Australian Schools Championships Day 1 wrap + pics

Australian Schools Championships Day 1 wrap + pics

The 2009 Australian Schools Championships tipped off on Monday afternoon following the Opening Ceremony at Newcastle Basketball Stadium Broadmeadows.

[Watch NBN TV News' take on the Championships]

2008 Men’s Champions Caulfield Grammar School opened proceedings with a 61-55 win over Willetton Senior High School. Simon Grant led the defending champions with 22 points and 12 rebounds.

For the full schedule and results go to the official website Australian Schools Championships.

Championship Division Match Reports- Monday

Caulfield Grammar V Willetton Senior High–Championship Men
Defending Champions Caulfield Grammar came out full of enthusiasm with a point to prove. From the tip off both teams brought high intensity to the game. Although Willetton seemed the underdogs they led the first quarter by 7 with Jackson Hussey (11 points) controlling the tempo. Most play was in the paint with almost half of the points scored inside. Caulfield captains Simon Grant was strong inside and Sean Stewart dominating outside play throughout with 22 and 17 points respectively. Willetton’s Josh Johnson (C) and Bola Orundami were strong offensive threats contributed to their dominant inside game. Caulfield came fighting back in the second and third to go into the final quarter with an 8 point lead. Willetton were fierce from the 3 point line especially Mitch Clarke (10) hitting two crucial 3’s at the death for Willetton to bring the game within 5 points but Caulfield’s defence held strong and got them home with a six point margin.

John Paul College V Lake Ginninderra College – Championship Men
John Paul dominated the first quarter going into the break 28-14 and continued to increase their lead to 21 points into the main break. Strong offensive games by Taylor Barry (19 points) and Richard Morris (15 points) showed the way inside and out for John Paul. Lake Ginninderra coach Jason Denley must have inspired his team in the half time break to find their rhythm particularly Anthony Pronin rising to the challenge with 12 points and 9 rebounds in the second half and Stephen Rowe helping his team fight back with a solid 10 rebounds. Both teams found their strength in the paint with strong boards and second chance points. Although down coming into the fourth, Lake Ginninderra didn’t give up winning the quarter by 6 points with an exceptional 71% at the free throw line. John Paul College however, were too dominant holding the margin to 17 points at the buzzer.

John Paul College v Rosny College- Championship Women
First game nerves were evident in the early minutes in this championship women’s game before John Paul found their form. Aleisha Myers and Madelyn Willey dominated offensively for John Paul leading the scoring for their team with 23 and 21 points respectively with John Paul heading into the main break with a 26 point lead.  John Paul’s defence was intense and in the face of their competitors scoring 17 points from turnovers and 10 second chance points from offensive boards. Ashley Taia and Karina Dawson led the way with 13 and 11 boards respectively for John Paul. Ashton Eaton stood out for Rosny with 27 points, 2 boards and 3 steals, helping her team keep their head high finishing the game with 20 points in the last quarter enabling them to take on Xavier tomorrow with a positive attitude. John Paul looks like a serious threat to the competition with this convincing win 92-54.

Box Hill Senior Secondary College v Xavier High School- Championship Women
Defending champions Xavier came out with a younger and shorter line-up facing a tough and more experienced Box Hill in this opening round clash. From the onset Box Hill dominated with an early lead which continued throughout the game. Olivia Simmons and Morgan Pink were strong with 12 points each allowing for a comfortable lead going into the main break 29-11. Box Hill pulled in a massive 48 rebounds and continued to dominate with 26 points in the paint and 10 second chance points. A strong bench from Box Hill contributed 40 points to their team’s total of 67 illustrating the depth of their team. Xavier’s Tahnee Cannan fought hard for her team as an equal game top scorer with 12 points, 100% from the free-throw line and 7 rebounds. Box Hill were too athletic with this convincing performance proving their worth in this competition with this 67-35 win.

Newington College v Don Campus – Championship Men
Both teams came out with a strong and confident start with only a marginal lead of 5 by Newington at the end of the first quarter. Aggression and enthusiasm continued throughout the second quarter with Newington’s Nic Kay scoring multiple baskets and Lachlan Urwin gaining several defence rebounds. Although Don Campus did not give up, both Lucas Simpson and Joel Beveridge attacked offensively, 19 and 16 points respectively. Together with offensive rebounds that put them back into the game, heading into the main break with an equal 31-31 score. Play continued to be intense during the second half, with Newington stepping up and taking control. Majority of points were in the paint, with fast and attacking plays allowing them to have a 14 point lead. Don’s captain, Lucas Simpson led his team to keep their heads up, finishing the game top scorer of his team with 19 points. Newington College appeared to be too strong and dominate through the second half with Nic Kay top scorer of 28 points, shooting at 93% and 14 rebounds to lead his team to a 20 point victory.

Brisbane State High School v Concordia College – Championship Men
Brisbane’s young and eager side came out with a confident start, attacking both offensively and defensively with baskets from across the team, heading into the second quarter with a 6 point lead. Concordia’s captain, William Crouch, motivation and passion pulled his team back into the game, along with Brad Pfitzner being dominate on the defensive boards. Heading into the second half with only a slight 1 point difference, both teams were keen to get back out on the court to win the fierce and intense match. With the help of Concordia’s spectators, allowed them to disturb Brisbane’s play and continued to score baskets all over the court. Brisbane did not give up, with Chia Nick’s fast and attacking play allowed his team to score several layups to get them back in the game. This fast and intense game continued to go back and forth with both teams looking strong heading into the final quarter. Shooting range was equal between the teams, although Concordia’s captain, William, stepped up, with top scorer of 19 points, 10 rebounds, which resulted in his team winning by a marginal 4 point s in this clash.

Caulfield Grammar V Willetton Senior High–Championship Women
For the second time on the opening day, Caulfield Grammar and Willetton Senior High faced each other, but this time in the Women’s Championship division. Caulfield left off from where their Men’s team finished and jumped out to quick lead and never looked back. A devastating 24-4 opening quarter to Caulfield made it tough going for their overwhelmed opposition. Lead by Jorga Smith, the Willetton team worked hard and contained Caulfield’s lead, but to no avail, with the final quarter seeing Caulfield cruise to a comfortable opening round win, 66-33. Caulfield’s Emma Gilsenan dominated the game with a game high 19 points, shooting an amazing70% from the floor, with Marena Whittle scoring 12 points in support. Jorga Smith scored 12 for Willetton with Ella Kennedy pulling down 10 rebounds. The win gave Caulfield the double over Willetton and sent a big message to the rest of the Championship, they are serious contenders again this year.

Westfields Sports High V Unley High School–Championship Women
This game brought out the cheer squads and it didn’t take long for the respective teams to have their supporters heard through the stadium. In front of a big, loud crowd, both teams didn’t disappoint with hard fought basketball on offer. The scoring was end to end with no more than 7 points separating the teams throughout the first half. Despite Westfields trailing by 6 at quarter time, they went into the long break 3 points up. A tense second half was on offer. Both teams had two go to players, with Racheal Cadee and Casey Samuels playing the part for Westfields and Amy Shaw and Hannah Hull doing the job for Unley. A the crowd lifted with each basket only 2 points separated the teams going into the final quarter. A massive play including a blocked shot followed by a length of the court pass and basketball by Amy Shaw seemed to give Unley the edge it needed and a game high lead of 10 points, but Westfields didn’t give up and chipped away again to trail by 4. IN the end, time ran out for Westfields, despite Cadee and Samuels draining 13 points each. But 17 points to both Hull and Shaw for Unley was enough for the team in blue to take a highly entertaining game 57-53.

Lake Ginninderra College V Caulfield Grammar School–Championship Men
Round 2 started in the late Monday night slot for the Pool A teams. Lake Ginninderra were looking to turn around a loss earlier in the day and came out strong with Anthony Pronin shooting all 5 of the Lakers and the games first points, and that’s what the margin would stay after the first quarter. Both teams continued to trade baskets with Caulfield clawing their way back late in the quarter to head into half time scores locked at 34-34. The two big number 10’s from each team were going head to head at every chance, with the Lakers Stephan Rowe working hard towards his game high 24 points and 7 rebounds. Caulfield went on a 15-2 run in the latter stages of the third quarter to skip away to a commanding 13 point lead, with Jared Dettmann leading the charge for Caulfield with 21 points and 12 rebounds. The final quarter an inspired Lakers team came to play and worked they way to within 4 points and less than 5 minutes on the clock. Solid efforts y Corbin Wroe and Anthony Pronin gave the Lakers hope of a great comeback, but the boys from ACT were left wanting when Caulfield sunk two 3 pointers to blow back out to 10 and play their way to their second win in two starts. Overall the Caulfield coaching staff would be pleased with the overall team effort with 5 players in double figures, good defensive efforts and great team work and come out 78-70 winners.

Willetton Senior High V John Paul College–Championship Men
In their second game for the day, Willetton would have taken heart going close to knocking over the defending Champions Caulfield in the opening match of the Championship, but first game winners John Paul College were keen to show they were serious contenders by claiming back to back wins, and they shot out to an eight point lead early. Willetton soon turned on their game and closed in fast to go to the first break level, 24-24. The teams traded baskets early in the second period but Willetton started to get the upper hand going out to an 11 point lead a number of times during the quarter, with Josh Johnson and Jackson Hussey in what seemed a personal challenge to take top scoring honours for the West Australians. Both were scoring at will. At half time John Paul College were only trailing by 6 and well in the game. The third quarter was as tight as ever and the crowd was sensing a grandstand finish and was growing louder with each basket. John Paul’s Brendan Carroll was using his pace and drive through the key on several occasions to take the easy layup, leaving the sluggish Willetton defence in his wake.8 points was the margin as the teams huddled in preparation for the final quarter. John Paul’s big man Joshua Ogunmokun was making a presence and driving his team to within 5 points, but Willetton’s Hussey (30 points) and Johnson (33 points) continued their shoot out to take Willetton to a deserved 91 – 77 win.