VICTORIA Metropolitan women. Kevin Coombs Cup.
Two teams, two chances to claim national titles for Victoria on the final day of #AusChamps competition here in Geelong. Make sure you get along to see the locals in action as these our sides vie for gold and bronze.
VICTORIA METROPOLITAN WOMEN
It all slotted into place for the Victoria Metropolitan women, taking a commanding 80-37 triumph over NSW Country to advance to the grand final. While the final scoreline is massive, the pleasing aspect the Metro women can take from the match was the consistency of their efforts and the four-quarter way they went about winning.
There was no need for a comeback, no slumps or slow starts… just a 40-minute display of the power this side possesses.
After a fairly even start to the clash, the intensity and tempo got bigger than NSW Country through the second term as we began to run riot.
Victoria Metro’s depth and the relentless run chipped away at the visitors’ resolve until they were forced to wave the white flag and bench their key players through the fourth.
Even more pleasing for Vic Metro was the variety of contributions across the board, including a tournament high from Jayde Cadee (15 points) as she ruled the three-point line in tandem with Lily Scanlon (15 points). When the match was there to be decided, Gemma Potter (nine points), Abbey Ellis (13 points) as well as Eliza Hollingsworth (11 points, eight rebounds) and Lara Edmanson (four points, 12 rebounds) ensured Vic Metro would take out the semi-final and maintain their unbeaten streak heading into the gold medal clash.
Vic Metro women’s coach Reece Potter said the even contribution and the way the girls executed the complete victory and pushed through the strong, tactical play of NSW Country.
“We were definitely a bit flat yesterday and were a bit lucky that we were more talented than our opposition in the quarter final,” Potter said. “We watched the video last night and saw the lack of discipline in the game and the girls responded today with a pretty good performance.
“There are still a few things we want to work on but it’s a much better performance against a country team that had a good idea of what they wanted to do against us – really packed it in and forced us to shoot from the perimeter.
“Defensively we really ground them down as well – keeping them to only 37 points in the end which was a pretty tough defensive effort.”
The Vic Metro women will face South Australia Metropolitan in the women’s finale from 5pm on the show court.
KEVIN COOMBS CUP
Back-to-back wins on the same day against the same opposition is a quirky way to advance to the gold medal match as Victoria rolled Queensland to advance to its first gold medal match in Kevin Coombs Cup history.
The morning session was a canter for the Victorians, taking a 71-47 win over the northerners as James Weinert (26 points, nine rebounds) and Jontee Brown (25 points, 10 rebounds) led the charge.
Perhaps they had pulled a few punches in the opening salvo as Queensland came out for the night-time semi-final with a lot more initiative, energy and focus.
Queensland’s squad gave their all to try and counter the Victorians, but in the end a monster match from Jontee Brown (39 points, 24 rebounds) pushed #TeamVic across the line 65-56. Brian Carminati (16 points, 13 rebounds) also impressed in the semi final while the entire side shared the defensive burden of keeping Queensland’s nimble guards off guard for as long as possible.
KCC head coach Matt Dunstan was thrilled with the side’s performance and believes the side’s up and ready for its maiden gold medal clash.
“It’s good; the guys have been working their butts off all week and it’s great to finally get there in the end,” Dunstan said. “It was a bit of a tough one but I think in the end we deserve to be there.
“We knew Queensland would be tough tonight as they weren’t as good as they could be this morning, so to grind it out was messy but we got there in the end.
“It’s going to be a tough grand final, but we think we’ve got the game plan to get it done, so if we take care of business we should be right.”
The Victorian KCC team faces Western Australia from 3pm on the show court in the Kevin Coombs Cup gold medal game.
VICTORIA METROPOLITAN MEN
It got big on us… fast.
The game, the atmosphere, the intensity of the match-up… it was an occasion we just struggled to acclimatise to against WA Metro in a 74-85 semi final defeat.
After a brilliant opening half – knocking them down from everywhere – the Victorians had rallied a 41-34 half-time lead. Kobe Williamson and Josh Bannan were putting back everything and forcing the WA Metro defence to scramble while the long range attack of Zac Triplett, Lucas Rocci and Joel Capetola helped the gap grow.
But that would be the premium point of the clash… as it went downhill fast from there.
WA Metro’s Australian representatives grew in stature through the second half as Swaka Lo Buluk, Luke Jackson and Luke Travers played just about every minute possible to stop our Vic Metro men. The final 15 minutes were a barrage of WA highlights that we struggled to contain. Our defensive efforts kept the margin from blowing out completely, but in the end our shooting down the stretch left a lot of points up for grabs but not taken. The Metro men’s 33 per-cent field goal rate was the problem our campaign sadly could not overcome as we had the looks but they couldn’t finish the job.
The Metro men are still in the hunt for a medal though and will face Tasmania from 1pm to decide the men’s bronze medal team for 2018.
VICTORIA COUNTRY WOMEN
Riding the rollercoaster of the campaign, the Victoria Country women continued the ups and downs with a 65-84 loss to South Australia Metro. Our western neighbours proved too strong, too tall and had the polish necessary to seize the other spot in the grand final and knock our gallant Country crew out of contention for a back-to-back tilt at the championship. The best laid plans of the group were no-match for the defensive prowess of the SA Metro brigade, which smacked down eight blocks and generally caused concern when we went to attack.
Carly Remmos (15 points) flourished on her home court while Georgia Amoore (11 points, six rebounds, six assists) and Agnes Emma-Nnopu (eight points, 12 rebounds) kept their heads up to fight it out.
The Victoria Country women will face NSW Country in the bronze medal match with a little bit of revenge up for grabs following NSWC’s pool stage buzzer-beater against Vic Country from earlier this week.
VICTORIA COUNTRY MEN
It was a tough night on court for the Victoria Country Men, who were downed 63-84 by NSW Metro in their classification game. Tempering the relentless NSW pressure proved a challenge in its own as the score-line crept out of control late in the clash. Broden Collins (16 points) continued his strong tournament to date while Ethan Fiegert (10 points) and Liam Herbert (seven points, eight rebounds) also stood out for the Country men. They’ll battle the ACT from 1.30pm on Court 3 in their final clash of the tournament.