The Basketball Australia Under 18 Australian Junior Championships got underway today in Canberra with all four WA teams in action.
WA High Performance Manager Brett Coxsedge provides his game by game reports below.
WA Metro Women vs. SA Country
Both teams were even in the first quarter with Good inside looks from WA, whilst SA Country hit some shots from outside.
Some extended pressure by SA Country caused problems early however WA we’re able to stay in the game with strong rebounding from their bigs. SA Country led 18-14 at end of first quarter.
The second quarter saw SA Country skip out to a six lead early on. WA again pounded the ball inside with Megan McKay and Taylah Hepburn playing strong. A three point bomb from Hayley Winter saw WA go on a 5-nil run to lead 33-28. However SA Country clawed their way back with some good inside play of their own to lead 34-33 at the half time break.
SA Country got out to a 10pt lead after the break and WA were down 50-47 at three quarter time. SA maintained their lead with WA going down 78-69.
WA Country Men vs. QLD South
A nervous start offensively saw WA struggle being down 12-2 early in the game. A three play by Shaun Rost and a triple by Shaun King saw the margin reduced to six. As the quarter progressed WA found themselves settling in to the game to trail 14-8 at quarter time.
The second quarter was highlighted with some good shooting from QLD South. WA continued to struggle offensively and found themselves down 33-17 at half time.
The second half saw QLD South control the play and extend their lead, running out comfortable winners 81-41.
WA Metro Men vs. NSW Country
This game was an even contest from the start. Strong inside play and slick execution saw NSW Country jump out to an early lead. Down 26-20 at the end of the first quarter.
NSW Country extended their lead to 20 points in the second quarter through some good transition baskets. Kouat Noi (NSWC) was proving more than a handful having scored 20 points for the half. WA continued to struggle to get in to any flow offensively. A couple of late baskets before the break saw WA close the gap to be down 50-36 at half time.
The second half saw NSW Country take complete control of the game leading 67-51 at the end of the third quarter and running out eventual winners 91-62.
WA Country Women vs. Tasmania
Even first quarter, with both teams trading baskets. WA was down 21-18 at the end of the first quarter.
Tasmania started the second quarter with some quick baskets to jump to a six point lead. WA then pressed up the court which resulted in Tasmania turning the ball over, which allowed WA to score some easy baskets. Mackenzie Hoycard led the way for the half with 11pts, 17 rebounds and 5 blocked shots. WA led 32-29 at the half time break.
A great third quarter by WA saw them extend their lead to double figures. Good contributions from Raya Thompson, Renae Curtis and Rachel Pettit saw WA lead 56-48 going in to the last quarter.
Some controlled and great team basketball in the last quarter saw WA control the game to run out comfortable winners 78-67.
For WA, Mackenzie Hoycard was a powerhouse with 22pts, 27 rebounds and 7 blocked shots. She was well supported by Rachel Pettit with 16pts/8 Rebs, Raya Thompson 13pts/10 Rebs and Meg Ferraz 10pts.
WA Metro Women vs. Tasmania
In their second game of the day, the WA women played the host team ACT. This was always going to be a big test for the girls after their loss earlier in the day to SA Country.
The first quarter was a close affair with both teams trading baskets. Some good inside play by WA was proving to be very effective, however too many fouls allowed ACT to gain a small lead 19-18 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was an even contest again with neither team gaining a clear break. WA had a 36-34 lead at half time.
A 12pt run to start the second half saw WA jump out to handy lead. However ACT clawed their way back in to the game to close the gap to five points. Strong play from Taylah Hepburn saw the lead grow with WA going in to the last break leading 62-49.
ACT started the last quarter with a mini run to get within eight points. However WA was able to control the tempo to close out the game and get their first win of the tournament 87-65.