The U18 Australian Junior Championship wrapped up in Ballarat, Victoria, last night with a victory by the NSW Country Men over their fellow New South Welshmen from NSW Metro.
The men’s Championship game started at a feverish pace, and sustained multiple lead changes throughout the first half. The game was tied at the end of the first quarter, with 17-17. The 3 “M” boys from NSW Country (Matthew Kenyon 11 pts / 6 rb, Myles Cherry 15 pts / 4 rb and Makauch Maluach 20 pts / 17 rb) did most of their damage by controlling the paint. They scored and rebounded relentlessly to set the tone in the first half, meanwhile Deng Gak (NSW Metro 18 pts / 11 rb) did his best to man the middle for his team. The 3M’s proved to be too much of a force against the Metro team as the game wore on. Angus Glover (NSW Country) supplied the rest of the scoring punch to put NSW Country out in front for good. He finished with a team high of 24 pts.
MVP of the Championship game: Angus Glover. Unsung Hero: Makauch Maluach.
FINAL SCORE: NSW Country 82 – NSW Metro 66.
The Women’s Championship game pit the perennial powerhouse VIC Metro against the upstart SA Country team. The VIC Metro team was loaded with at least 8 Division 1 prospects lead by Anneli Maley who had a magnificent end to the tournament posting back-to-back 20+ rebound games. Anneli capped off the women’s Grand Final with a whopping 22 pts / 25 rb. SA Country’s Chelsea Brook and Rachael Hines did their best to keep the game close in the first half, however Anneli had plenty of help with the likes of Ezi Magbegor (who had and eye-popping sequence of plays in the third quarter), Rebecca Pizzey and Monique Andriuolo who both chipped in with double-digit points. Maddison Rocci contributed 8 pts and 9 assists to cement her place as one of the top playmakers in the tournament.
MVP of the Women’s Championship game: Anneli Maley. Unsung Hero: Ezi Magbegor.
FINAL SCORE: VIC Metro 86 – SA Country 46.
There were many outstanding individual performances throughout the tournament that did not go unnoticed. In fact, there were so many deserving players, it was tough to narrow down our selection for the All Tournament teams.
Co-MVP’s of the Men’s Tournament: William McDowell-White and Harry Froling.
Clearly the two best players in the men’s tournament, Harry averaged 22 pts and 14 rb, shooting 53% from the field and 45% from the 3pt line in 9 games. Will averaged 20 pts, 8 rb, 4.4 asst. Will shot a blistering 74% from the field, and a very respectable 34% from the 3 pt line.
Diamonds in the rough: Andrew Ferguson (Class of 2016) and Verle Williams (Class of 2016).
Co-MVP’s of the Women’s Tournament: Chantel Horvat and Anneli Maley.
These two competitors will no doubt duke it out over the MVP title for years to come. Both worthy of the title, Chantel averaged 21 pts and 10 rb in 8 games and Anneli averaged 11 pts, 12 rb over the tournament, with her outstanding last two games cementing her place on our MVP stand.
Diamonds in the rough: Lauren Mills-Norton (Class of 2016) and Tahlia Fejo (Class of 2017).