Written by volunteers of Ballarat Basketball
Kevin Coombs Cup Bronze Medal Game: NSW 2 (48) v Victoria (51)
With a medal up for grabs both teams started with aggressive intensity with NSW’s Catherine Nelson showing great blocking skills for her team. Opportunities for scoring were on an even footing but the Vics were making theirs count especially through the agency of Jayden Clark.
They continued with good key passing into the second half and had built up a good lead going into the final term. However NSW 2 were not yet finished. They went on a 10-point run and the Vics were feeling the pressure. Passes began to be intercepted and the full court press was hurting them and any break-outs from this were then rushed.
Unfortunately for NSW 2 they had to come from too far behind and the Victorians held on for a 3-point win and will be able to proudly wear the Bronze medal tonight after the medal ceremony.
Women Play Off 5th & 6th: Qld South (69) v Vic Country (84)
Both teams were anxious to make an impression in this game to show that they were capable of matching it with the medallists in this battle for 5th place in the women’s division.
Both teams were unable to breakaway from each other early in the game as teams mixed their defensive strategies. It was not until Vic Country went into the bonus team foul territory that Qld South managed to get ahead by virtue of points at the foul line as well as some smart full court traps.
The game tightened up considerably in the second quarter as Vic Country were succeeding with their in-close shots while Qld South allowed a few easy baskets to the Vics through some loose defensive play.
After the main break, Qld South tried a full court press but the Vics worked through it and with efficient shooting took a 6-point lead into the final term.
The Vic Country girls’ defensive work in the second half set up this victory and they made sure of it with smart passing and good shooting all the way to the final whistle.
Men Play Off 7th & 8th: ACT (40) v Vic Country (77)
The battle for 7th and 8th in the men’s division was settle early on the final day when these two teams faced off at the Wendouree centre.
The game began at a fast pace with both teams providing excellent strong defence. The ACT boys finished the quarter the better and claimed a narrow 4-point lead at this juncture.
The second term was punctuated by some great offensive plays by the Vic Country outfit thrilling the crowd as they surged to an 11-point lead at the main break.
Momentum was now with the locals and they extended their lead throughout the second half assisted by some impressive steals and the 7th place was now in Vic Country’s keeping.
Women Bronze Medal: NSW Metro (51) v SA Metro (72)
The Bronze Medal was the prize for the winner of this contest and SA Metro set the defensive standards early in the game with a strong full court press, causing NSW Metro girls some headaches by reducing their time in offence and hence rushing their shots. However on the scoreboard there was little difference – NSW up by one at quarter time.
NSW began to struggle against SA’s pace with Bianca Thacker and Tahlia Fejo for SA Metro proving a handful for their opponents. At the main break it was still anyone’s game with the gap only 4 points in favour of SA Metro.
Scores again tightened up in the third term and with 3 mins to play teams were tied at 40 points apiece, until a late run from SA saw them 7 points to the good. When they used this momentum to score the first 6 points of the final term, NSW Metro’s spirit appeared to sag, and the superior game finishing skills of SA Metro earned them the Bronze Medal.
Men Play Off 5th & 6th: SA Metro (72) v WA Metro (83)
This was the battle for 5th in the men’s division and state pride was certainly on the line for both teams.
The opening sequences of play were executed at high pace, but poor shooting from both teams meant that the scores remained tight, until towards the end of the quarter when offensive rhythms came to the fore for both teams. WA grabbed the lead 20 to 16 when they found the range from outside the 3 point arc.
Scores remained close for the second term although SA Metro were the ones always playing catch up. And this pattern continued into the third. The break was now 11, but WA were not complacent.
SA Metro closed the gap early in the final term and WA Metro were in foul trouble so a comeback was on the cards, but it seemed that the final efforts from SA sapped their energy as a couple of uncharacteristic turnovers handed WA Metro some easy baskets and in the end 5th place.
Women Play Off 9th & 10th: Tasmania (78) v Qld North (64)
Each team wants to finish as high up the table as possible so the battle for 9th was always going to be keenly fought.
Both teams were on the attack from the outset, but found scoring runs difficult to come by and when the buzzer went at quarter time Qld North had their nose in front by a single basket.
In the second quarter Tasmania began to play at a faster pace and were very clean with their ball handling. They hit the front just prior to half time on the back of some very efficient shooting including some impressive threes from Taylor Mole.
Tasmania’s 4-point lead at half time gave them the confidence needed to close this game out and they did so increasing their lead as the game wore on and deserved this win.
Men Bronze Medal: Victoria Metro (59) v Qld North (79)
Start of the first quarter Vic Metro and Qld North both started strong. Both teams having tall players, match-ups were even. #11 Harrison Froling from Qld and #12 Nick Dane from Vic Metro showed excellent one-on-one match ups in the key. Vic Metro played good tactical plays which gave them a small lead in the second quarter. Lachlan Signal (#8) for Vic Metro nicely got rejected by the tall William McDowell-White (#7), which lit the stadium up with a massive roar. Despite Vic Metro trailing at the half, the total rebounds were nearly double in percentage rate to Qld’s total. Froling dominant on the court, showing Vic Metro up. With an impressive dunk by the young man, he lifted the whole stadium into excitement. Qld North soon took the lead out of the hands from their points from turnovers made by Vic Metro. Qld North’s offensive plays were unstoppable, with the height from Froling and McDowell-White. The pressure from Qld made it hard for Vic to score. Despite this, Victoria kept up a strong fight to win back some points. Good hustle by the team reduced the margin but wasn’t enough for Vic Metro to take the victory. Qld North claimed the win due to their ability to play strong in-key offensive plays.
Women Play Off 7th & 8th: WA Metro (46) v NSW Country (60)
This game would settle who would gain 7th place, and neither team gave an inch in the first quarter although errors on both sides kept the scoreboard relatively quiet.
By half time there was still just a single point in it with WA Country just in front thanks largely to Amy Atwell who was giving her all at both ends.
Into the second half NSW Country lifted their game and their offensive moves through Abbey George began to pay dividends – after 4minutes they were out by 7. WA Metro were scrapping hard but not able to buy a basket, while NSW rubbed it in with a couple of timely threes.
The last quarter began with NSW in front by 9 and nothing WA threw at them could bridge the gap – NSW Country claimed 7th place by 14 points.
Men Play Off: Tasmania (72) v SA Country (69)
On the last day of a Championship each game holds something special and this game was no exception.
The first quarter was an even affair, until a few late baskets had SA Country in front by 6 and this was the pattern into the second term as strong defence from SA held Tasmania at bay, while when Tasmania had opportunities to score they failed to capitalise.
By three-quarter time with Brad Rathjen getting the crowd on their toes with a spectacular dunk the score was 16 to 36 in favour of SA Country.
But all coaches will be now wondering what inspirational words came from Tasmanian Coach Mark Radford, as his team came from the clouds in the final quarter. In a totally team-oriented commitment from all players they had the deficit back to 5 with a minute to play. They then played an exhilarating and exquisite final minute to steal the game by a margin of three, doubling their three-quarter time score and thus claiming 9th place.
Kevin Coombs Cup Gold Medal Game: Queensland Rolling Thunder (54) v WA Black Ducks (44)
This was a fast and skilled game of basketball with both teams desperate for the gold.
Both teams exhibited great defensive blocking and the game remained close with Qld in front by just 4 at half time. Benjamin Grice for Qld and Andrew Dewberry for WA both had 8 points apiece at the long break.
Two minutes into the third term, Qld had opened up a 10-point margin and WA began racking up fouls giving their opponents numerous opportunities at the foul line. WA through Dewberry and Sarah Vince began to claw back some of the deficit, but Qld answered when it counted.
In the final term Amber Merritt for WA looked as if she might give her team a chance, but Jake Fulwood answered for Qld Rolling Thunder and they celebrated the gold as the final buzzer went.
Women Play Off 11th & 12th: WA Country (68) v ACT (52)
The first quarter was an even tussle throughout as the match ups were close and the quality of play from both was also of an even standard and by half time there was just 6 points in favour of WA Country, with Cassady Anderson playing a prominent game for WA and Annabelle Lindsay doing the same for the ACT.
The third quarter was a tight affair but the ACT were unable to apply sufficient stops to get on a roll to get themselves in front.
In the end it was WA Country’s more even performance from all that saw them move away and claim a comfortable win in the end and seal 11th place.
Men Play Off 11th & 12th: Qld South Men (109) v WA Country Men (59)
Both sides came to this game wanting to salvage some pride, but it was Qld South who wanted it more.
Right from the outset they executed their offensive plays with precision and had the WA Country team searching for answers.
The gap steadily increased at every break and the winning margin of 50 was testament to what Qld South might have done had they had a full contingent all week.
Tom Fullarton for Qld South had a triple double to finish off the week 18 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists – a fantastic performance, while Riley Martin for Qld South dropped a lazy 31 points.
Women Gold Medal Game: Vic Metro (86) v SA Country (46)
The large vocal crowd were treated to a great display from both teams in the first quarter. As the game settled down Vic Metro through Anneli Maley, who grabbed 8 boards in the first quarter forced their way to the front and led 13-9 at the break.
The gap on the scoreboard began to rise steadily as the SA Country girls struggled at both ends of the court to match their well-drilled opponents. Maley was by now a real headache for SA Country and her performance in this period established the groundwork for the second half.
And it was one way traffic in the second half as Vic Metro went on their way with every player making a contribution to the victory. They were worthy gold medallists and SA Country can be extremely proud to collect silver as a record of their fine week of basketball.
Kevin Coombs Cup Play Off 5th & 6th: NSW A (82) v Qld Roaring Thunder (27)
Georgia Munro-Cook was able to get NSW A off to the perfect start with 8 early points including a bucket and foul conversion. Jaylen Miller was able to score a powerful midrange shot to keep his team in it at quarter time.
Very strong defence early in the second quarter by NSW A but Qld Roaring’s passing is keeping them alive. If Qld can tighten their defence they could claw their way back. Coban Palmer (NSW A) combined strong defence with a solid offensive performance, scoring two fast break lay-ups.
NSW A moved away in the third and proved that they were too strong for the developing Qld team. They were quickly adding to their score on offense whilst not allowing any decent looks at their defensive end.
Qld Roaring fought gallantly in the fourth to score 6 quick points, but NSW A proved too strong in the end with a big victory.
Men Grand Final: NSW Metro (66) v NSW Country (82)
Crowd got involved before the jump ball and it was a very noisy start to a gold medal game. There were several dunks and superb shots at both ends of the court and at the end of it all nothing had been achieved with the scores tied at 17 all.
Overall 10 lead changes in the first half of this match and an unsportsmanlike foul on NSW Metro sent key scorer Angus Glover to the line for NSW Country. Glover and Maluach Makuach had been consistently breaking down NSW Metro’s defence and this was the difference in the two teams at this stage.
A run was made by NSW Metro with some great shots and a dunk by Deng Gak but NSW Country stopped the run with some great shooting throughout their team. As the siren sounded at the end of the quarter NSW Metro’s Dragan Elkaz shot the longest 3-pointer for the week ass it was half way back in the back court. This ignited the stadium and it was still game on.
Final quarter NSW Metro made another strong run and NSW Country went a little flat but regrouped to win. No record of which team won the dunk contest but NSW Country take the title and gold medals. A very entertaining match.