NZ Men and Women lose to Australia at U17 Oceania Champs

 

U17 Boys huddle

Both the Aon Under 17 Men’s and Women’s teams were beaten by Australia in the FIBA Under 17 Oceania Championship on Tuesday in New Caledonia. The Men lost 86-63 with the Women going down 79-53.

The results mean both teams finish second in their respective Pools meaning automatic entry to the semi-finals on Friday and a day’s rest on Thursday.

Reihana Maxwell-Topia gave New Zealand men an early three point lead and it was 11-11 at the mid-point of the first quarter before Australia put together a 15-2 run to rattle the Kiwis and establish a 27-13 lead after ten minutes.

New Zealand regained their composure in the second but still trailed 45-28 at the break – Robbie Coman the best of the Kiwis with 8 points.

Mac Stoddard made a welcome appearance after missing the opening two games due to illness but despite the Cantabrians rebounding hustle and a four-point play from Harry Payne the three-quarter score was 71-46 in favour of Australia.

To their credit the Kiwis played with determination in the final quarter winning the stanza 17-15. They also won the rebounding count 38-33 but there was a glaring difference in the perimeter shooting.

Australia made 6 from 14 (43%) threes with New Zealand just 5 from 24 at 21%.

Full report here

New Zealand 63– R Coman 15/10r, H Payne 14, R Maxwell-Topia 9/6r, C Ngan 7, S Murphy 6, E Vaigafa 5/5r/4a, R Royce 4, F Lally 3

Australia 86– J Giddey 26, T Wigness 13

U17 Girls v Oz

An Arielle Williams triple gave New Zealand Women an 8-7 lead although Australia had gained a 22-16 lead at quarter time.

An 8-3 New Zealand run to open the second quarter trimmed the Australian lead to three points and prompted an opposition timeout. The Aussie response was a 7-0 run of their own and by half-time led 43-30, Emilee Tahata with 8 points for the Kiwis.

The Kiwis showed plenty of spirit in the third quarter closing to within six (49-35) before eventually trailing 54-44 at the three-quarter mark.

Ashlee Strawbridge became the third Kiwi into double figures but a series of New Zealand turnovers allowed Australia to take a grip on proceedings and boss the final period to close out a comfortable win.

Despite the 79-53 score line it was a gutsy performance by the Kiwis but they will have to address the rebounding and turnover count before the upcoming semi-final and potential final.

The Kiwis were thumped on the boards 58-37 and committed 26 turnovers to Australia’s 18.

Full report here

New Zealand 53– E Tahata 12/6r, A Williams 12, A Strawbridge 10, O Williams 5, E Paleaae-Cook 4, C Marama 4, H Matehaere 2, R Fourie 2, P Mason 2

Australia 79– M Prior 13, G Potter 13

Both teams get a day off on Thursday before semi-final action on Friday.

 

The top-two finishers at the FIBA Under 17 Oceania Championship advance to the FIBA Under 18 Asian Championship, which is the official qualifier to the FIBA U19 World Cup.

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