Kody Stattmann led the Emus in scoring with 17 points while Kyle Bowen had a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds.
#FIBAU18Asia Champion, @BasketballAus ??? #GoEmus #HereToShine pic.twitter.com/bRj6h5rXJ0
— FIBA (@FIBA) August 11, 2018
Flynn Cameron got the Kiwi’s off to a quick start with two blow-by layups to give New Zealand a 4-0 advantage not long after the tip. Kody Stattmann soon replied for Australia when he drove baseline for an impressive dunk.
Cameron could do no wrong for New Zealand in the early stages, as he banked in a three point attempt to bring the Kiwi’s out to a 9-4 lead. However Samson Froling soon showcased his range by responding with a three of his own.
Tamuri Wigness fired up the Aussies after he showcased his elite speed, with two quick drives to the bucket to give the Emus the lead back at 13-11. Wigness was starting to have his influence on the game, as his precise passing set up Leaupepe and Kyle Bowen for easy lay-ins.
When Kyle Bowen converted on a corner three, all of a sudden the Aussies had opened up a 22-11 lead off the back of a 15-0 run.
A pair of free-throws and a floater from Kyle Bowen took the quarter time score-line to 26-11 as the Emus went on a 19-0 run, keeping the New Zealanders scoreless for the last 5:40.
The second period began with a bang as Kyle Bowen and Kody Stattmann connected on an alley oop that lifted the Emus bench with excitement. Despite this, the Aussies experienced a slow start to the second quarter as they had been out-scored by the Kiwi’s 9-4 halfway through the quarter.
When Tomas Higgins hit a three for the Kiwis the margin was back to just 7 points, as the New Zealanders went on a run of their own to turn the game. Josh Gatbel got the Emus out of their scoring slump with a lay-in down the other end, but the Kiwi’s continued their comeback as Kruz Perrott-Hunt hit a tough three to beat the shot clock.
The Emus appeared to have gone cold, as Aiden Krause and Isaiah Lee bricked a couple of wide-open threes, the same sort of shots that were dropping for the Emus all tournament. Keli Leaupepe then beat the half-time buzzer with a lay-in off an offensive rebound to bring the Aussies second quarter total to 11. Despite the Emus cold shooting they still led 37-26 at the main break.
While the Aussies had not enjoyed the same advantage on the glass as they had had all tournament, the Emus led the points in the paint numbers 26-10.
The Emus appeared to shake off their shooting woes of the second quarter as Kody Stattmann calmly converted on a corner three to open the second half. Tyler Robertson dropped a three of his own moments later to force the Kiwis into an early timeout.
Darren Perry’s team appeared to look re-energised, as Isaiah Lee began to wreak havoc driving to the basket. The two teams traded buckets for the next few minutes as the margin remained at 13.
The last time the two teams met in the group stages it was a 44 point third quarter from the Emus that powered them away to a huge win. However the Kiwi’s did not look like they would roll over in this contest, as their gritty defensive style kept the margin just in reach.
The Kiwi’s continued to mount their comeback as a Kruz Perrott-Hunt lay-in brought the margin back to single digits. Moments later Flynn Cameron converted on a corner three to bring the margin back to just five. At the end of the third the score-line read 57-50 as the Kiwis were right in the game.
Flynn Cameron picked up where he left off in the third by opening the last period with a tough drive and lay-in to bring the Kiwis within 5. However Tyler Robertson replied with a three moments later to steady the Emus.
Maxwell Darling then converted on a sweet euro step layup, as the Emus were faced with their first close finish of the tournament. As the Australians only led by 6, Samson Froling connected on a timely three to get the Emus up off the bench in excitement.
With just under three minutes remaining Kody Stattmann managed to drop a tough driving lay-up to put the Emus up by 12 and force the New Zealanders into a timeout. Coming out of the timeout the Aussies were in a commanding position with a double digit lead and just under three minutes remaining.
From there the Aussies locked down on defence, holding the Kiwis scoreless for close to two minutes.
When Flynn Cameron scored with a little over a minute to go, the game was just about out of reach as the Emus led 71-61.
The margin was too great for the New Zealander’s to overcome as the Emus held on to win 72-63.
The result meant the Aussies lifted the Under-18 Asia Cup with New Zealand taking home Silver and China winning the Bronze.
#FIBAU18Asia Champs! ?Congratulations @BasketballAus ??? #GoEmus #HereToShine pic.twitter.com/YrJSj0zoUG
— FIBA (@FIBA) August 11, 2018
Kody Stattman had 17 for Australia while Kyle Bowen and Samson Froling rounded out the double digit scorers for the Emus.
The Kiwis were powered by three of their stars as Maxwell Darling had 20 points and 8 boards while Flynn Cameron and Kruz Perrott-Hunt scored 16 apiece.
The Australian Emus 2018 FIBA Under-18 Asian Championship Full Results
August 5: Emus vs Thailand W 119-44
August 6: Emus vs Bahrain W 107-42
August 7: Emus vs New Zealand W 111-62
August 9: Emus vs Japan W 88-52
August 10: Semi-Final vs Philippines W 77-43
August 11: Gold Meal Game v New Zealand W 72-63