slow start left coach Matehaere a little exasperated.
Report filed by Brent Matehaere (JTF’s head coach).
Frustrated, would be a word that we would use often in the battle between the Junior Tall Ferns and the Chinese U17 World Championships bound team. We were hindered by aggressive defense and did not get offensive flow going until the late in the 3rd quarter where we got back into the hunt through our own form of disruptive defense.
In the first half the shooting stats are separated into 2 pt field goals and 3 point field goals. Our 3 of 11 from beyond the arc was better than the 4 of 18 from inside and we were yet to create a percentage from the free throw line with zero, yes zero attempts.
It was a switch to a small line up and playing defense up the court that allowed us to be within 4 points with under a minute to go. Alyssa Hirawani, Darci Finnigan, Tiarna Clarke, Nicole Ruske, Sariah Penese and Captain Zara Jillings created havoc in the final quarter producing turnovers, running the lanes and knocking down perimeter shots.
It will be a big day for physio Janet Main who has arrived from her Oceana Gold Rush Otago commitments at the WBC as she will be treating the bruised and battered after one of the most physical games they would have played in.
A match up against a Polish U23 selection on Tuesday will again test the group. They possess good length across the whole team and shoot the ball well from all areas of the floor.
That will be the last game in this province before taking the Bullet train north into central China where we play in “really small cities” of around a million people!
JTF’s 53 Hirawani 12pts/3rebs, Jillings 12/6rebs Finnigan 8/3steals, Clarke 6/1reb, Leger-Walker 6/2rebs, Dunn 4/7rebs/2blks, Whittaker 4/3rebs Ruske 2/2rebs, Watling 2/1reb,