REFLECTIONS ON THE 2007 UNDER-20 CHAMPS WITH PAUL GORISS

REFLECTIONS ON THE 2007 UNDER-20 CHAMPS WITH PAUL GORISS

Paul Goriss coached at Under-16, Under-18 and Under-20 level, spent 13 years at the AIS and is the current coach of the University of Canberra Capitals in the WNBL but a shot from a decade ago at the Under-20 national championships in Ballarat still haunts him.

It came in double-overtime of the bronze medal game between Goriss’ ACT and Western Australia, a match which had seen ACT surrender an 11-point margin at quarter-time before fighting back to take it into an extra period.

The teams were still deadlocked after one period of overtime and it was deep into double-OT when WA’s Kyle Armour held the ball with ACT leading by just a point.

“The biggest memory I have is Armour’s runner to win the game,” said Goriss.

“It was in front of their bench, on the right hand side of the court and it was a tough shot so all credit to Kyle.

“I was bitterly disappointed for our group because we had come such a long way and I thought we were playing our best basketball but it wasn’t to be. I’ll never forget that Armour shot.”

2007 marked a change in the format for the Under-20’s with teams split into pools for their group games before the finals but with every team assured of at least advancing beyond the group stage, Goriss knew the Quarter-Final was the all-or-nothing game for every team.

Several states were stacked with talent with Queensland represented by Chris Goulding, Victoria by Kevin Probert, WA by Cameron Gliddon and Daniel Johnson while NSW possessed almost half a dozen AIS scholarship holders and numerous Emu’s squad members.

However, ACT had their own superstars in Clint Steindl, who was selected after Queensland decided not to pick him, as well as Patty Mills.

“Queensland gave us a pasting in our first game and they went on to play off for the gold medal,” said Goriss.

“But then New South Wales were stacked and we were able to push them all the way. We knew we just had to be playing our best basketball in the Quarter-Final, and that happened to be against Victoria.

“I still remember the pre-game talk was that today was when we were going to play our best basketball and I remember leading from start to finish.”

ACT ran out 86-75 victors in that game as Mills (36 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, four steals) went close to a triple-double but the win did not come without it’s difficulties for Goriss.

“We were up by about 12 with a couple of minutes to go and someone clocked Patty, cutting open his eyebrow.

“The other guys stepped up and we didn’t lose the lead which was a huge confidence booster for the team.

“Then, without about a minute to go, Patty tapped me on the shoulder with a huge bandage wrapped around his head and he said he was right to go back in. I resisted because we were not going to lose but he kept insisting saying ‘I want to go back in.’”

In his final year of national Championships, Mills was developing into the NBA Champion and Olympian that he would become and Goriss already knew there was something special about the guard.

“I was blessed to have Patty. Marty Clarke organised a few players to train with NBL clubs pre-nationals that year and Patty had spent a week with Brian Goorjian at the Kings for a bit of work experience.

“After that, we played NSW, Victoria and a combined ACT team for warm-up games and Patty just came off the plane and scored 50, 40 and 30.

“You could start to see his shots were in control and he knew how and when to use his speed as well as lead a team as point guard. You could see long-term that he would be a real player.”

Following that Quarter-Final victory over Victoria, ACT fell short of Queensland in the Semi-Final as Mills (31 points) duelled with future Olympic team mate Goulding (33 points).

That set up a bronze medal clash with WA and Goriss was confident that his team had the talent to bounce back from the loss the day before.

“At the end of the week of a national championship, everyone is always tired and trying to find that extra bit of energy to play in a big game. But Patty just kept on running the team, kept on scoring.

“He knew we needed him to score a lot to win and the other guys were good about it, they took their open shots but were happy to play second fiddle to Patty and he was such a great leader for us on and off the court.”

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On paper, ACT were undersized against WA and they would eventually lose the rebound count 62-49 but they were comfortable playing small ball with Mills running the floor.

The game ebbed and flowed with ACT’s running game working for periods of time before WA’s domination under the rim took over.

Daniel Johnson (29 points, 19 rebounds) had owned the paint for WA but a spanner was thrown into the works when he fouled out after 39 minutes of playing time.

The match was headed into overtime but at that stage, Goriss was pleased.

“I think we were shocking people with our style of play and I was happy for the game to keep going as they had to play small ball without DJ.

“It was a better situation for us the longer the game went."

Trent Worthington took over for Johnson in the paint, finishing with 25 points and 13 rebounds but ACT's Ashley Palmer (16 points), Steindl (12 points) and Ben White (12 points) ensured the margin remained close.

Mills was certainly the go-to player though and he finished with 49 points on 21-44 shooting with seven assists.

However, with time running out and the match about to hit 50 minutes, Armour (11 points, 11 rebounds, five assists) drilled the dagger for a 104-103 victory, breaking the hearts of the ACT players and Goriss.

“I’ll never forget that Armour shot.

“And I don’t think Patty will either.”

The box score from the 2007 Under-20 men’s bronze medal game can be found below.


Visitors: WAU20M
## Name P FG 3 Pt FT PTS ORB DRB TR PF AST TO BS ST MIN
5 * Daniel Johnson 12/30 0/0 5/6 29 9 10 19 5 1 2 0 0 39:16
6 Trian Iliadis 4/10 0/4 4/4 12 0 1 1 2 1 1 0 1 23:48
7 * Cameron Gliddon 4/20 3/11 0/0 11 3 5 8 1 5 5 0 2 50:00
8 * Martin Vahala 2/6 1/2 1/2 6 2 2 4 3 0 2 1 1 24:56
9 Michael Leonard 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DNP
10 * Kyle Armour 5/11 1/3 0/2 11 2 9 11 3 5 2 0 0 47:23
11 Trent Worthington 9/14 1/3 6/8 25 6 7 13 5 2 2 2 1 40:57
12 * Trent Dell'Orso 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 0 0 4:21
13 Andrew Dunnell 5/5 0/0 0/0 10 2 1 3 1 0 1 0 0 18:45
14 Brendan Newman 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0:34
Team 3 0 3
Totals 41/97 6/23 16/22 104 27 35 62 22 14 17 3 5 250

Home: ACTU20M
## Name P FG 3 Pt FT PTS ORB DRB TR PF AST TO BS ST MIN
5 Andrew Barber 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 9:28
6 * Jarryd Heywood 4/11 0/0 1/2 9 3 7 10 3 0 3 0 2 50:00
8 Matthew Ball 0/0 0/0 1/2 1 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 10:52
9 * Andrew Martin 2/4 0/1 0/0 4 0 0 0 3 3 2 1 0 29:38
10 Ashley Palmer 7/9 2/2 0/6 16 2 2 4 3 0 0 0 0 28:30
11 * Clint Steindl 4/8 1/3 3/3 12 0 3 3 5 0 5 1 0 34:48
12 Luke Currie-Richardson 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 3:20
13 * Patrick Mills 21/44 1/7 6/9 49 1 4 5 3 7 2 0 3 48:05
14 * Ben White 4/11 0/0 4/5 12 4 7 11 4 0 3 2 1 35:19
15 Tom Gibbs 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DNP
Team 6 7 13
Totals 42/88 4/13 15/27 103 17 32 49 21 10 16 4 6 250
Qtr 1 Qtr 2 Qtr 3 Qtr 4 OT 1 OT 2 OT 3 OT 4 Total
WAU20M WAU20M 22 26 13 20 11 12 0 0 104
ACTU20M ACT20 Men 33 9 15 24 11 11 0 0 103