Final results and standings from Day 8 of the 2019 Australian Under-18 Championships and Kevin Coombs Cup being held in Townsville, Queensland.
Vic Metro have proven themselves as Kings and Queens of the comeback after they both fought back from half-time deficits while WA atoned for their 2018 silver medal with an unbeaten performance through the tournament.
In the Under-18 men’s gold medal game, SA Metro got the jump on Vic Metro to lead 20-10 at quarter-time and by 15 at the main break.
Keanu Rasmussen (17 points) was feeling it from long range and Sebastian Griffin (19 points, ten rebounds) was relentless in his attack as Vic Metro struggled to get into a rhythm at either end of the floor.
Coming out of half-time, they began to press up on the ball and while SA Metro maintained their lead for another six minutes into the third, there were signs that the tide was beginning to turn.
Josh Giddey then sunk two free-throws and off a steal was able to get a dunk which seemed to not only spark himself, but the rest of Vic Metro.
He added another six points before three-quarter time as Vic Metro finished on a 16-6 run to make it a six-point game at the last change.
They were not done there though, continuing to pile on the pressure at the defensive end as well as on the scoreboard with their half-court trap making it difficult for SA Metro to get a look at the rim while Giddey was unstoppable offensively.
He capped a 16-2 run to open the fourth, a 32-8 run overall, with back-to-back triples and from there, Vic Metro were able to secure a 74-64 win behind Giddey’s 31 points, nine rebounds, four assists, five steals and two blocks.
Mason Perry’s 11 points and two steals were also important as were the efforts of Paul Tsapatolis (nine points, eight boards, three blocks) and four combined steals from Marcus Windhager and Riley Simmons off the bench.
Rampaging their way through the Quarter and Semi-Finals, QLD South came into the women’s gold medal game with confidence and although Vic Metro were winners of four of the past five Championships, they only had just escaped NSW Metro in the Semi-Final.
That momentum seemed to carry into the final with QLD South scoring the opening nine points behind Katie Deeble and Grace Ellis.
Vic Metro were able to settle after a time-out and reduce the damage through their range of scorers before a late three-pointer in the first half from Alannah Chatfield made it just a five-point game at the main break.
It took less than two minutes into the third for Vic Metro to then take the lead and a devastating 20-6 third quarter completely turned the game on its head.
They held QLD South to 2-11 shooting for the term and forced seven turnovers while across a 13-minute span in the second and third terms, Vic Metro went on a 30-10 run.
QLD South did not have an answer and Vic Metro consolidated their lead with a 23-11 fourth period to run out 72-51 winners behind 14 points from Gemma Potter, 13 points and eight rebounds off the bench from Casey Valenti-Paea and nine points on 4-4 shooting and six assists from Leia Hanafin.
For QLD South, Ellis capped off a brilliant week with a monster double-double of 13 points, 16 rebounds, two steals and two blocks.
After advancing to the gold medal game last year before falling to Victoria, WA atoned with a perfect tournament this year as they did not lose a game on their way to the gold.
QLD South were worthy silver medallists behind Eithen Leard’s 15 points and ten rebounds but WA were too strong, winning every quarter in the 72-42 victory.
They were paced by Thomas McHugh (34 points, 12 rebounds) and Benjamin Moncrieff (22 points, 13 rebounds, six assists) while Andrew Dewberry combined 14 points with 16 assists- four more than QLD South had as a team.
The gold medal is WA’s first since 2010 which was the inaugural year of the Kevin Coombs Cup.
In addition to some exciting action in the gold medal games, all three bronze medal clashes were thrillers with a combined margin of 11 points across the three contests.
The Kevin Coombs Cup bronze medal playoff went into double-overtime with 12 lead changes before NSW finally prevailed against Victoria, 82-75.
Jaylen Brown (30 points, 16 rebounds, 12 assists) and Teisha Shadwell (20 points, 17 rebounds, ten assists) did everything they could for the Vics but Anderson Parker’s triple-double in response (40 points, 13 boards, ten steals) and a couple of timely buckets from Jess Cronje (19 points) and Taitum Brown (16 points) got them over the line.
It was another Victoria/NSW clash in the Under-18 women’s bronze medal playoff and this one was just as close, with the lead not exceeding four points for either side in the second half.
Catriona Henderson (11 points, nine rebounds, five assists, six steals) then hit a late free-throw to send the game into overtime for NSW Metro but consecutive baskets to Olivia Pollerd (ten points, six rebounds) gave Vic Country a handy buffer.
NSW Metro had one last charge left in them and did have a chance to win the game on the final possession but Pollerd stood up once again with a game-saving block to secure a 68-67 victory.
The Under-18’s men bronze medal did not look destined to be as tight when NSW Metro opened up an 11-point edge at half-time.
They then moved in front by 17 points with four minutes to go but Tas made their charge behind Reyne Smith, who has been an offensive powerhouse all week, and he finished with 43 points on 12-29 shooting.
Tas finished on a 17-2 run but NSW Metro’s lead proved too great to overcome as Biwali Bayles (19 points) and a 42-2 edge in bench points got NSW Metro over the line for their second bronze in three years.
There were nail-biters throughout the men’s fixture as Harrison Pennisi hit the go-ahead basket inside the last 20 seconds, set up nicely by Ezekiel Corowa, to give QLD North an 86-83 win over NSW Country for seventh place.
QLD South also finished strong, using a 22-17 final term to turn a three-point deficit into a two-point win as they claimed fifth spot, knocking Vic Country down to sixth.
See below for the final standings and for all the draws, results and LiveStats, click here.
2019 Under-18 Australian Championships and Kevin Coombs Cup Final Standings:
|UNDER-18 MEN STANDINGS|
|2||South Australia Metro|
|3||New South Wales Metro|
|8||New South Wales Country|
|9||Western Australia Metro|
|10||South Australia Country|
|11||Western Australia Country|
|12||Australian Capital Territory|
|UNDER-18 WOMEN STANDINGS|
|4||New South Wales Metro|
|5||South Australia Metro|
|7||New South Wales Country|
|8||Western Australia Metro|
|10||South Australia Country|
|11||Australia Capital Territory|
|12||Western Australia Country|
|KEVIN COOMBS CUP STANDINGS|
|3||New South Wales|
|6||Queensland/South Australia Composite|