Victoria dominates U20 Ivor Burge Championship Finals

Victoria dominates U20 Ivor Burge Championship Finals

Victoria has scooped the field, winning both the 2011 U20 Australian Championships as well as the Ivor Burge Men’s and Women’s Championships, in finals games battled out in in Maitland on Saturday.

U20 Championship

In the women’s gold medal game, Victoria had advanced through to the final going undefeated throughout the preceding rounds, and who were the considered strong favourites to take the gold.  However, NSW  took it to the Victorian’s in the opening quarter, taking a 20–15 lead at the first break, thanks to some good play from Ashley Karaitiana, who finished the game with 19 points. 

Victoria’s overall depth came to the fore in the second quarter when they outscored NSW to lead at the big break 43–32.

NSW defended gallantly in the second half, with Lauren Nicholson shooting a high clip from the floor, connecting on eight of 12 attempts, to finish with 18 points herself.

But Victoria were simply too strong, with some good all-round scoring from Gems squad members Rebecca Cole, Sara Blicavs (10 points each) and they were well supported by Lauren Pearce who also finished with 10 points, while Rebecca Allen added nine points and Olivia Bontempelli finished with seven. A well deserved win 73-56 win for the Victorians.

In the bronze medal game, Queensland defeated South Australia in one of the most entertaining contests across the finals, taking the narrow victory 79–73.

In the men’s gold medal game, Victoria faced up to an exciting Queensland side who had defeated NSW in the semi final on Friday night, and who came into the final with a great deal of confidence to take the game right up to the favoured Victorians. 

The capacity crowd was not disappointed as Queensland led in the first quarter 18–12 with some outstanding shooting from guards Mitch Norton and Mitch McCarron, two rising stars who were both enjoying fine tournaments individually.  

The Victorians chipped away at the lead through some superb perimeter play from Igor Hadziomerovic, who finished the game with 18 points (7 from 13 shooting) and Anthony Drmic, who had 20 points for the game, as the Victorians climbed back to within three points at half time, 35-32.

The depth of the Victorian side in the third quarter saw them outscore the maroons to wrestle back the lead, 52–47 heading into the final term, and despite some plucky play in the final minutes, the Victorians were able to hold on to record a 77–70 win and claim a well-deserved tournament win and the championship rings to go with it.

For Queensland, Mitchell Norton was outstanding to lead all scorers with 29 points (9 of 14 from the field; 5 of 8 from the three point line) and he was well assisted by Mitchell McCarron with 10 points (4 of 8 from the field).

In the bronze medal game SA caused a dramatic upset, defeating NSW 61-54.

The Bob Staunton Medals were both won by Victorians — Mitchell Creek for the men and Rebecca Cole for the women.

Ivor Burge Championship

In the Ivor Burge men’s final, Victoria met crowd-favourites the ACT, who had gone through the week undefeated, except for a one-point loss to Victoria in the final preliminary round.  

In the gold medal game it was Victoria who were too experienced, running away easy winners 85–46 to seal the championship rings. Michael Paterson led the scoring for the winners with 20 points. Melvin Lee finished with 13 points while David O’Sullivan added 11 points, and Cameron Slacik and Nicholas Hum both finished with 10 points each. 

For the runners up, Mark Dahlberg led his team well with 13 points and 19 rebounds and was well supported by Aaron Clarkson with 11. 

The Bronze medal was won by NSW Country 105–60 over Victorian Country, while Tasmania defeated Queensland 94–79 for fifth position.

The Ivor Burge women’s gold medal game was another nail biter with Victoria coming from behind to snatch the win 56–49, in a well deserved victory.

Kaitlyn Papworth was outstanding for Victoria. She finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds, while Molly Urquhart-Moran was also impressive finishing with 20 points and nine rebounds. 

For the NSW girls, Lisa Mackie led all scorers with 26 points, while Ericka Demello scored 10 and Karina Baines seven points and 10 rebounds.

The bronze medal was won by NSW Country, who managed to take out a strong victory over Queensland 63–33, while Victorian Country narrowly defeated South Australia 58-57 to secure a fifth-place finish.

The Ivor Burge Most Valuable Players for the tournament were Kaitlin Papworth from Victoria and Dean Pallier from NSW Country.