Written and provided by Basketball ACT, hosts of the 2014 Australian Schools Championships
With day 3 in the books, our semi finalists have been decided.
In the first of the men’s semi’s it will be the hot shooting guards from Sacred Heart up against the size and disciplined approach of tournament favourites Sydney Boys High. Sacred Heart have been lead all week by tournament leading scorer Isaac White who is averaging 31 points per game. He was kept relatively quiet in the quarter final against Haileybury, however big man Akol Deng stepped up to the tune of 36 points and 23 rebounds. Whether or not Sydney manages to keep Isaac and brother Samuel quiet will go a long way in deciding the match. Sydney will be relying on the steady inside presence of Geoffrey Gerlach to go along with their own trademark defensive effort to give themselves the chance to play in the final. Sydney Boys cruised past St Francis Xavier in the quarters despite the injured Myles Cherry returning for a gutsy 28 points and 7 rebounds.
In the remaining men’s semi final it will be St Augustine’s up against St James in a rematch of Tuesday’s nail biter. St James overwhelmed Willetton High in the quarterfinals with their athleticism (30 offensive rebounds) and they will be hoping to carry that over to the semi final. Abraham Manyang leads a balanced scoring approach that can hurt you from every position on the floor. St Augustine’s got here by cruising against Hellyer College. Savvy guard Tom Savage will need to get hot and combine with his big men Deng Gak and Jonathon Marsh to keep their titles hopes alive.
A special mention must go to Billie Muir who battled his way to an impressive 26 points and 18 rebounds in a workmanlike effort for locals Lake Ginninderra College in the earlier pool game against Sacred Heart.
In the women’s side, defending champions Rowville look to be untouchable to this point of the competition. They cruised into the semi with a rout of Catholic Ladies College earlier in the day. An even spread of scoring makes the Rowville girls extremely hard to defend, and their suffocating defense has been holding teams to paltry totals all week. Palm Beach Currumbin get the unenviable task of being in the same side of the bracket and they will be relying on the all around play of Khaiden Taito. Khaiden has managed a double double in all but one game to date, and she will need another strong effort if the game is to be competitive.
The opposite side of the bracket has tournament leading scorer Jayden Fuaiva and her John Paul College teammates up against the undefeated Monte Sant’ Angelo. The scoring duel between Fuaiva and second leading scorer Madelaine O’Hehir could go a long way in deciding which squad advances. JPC have been improving with every game and if that trend continues it may be too a little too much to handle.
The player of the day goes to Shae Lovelace from St Margaret’s in the under 15 Freshman girls. Shae managed 35 points for the second time in the week after scoring 29 in the earlier game, taing her scoring average to over 23ppg.