Congratulations to the boys who were selected from the 2018 Under 16 State Championships last week for the All-Star 5 and MVP. Athletes were selected by a criteria that measured their impactful individual performances that supported team results, relative to the expectations of that team. All athletes at the Under 16 State Champs performed exceptionally well.
Kobe Owens (Townsville)
Kobe Owens was a player who improved the longer the competition went on. Proving to be one of the most complete players at the guard position in the tournament, Owens was as capable on offence as he was on defence. Coming up with vital plays in important moments in both the semi final and grand final, Townsville would not have been victorious if it wasn’t for his high IQ and his timely impact. At the back end of the week, you were sure something positive was going to happen when the basketball was in his hands. Owens finished the tournament averaging 12.4ppg, with tournament highs of 21 and 19 in his last two outings.
Harrison Pennisi (Townsville)
For a player who only averaged 8.2ppg, Pennisi found a way to assert his impact in a multitude of other ways. Pennisi had outstanding levels of activity on both offence and defence, using his size and length to generate extra possessions for his team. The Townsville big man rebounded the ball with reckless abandon and had a clear determination to change or block as many shots as he could. Pennisi showed glimpses of offensive brilliance over the tournament, but it was his defensive presence that leads to his selection in the All Star 5.
Mitchell Stanton (Northside)
On an overachieving Northside team, Mitchell Stanton had the greatest impact. Scoring to the tune of 22.7ppg, his best offensive performance came against Ipswich in a must win game for the Wizards. On that occasion, Stanton scored 50 points on 18 made field goals and terrorised the Ipswich defence. Other impactful offensive performances came against Mackay (26) and Gold Coast (22). Northside finished the tournament with a bronze medal and Stanton deserves a large portion of the credit for that.
Tristan Lacey (Spartans)
The Spartans big man was another player who had a fantastic tournament. Using his unique combination of size, strength and skill, Tristan Lacey proved to be the best player on a Spartans team that won a silver medal. Averaging 17.57ppg over the carnival, Lacey’s best offensive performance came against Northside in the semi final. On that occasions, he poured in his tournament high of 30 points to ensure his team progressed to the big dance. Beyond scoring, Lacey rebounded and defended his position as well as any other big in the tournament. A worthy selection in our tournament All-Star 5.
Ky Stattmann (Cairns)
Whilst Reagan Crees also had an outstanding carnival for the Cairns Marlins, it was Ky Stattmann who lead the way. It wasn’t just the fact that Stattmann finished second in the tournament in scoring at 23.14ppg, but it was the impact he was able to have on the opposition defensive schemes. His genuine ability to be a 3-level scorer was proven, as he was equally capable around the basket, in the mid-range and from behind the arc. Stattmann’s best offensive games came against South West Metro (42) and against Northside (30). Whilst Stattmann was slowed in the semi final against Townsville, there weren’t many others who had an answer for his offensive arsenal.
Honourable Mention – Deshawn Ross-Paiwan (Ipswich)
Leading the tournament in scoring at 25.42 points per contest, Deshawn receives an honourable mention for his individual performances. Whilst those individual scoring performances didn’t translate to team success, it would be remiss of us not to make mention of Deshawn.
Tournament MPV – Harrison Pennisi (Townsville)
The most impactful player on the champion team, Harrison Pennisi gets the nod as our Tournament Most Valuable Player. His ability to impact the game without scoring many points was remarkable. Pennisi defended, rebounded, blocked shots, changed shots, deflected, dove on loose balls and was generally everywhere that the Townsville Heat needed him to be. An MVP is a unique accomplishment for a player who averaged only 8.2ppg, but speaks to his presence in other areas. A deserving acknowledgement for his outstanding efforts in leading the Townsville Heat to a gold medal.