2017 was a great year for Basketball in Queensland. 8 of our State Teams were in the top 5 for their age/gender and 5 of those teams walked away with medals! These results confirm that the program is in a great position and will look to build on this success as it attempts to go from strength to strength in 2018. Read a quick wrap-up about how each State Team did this year at Nationals!
The Queensland Men Under 20 State Team had a challenging week at the national championships, but there were some bright spots with key players being mention in the leader boards for a number of categories:
- Tyrell Harrison had an average of 8 rebounds per game (third highest in the tournament)
- Tom Fullerton had an average of 3.29 assists per game (second highest in the tournament)
- Tobias Cameron had an average of 3.25 assists per game (the third highest in the tournament), an average of 2.12 steals per games (highest in the tournament), an 83.02 free throw percentage (forth highest in the tournament) and finally, a total of 44 free throws made through the tournament (second largest amount)
The Under 20 Women’s team displayed some spirited play over the course of the week which allowed a number of the key players to excel in the statistical categories:
- Rachel Mate had an average 17.67 points per game (highest in the tournament), an average of 2.67 assists per game (fifth highest in the tournament), a 45.45 free throw average (best in the tournament) and a total of 28 free throws made (second highest in the tournament)
- Briana Bailey had an average of 14 points per game (third highest in the tournament), a 42.11 free throw average (second best in the tournament) and a total of 16 three pointers made (the best in the tournament).
- Shanelle Tolley had an average of 8.5 rebounds per game (fifth highest in the tournament),
NORTH – The Queensland North U18 Girls started the tournament off with some positive showings early in the pool phase. As the tournament went on, it was clear that the team was building in confidence and chemistry with each performance. The mixed results through the group stages set up a quarter final cross over match with a familiar opponent, Queensland South. It was this game which was the turning point for the group, managing to find a way to win against a very talented opposition and sneak into the top 4. This victory epitomized the Queensland North spirit, with both players and coaches demonstrating a level of fight and togetherness which led to victory. The team then went on to play 2 more games for the tournament, finishing with a narrow loss to Victoria Metro in the bronze medal game.
SOUTH – With the majority of the team returning from the gold medal winning U16 team of 2015, the Queensland South women entered the tournament as front runners for the National title. The South showed promise in the rounds with a 3 win, 2 loss record, including two dominant 25+ point victories to finish 2nd in their pool and send them into the quarter finals confident. However, a repeat performance from two years prior wasn’t to be and the South went down to Queensland North in the crossovers. The Queensland South women managed to bounce back from a disappointing quarter final appearance with two gutsy wins to round out the tournament and finish 5th.
NORTH – The home town team where widely considered to be the favorites to take home a tournament gold and repeat from their U16 gold medal success. Early in the tournament, the Queensland North U18 boys took care of business on route to some very impressive performances which backed up those expectations. With similar types of performances through the quarter and semifinal games, the stage was set for a grand final rematch against U16 gold medal game opponents, Victoria Metro. In what was a fiercely contested final game that saw momentum swing between both teams, Queensland North fell agonizingly short at the final buzzer and came away with a silver medal. Whilst the result may not have gone the way they had hoped, this team represented the region in exemplary fashion and should be proud of their efforts.
SOUTH – The Queensland South Men went into Nationals as unknown quantities, with a relatively new team. However, by the end of round play and a 4 win 1 loss record, everyone knew who Queensland South were. The South Men were unlucky in the quarter final cross overs but pulled themselves together to finish a very respectable 5th place.
The Queensland Rolling Thunder Maroon and White teams have dominated the Kevin Coombs Cup in Townsville, playing each other in the Grand Final for the gold medal. The Maroon team went undefeated through the championships enjoying victories over NSW, Western Australia, Victoria and the Queensland White team.
The win secured the third national gold medal for team members Steven Elliott, Thomas Holland, and Ben Grice, who won their first national title with Queensland in 2014 and repeated in 2015. All three basketballers have enjoyed increased training and development opportunities through Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association’s High Performance Program, funded through the Queensland Academy of Sport.
NORTH – The Queensland North girls attended the U16 Australian Junior Championship with 10 first time state team representatives, of which 7 of those were bottom age. Whilst being considered a young and inexperienced group, this team competed all week with a relentless competitiveness that allowed them to push their rivals to the final whistle utilizing some crafty defensive strategies and energetic offensive play along the way. Finishing with a 3 win, 5 loss record for a 10th place finish, all the signs point towards the potential for a very promising showing for this team at the 2018 U16 Australian Junior Championships.
SOUTH – The South girls struggled early on in the tournament, losing hard fought games in the pool rounds. Despite the mixed results, the South girls were able to sneak through to the quarter finals in 4th place. A Cinderella finish wasn’t to be, how the South women finished off the tournament strongly and no doubt will be hungry to perform better in 2 years time.
SOUTH – The South boys were relentless in their approach from the outset, dominating teams with contributions from multiple sources making them a nightmare to guard. Heading into the grand final, tournament statistics indicated that the South boys had the slight margin, beating their opponent North Qld in every statistical category bar steals. Stats and past results however all fly out the window when the trophy is on the line. In the end, an early margin proved too great for the South boys to overcome and the North boys were crowned the 2017 Australian Junior National Champions in a classy 25-point victory
NORTH – After a stellar 4th place finish in 2016 which included a large majority of bottom age athletes and the player commonly understood to be the best in the country, this team carried the weight of some significant expectations in 2017. Led from the front by Coach Ian Haughton, this group handled each moment with class and maturity. Whilst the explosive play of Tamuri Wigness deserves all the attention it gained, this was a group of players and coaches who executed their individual’s roles to perfection. A gold standard performance which resulted in a gold medal for the Queensland North U16 Boys.
Overall, the Under 16 results and Kevin Coomb Cup results, along with the 4 teams at U18 Nationals all achieving top 5 standings, cements 2017 as one of, if not the best, cycles of Queensland state team performances. However, it is the way in which our Queensland teams conducted themselves both on and off the floor. Basketball in Queensland is definitely alive!