Results of the Gold Medal matches from Day 8 of the Australian Junior Championships being held in Ulverstone, Tasmania.
Men’s Gold Medal: Qld North 74 defeated Vic Metro 70
After falling by 29 points in their group pool clash earlier in the week, Qld North have overcome Vic Metro 74-70 in the gold medal match to record their first Championship.
Getting Vic Metro off to the perfect start, Callan Blackley drained a three but Samson Froling was able to respond straight away with a three-point play of his own.
On a Tyler Robertson triple, Vic Metro jumped out to their equal highest lead of the game but it was answered by a 10-2 run from their opposition. Sean McDonald was able to stop the bleeding just before quarter-time with another three-pointer.
Vic Metro’s hot shooting from beyond the arc continued through the half, finishing 6-11 from the three-point line.
Their problems came at the other end though as they were unable to stop the ball from being fed inside with Ryan Runnalls and Froling helping Qld North to a 22-10 advantage in the paint as well as a six-point lead going into the half.
Kody Stattman was also a big part of the lead and he maintained his stroke through the main break, starting the second half with his fourth three-pointer. Whenever Vic Metro made a run, Stattman was there to halt it, finishing 6-10 from beyond the arc.
A monster effort from Robertson suddenly put Vic Metro in front in the last quarter as he reeled off eight straight points with a strong effort on the boards. It was the same old story though as Stattman drilled a sensational floater with 25 seconds remaining to regain the lead.
Vic Metro was then called for a travel which forced them to intentionally foul and when an errant pass went through the hands of MacDonald, Qld North were able to seal the victory from the free throw line in a very tense finish.
- Kody Stattman: 24 points on 6-10 three-point shooting
- Samson Froling: 17 points and 15 rebounds
- Ryan Runnalls: 10 points and seven rebounds
- Sean MacDonald: 18 points, five rebounds and five assists
- Tyler Robertson: 15 points, six rebounds, four assists
- Matthew Roberts: 13 points
1. Qld North
2. Vic Metro
3. Qld South
4. NSW Country
6. Vic Country
7. WA Metro
8. SA Country
9. SA Metro
11. NSW Metro
12. WA Country
Women’s Gold Medal: Qld South 59 defeated SA Metro 58
Recording their first Championship in the 44 year history of the competition, Qld South have won a nail-biter against last year’s winners, SA Metro, 59-58.
With Darcy Rees controlling the paint, SA Metro got the jump on their opponents to lead 5-0 early. She recorded an impressive four blocks in the first ten minutes but following a time-out and a couple of long range connections from Meila Goodchild, Qld South settled.
Despite Rees’ domination at the defensive end, Qld South still doubled SA Metro in rebounds in the first quarter which allowed them to get into their running game. That freedom saw them respond to a 3-10 start with a 15-0 run spanning the first and second quarters to gain the ascendancy.
Second chance points kept Qld South in front through the first half with Goodchild’s five offensive rebounds helping her side to a 9-2 advantage. Their crisp ball movement was also on show, feeding their forwards in the low post for easy baskets.
A three-pointer from Elissa Brett, who was the hero for SA Metro in the Semi-Final with a buzzer beater, kept her team close while Zoe Walker-Roberts’ lay-up in the dying seconds cut the margin to six at the main break.
Both sides came out of half-time with strict defence, as the first field goal was scored four minutes into the third term. SA Metro ran the pick-and-roll to perfection on consecutive plays, cutting the lead to a one-possession game.
The momentum then began to truly swing in SA Metro’s favour as Elissa Brett was fouled while Samantha Simons drained a three-pointer. Brett’s subsequent two free throws then gave SA Metro their first lead since the opening term.
The margin changed hands three times in the first four minutes of the final quarter before Qld South gained a six-point buffer thanks to Ula Motuga, Jade Kirisome and Goodchild who finished off an interception with a fast break lay-up.
At the other end, Brett took the ball to the basket off a solid screen to hand her team the lead once again.
Shyla Heal, who missed all nine of her field goal attempts, charged to the rim on Qld South’s last offensive possession and was fouled. She calmly sunk two free throws with 12 seconds remaining, giving SA Metro one last chance.
After fumbling the ball, Brett was forced to take a long three-point attempt which just rimmed out as Qld South took the gold medal in a thriller.
- Meila Goodchild: 18 points and seven rebounds
- Ula Motuga: 10 points and 10 rebounds
- Brianna Gregory-Johnson: 7 points
- Elissa Brett: 15 points and 10 rebounds
- Darcy Rees: 10 points, 13 rebounds, seven blocks
- Juliet Gordon: 12 points
1. Qld South
2. SA Metro
3. Vic Metro
4. Vic Country
5. SA Country
7. Qld North
9. WA Metro
11. NSW Country
12. NSW Metro
13. WA Country