Aussies off to winning start at Pacific Youth C'ships

Aussies off to winning start at Pacific Youth C'ships

Australia is off to a flying start, racking up impressive wins in the opening days of the 2012 FIBA Oceania Pacific Youth Championships in Churchill, Victoria.

The tournament brings together the emerging talent in the region, with teams from New Zealand, New Caledonia and Fiji among the eight nations represented.

Both the men’s and women’s teams are sitting pretty at the top of their respective standings on the back of big wins to start the tournament.

The Australian women’s team got off to a dream start, crushing Tahiti 105-24 to set the tone for the tournament. In a dominant performance from the hosts, Australia rushed to a 54-10 lead by half time.

It didn’t stop there as Australia reached triple digits thanks largely to the offensive output of Georgia Pineau (24 points 12 rebounds 5 blocks) and Alexandra Sharp (18 points 9 rebounds).

The momentum carried on into day two of the Championship, with another big win for the Australian team, this time over New Caledonia 117-21.

In was again a dominant first half that set the tone for the women’s team, leading 63-12 at the main interval before amassing another 55 second-half points.

The Aussies had a brilliant array of scorers, with seven players reaching double figures, with Danijela Milisc (21 points 7 rebounds), Pineau (18 points 9 rebounds), Bride Kennedy-Hopoate (17 points 8 rebounds), Morgan Yaeger (14 points) among the top scorers.

For the men it was a brilliant start to the Championships, accounting for Guam 84-46 to open their winning account.

Aggressive play from the outset had the hosts boasting a 39-20 lead at half time, which was taken beyond 30 points on the back of a 26-10 third period.

Settling for a final margin of 38 points the Australians had the likes of William Mcdowell-White (18 points 4 assists), Kyle Clark (17 points 6 rebounds) and Dejan Vasiljevic (13 points 6 rebounds 4 assists) to thank for the first-up win.

The Australians wasted little time building on that opening day success, crushing Samoa 83-36 to improve their record to 2-0.

The win was established early as Australia enjoyed the best start to a game in the tournament to date, leading 28-3 at the end of the first quarter. This was quickly expanded to a 54-15 lead at half time.

A more pedestrian second half from the hosts saw the margin stay under 50 points, with Abiola Akintola (16 points 14 rebounds 3 steals), Thomas Wilson (13 points 8 rebounds 4 assists) and Jock Perry (12 points 11 rebounds) leading the charge.

Day three of the 2012 FIBA Oceania Pacific Youth Tournament continues today, with the Australian men taking on Tahiti at 7:30pm AEDT, while the women take on Samoa at 5:30pm AEDT.

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